How to Choose a Natural Face Moisturizer for Your Skin Type
What makes a great natural face moisturizer? It might seem like a simple, straightforward question, but it's one that can spark many different answers depending on who you ask and what your skin needs are. We’ll help you find the answer!
What makes a great natural face moisturizer? It might seem like a simple, straightforward question, but it's one that can spark many different answers depending on who you ask and what your skin needs. When most of us think of natural skincare, we think of products that use only ingredients from nature. But the truth is, there are many skincare products that proclaim to be natural when in fact they contain a number of synthetic ingredients and potentially harmful chemicals.
Having a label with the words "organic” and "natural" does not in itself make it true...or safe. Plenty of brands will tout a product's natural or organic ingredients yet those very products are loaded with toxic chemicals and unnatural preservatives, thickeners, and fillers such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances, and dyes. Complicating matters is the lack of regulation by the FDA. Because the agency does not regulate the terms “natural” and "organic," labels can be incredibly misleading and confusing.
The key to knowing whether or not a facial moisturizer (or any skincare product) is legitimately natural is to read every ingredient on the label. A quick online search and a little research go a long way to helping you make an informed decision. After all, this is your face we're talking about — treat it with the tender loving care it deserves.
Given that the FDA doesn’t regulate the word "natural," the word doesn’t say much about the true integrity or purity of a product. Just because a facial moisturizer has aloe vera or coconut oil, for example, does not mean it's all-natural or free from toxins. Many artificial ingredients are difficult to pronounce, but sometimes the same can be said for natural ingredients, especially if their scientific names are listed. Vitellaria paradoxa (formerly Butryospermum parkii) might sound like some lab-created chemical, but it's simply the scientific name for shea butter. Bottom line: Look up any ingredients you don't recognize.
When it comes to cosmetics and body care products, "organic" is another term that is not regulated by the FDA. However, the USDA monitors its usage as part of the National Organic Program, which means products labeled with organic claims must comply with USDA regulations. If you want a face moisturizer that focuses on organic ingredients free from pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic synthetics, look for the "certified organic" seal on the packaging, which ensures the product contains at least 95 percent organic content.
Skincare products that do not contain any animal ingredients or animal byproducts are labeled as vegan. Some of the most common animal-based skincare ingredients are lanolin (a waxy substance from sheep's wool), keratin (a protein usually derived from animal horns and hooves), collagen, gelatin, beeswax, and honey.
It's worth noting that many traditional animal-based skincare ingredients now have non-animal alternatives. Feel Beauty uses plant-based hyaluronic acid and squalane for products including the Bright hydrating face serum and Restored clay mask.
While vegan skincare usually goes hand-in-hand with cruelty-free skincare, it's not always the case. Why? Some ingredients, even if vegan, are tested on animals during some point in the creation process. As such, you have to be very astute when reading cruelty-free labels. If you see a label that says "This finished product was not tested on animals" there's a good chance that some of the individual ingredients were tested on animals.
The only way to know if a face cream, night cream, or other skincare product is genuinely cruelty free is to look for the Certified Vegan Logo, PETA's Cruelty-Free and Vegan bunny symbol, or the Vegan Society's Vegan Trademark. Take a look at our guide to the best vegan skincare routine for even more helpful tips.
Natural Face Moisturizers for Your Skin Type
As important as natural ingredients and organic skincare products are for your skin, using a natural face moisturizer in itself does not guarantee results. A great moisturizer is not only free from harmful chemicals, but it also effectively improves and maintains hydration, clarity, elasticity, and healthy skin tone.
To achieve these skin goals, it's essential to shop for your skin type so you know which natural ingredients and formulations will work best to address your particular needs. Here are some of our top picks for natural moisturizers. If you're not sure what kind of skin you have, our easy test will help you out.
You're one of the lucky few who doesn't need to worry much about breakouts, dry patches, giant pores, or any other dermal discouragements. That said, your skin still needs to stay properly hydrated. Look for a daily moisturizer such as our Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream with aloe vera and safflower seed oil, both of which are soothing and moisturizing.
To keep skin feeling smooth and squeaky clean, be sure to use a non-irritating cleanser everyday — our lathering and gently exfoliating Renewed Pumpkin Walnut Facial Cleanser is rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids to keep skin clear.
Between the oily T-zone and dry patches on your cheeks or elsewhere, your skin can sometimes feel like a guessing game: What's it going to be today, face?! Regulate a moody complexion with a balancing moisturizer that will hydrate drier areas without creating a greasier finish on those oily spots.
Cucumber and lime extracts, both rich in vitamin C, can be found in our Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream to boost skin firmness, reduce dark spots, and fight free radicals; meanwhile allantoin works to increase skin smoothness.
The key to combating dry skin is intense daily hydration. Look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, organic coconut oil, olive oil, sea buckthorn, argan oil, and jojoba oil. Feel Beauty's balancing cream is a moisture-locking winner, but you could also try our Bright Daily Squalane + Facial Oil Blend, a smooth-as-silk serum that restores skin's moisture.
To further combat parched skin — as well as mature skin and aging skin — use our Restored Self-Warming Clay Mask. The hyaluronic acid seeps into deep skin for hydration while anti-aging nigiri sea salt, with its antibacterial properties, replenishes and combats the appearance of fine lines.
Oily Skin and Acne-Prone
Your sebaceous glands are working overtime and you've had enough breakouts to last a lifetime. You might think that adding moisture is the last thing your shiny face needs, but nothing could be further from the truth. While you should certainly avoid heavy, pore-clogging creams, using a lightweight daily moisturizer is essential for getting your skin on track.
Our non-greasy Bright Daily Squalane + Facial Oil Blend is packed with the right kind of oils (rosehip and avocado) to treat acne-prone, inflamed, or oily skin. Amplify the results with our Harmony Rose Petal Facial Mask, an ultra-hydrating gel chock-full of rose petals and rose essential oils.
You're a sensitive soul, so don't feel bad if you have sensitive skin. Consider it a virtue. If you have skin that seems to react at the slightest provocation, then remember this: Less is more. Avoid products with fragrances, colors, and really long lists of ingredients.
Opt for soothing botanicals like aloe vera and gentle natural ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, and rosehip seed oil. Since simplicity is best for sensitive skin, consider our Bright Daily Squalane + Facial Oil Blend, which has only 11 all-natural ingredients including avocado oil, rosehip seed oil, cucumber oil, and vitamin E.
You’re a Natural Beauty
It might seem a bit daunting at first, but finding the best natural face moisturizer for your skin type can be achieved once you have the basics down. While there will be some trial and error, you can rest assured it's doable. One more thing: Using sunscreen is essential for a healthy skin, so be sure to consult our guide on the best natural sunscreens for even more must-have tips.