We all know how crucial a great facial moisturizer is for the health and longevity of our skin—it’s the star of the show in our beloved skincare routine. But do you know what exactly is in your favorite moisturizer? We want to feed our skin only the good stuff, nutrient-dense ingredients that’ll keep us glowing. Thankfully, the clean moisturizer market is vast.
But what does natural actually mean, besides carrying a lofty connotation of being a little better and a lot more expensive? Technically, the FDA has no standard regulation for the term but that hasn’t stopped brands from using it endlessly in the marketing of their products. So we asked New York City-based dermatologist Shereene Idriss to better explain what exactly “natural” products are. “Natural skin-care products are all about being as ‘pure’ as possible, without the added chemicals and fillers that allow a product to maintain a longer shelf life,” she explained. Which is to say the best natural products will have minimal ingredients, most of them botanically-based, and few preservatives, synthetics, or added dyes and fragrances. It’s good to be a skeptic, but it’s even better to have great skin.
We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, here are the best natural facial moisturizers we can get behind.
Long live this cult-favorite! The secret to moisturized and hydrated skin lies in this little green bottle. Think La Mer, but richer and more affordable. The cream is also multi-purpose; you can use it on your face during the winter or on dry patches all over your body year round.
Key Ingredients: Pansy, Beeswax, Sunflower Oil
Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer
Eat—I mean, apply your greens! This lightweight gel is packed with moringa seed extract sourced from a family farm in Coachella Valley, which acts as a protective barrier against harmful pollutants. Papaya extract works as a gentle exfoliant to help with texture and radiance.
Key Ingredients: Moringa Seed Extract, Moringa Water, Papaya Extrac, Hyaluronic Acid (Four Types), Polyglutamic Acid
Burt’s Bees Daily Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin – 1.8oz
Don’t sleep on this dermatologist test, drugstore favorite that was awarded an Eczema Association Seal Of Acceptance. Designed for sensitive skin, this soothing formula is unscented, cruelty-free, and certified clean. The best part? It’s only $15.
Key Ingredients: Rice Extract, Aloe, Cotton Extract
Not only does this moisturizer hydrate skin, but it also eliminates redness and breakouts, thanks to powerful BHA botanical blend and tazman pepper berry.
Key Ingredients: Saw Palmetto, BHA Botanical Blend, Tazman Pepper Berry
Baba Bomb Moisturizer
Thirsty skin will drink up this whipped moisturizer. Made with avocado, babassu, and green tea, this formula promises hydration for 24 hours.
Key Ingredients: Babassu, Avocado, Green Tea
Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream
Matcha isn’t just for lattes. K-Beauty brand Peach & Lily enlisted the hero ingredient for its antioxidant-rich properties, that help firm skin and boost radiance.
Key Ingredients: Matcha, Peptide Complex, Adenosine, Niacinamide, Juniper Berries, Panthenol, Lotus
Ultra Hydrating Face Cream
Fun fact: Nourish Organic was one of the first USDA-certified organic skincare products. The brand uses plant-based chemistry to deliver hydration from moroccan argan oil and improved in skin elasticity from shea butter.
Key Ingredients: Organic Moroccan Argan Oil, Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil,Fair Trade Shea & Cupuaçu Butters
Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer
Thirsty skin will love this cooling gel-emulsion that is made from a mix of watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid. Dewy summer skin in a bottle.
Key Ingredients: Watermelon Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Antioxidants
Superfood Air Whip Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer
A nutritious salad but for your face. The leafy green superfoods, like kale and spinach, provide the ultimate antioxidant boost while hyaluronic acid provides the moisture to restore and balance dry skin.
Key Ingredients: Kale, Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea
Farm to face. This creamy moisturizer is filled with carrot root, marigold flower extract, and linseed seed oil to lend the skin natural healing.
Key Ingredients: Organic shea , Jojoba, Organic aloe, Algae, Primrose, Borage, Linseed, Grapeseed, Vitamins B5, C, & E.
Restorative Sea Culture Extra Riche Créme
Packed with nutrient-heavy sea minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, you’ll get hydration and radiant skin, not chemicals and fillers.
Key Ingredients: Cassia Angustifolia, Beta Glucan, Alteromonas, Bacurri, Sea Buckthorn
Honey extract and peanut oil—an ingredient strangely rich in antioxidants—work together to moisturize the skin for a nourished and healthy complexion.
Key Ingredients: Honey Extract
Pink Cloud Soft Moisture Creme
All Herbivore products are completely natural and free from dyes, toxins, and synthetic preservatives. This creamy whip also boasts rose, tremella mushroom which is a hyaluronic acid alternative, and vegan squalane to lock in moisture.
Key Ingredients: Tremella Mushroom, Vegan Squalane, Moroccan Rose
Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides
If you’re looking for intense moisture, this is the face cream for you. It’s packed with six plant-based African oils and a ceramide complex to help maintain long-lasting hydration.
Key Ingredients: African-Oil Blend, Ceramides AP, EOP, and NP, Phytosphingosine
OSEA Blemish Balm
Get that Southern California glow (where OSEA was founded, based on the healing properties of the ocean)! This sheer, fast-absorbing moisturizer works to balance hydration and minimize shine—a perfect solution for those with blemish-prone and combination skin.
Key Ingredients: Trio of Seaweeds, Tea Tree Oil, White Thyme Oil
Cactus Water Moisturizer
Queen of the Night cactus is a rare ingredient known for its ability to survive the harshest of climates by storing up water for non-rainy days. When used in this hydrating cream, the dogged extract provides the ultimate dose of moisture for smooth, supple skin.
Key Ingredients: Cactus Succulent, South African Resurrection Plant Infusion, Aloe Vera Flower Extract
Beekman 1802 Bloom Cream Daily Probiotic Moisturizer
Like yogurt for your sensitive skin, Beekman 1802 is here to make your skin bloom! The brand specializes in goat milk which provides probiotics that helps control oily skin and keeps skin balanced, fights dullness, and deeply nourishes for the dewiest glow you’ve ever seen.
Key Ingredients: Goat Milk & Probiotics, Epsom Salt, Active Botanical Blend
Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer
The perfect primer and all-natural moisturizer in one Posh Spice-approved product! The formula, created by Augustinus Bader, contains black tea, enzymes, algae, and avocado oil to create a smooth canvas for makeup application.
Key Ingredients: Natural Papaya Enzymes, Natural Black Tea Ferment, Micro Algae Extract
Golden Hour Recovery Cream
Like the constellation and latin for “The Great Bear,” Ursa Major began with the goal to help lead friends (and friends of friends) make the switch to clean, plant-powered skincare. Keep wrinkles at bay and your skin supple with this vegan cream treads that fine line where it is rich enough to be used as a night cream, yet light enough to use as a daily moisturizer at any hour.
Key Ingredients: Sea Buckthorn, Calendula, Sandalwood, Black Currant, Sunflower, Rose
Designed for those with slight breakouts, texture and scars, or oily and acne-prone skin, this moisturizer not only deeply moisturizes, but helps fade dark spots, calm over-oil production, and improve textured skin.
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic, Kojic Acid, Pineapple Extract
The Dewy Skin Cream
Meghan Markle’s brand of choice, Tatcha, launched this all-natural skin cream just last year. The luxurious cream is packed with Japanese rice bran, ginseng, and Okinawa algae to make the formula super hydrating. You can also use this as a makeup base if you’re looking for a bit of extra glow.
Key Ingredients: Japanese Purple Rice, Okinawa Algae Blend, Hyaluronic Acid, Botanical Extracts
Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm
You won’t find a more versatile balm—this antioxidant-rich balm can be used as a rich daily moisturizer, skin conditioning face mask, or sensitive skin makeup remover.
Key Ingredients: Chia Seed, Oat Oil, Orange Peel Wax
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