Besides drinking lots of water and eating food rich in healthy fats, face moisturizers keep our face skin healthy and hydrated. However, some moisturizer ingredients are harmful to long-term health and the environment. As such, we recommend natural face moisturizers made from skin and planet-friendly ingredients.
The phrase, “Beauty is pain,” may be popular, but it doesn't have to be true for you or our precious planet. Look through this list of 20 to find the best natural face moisturizer.
The skin on our face goes through a lot; it is the most exposed and probably the most touched. Additionally, the stress of our daily lives and the inevitable fact of aging shows more on our face. To maintain great skin, many people undertake a daily skincare routine.
However, in many moisturizers available today, you can find concerning ingredients like aluminum, parabens, mineral oil, formaldehyde, petroleum, etc. Many of those chemicals disrupt the endocrine system and have even been associated with cancer, miscarriages, and diabetes.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes can harbor carcinogens2, hormone disruptors, and reproductive toxicants. Humans are not the only ones affected by these chemicals; studies have found parabens concentrations in the tissue of wildlife and marine organisms1.
The EU list over 1000 chemicals banned from cosmetic use. You can screen your cosmetics using the list, go to the EWG website for information on particular ingredients, or check and read more in our guide to natural skincare ingredients.
The Kiehl brand has been making its facial moisturizer since the early 1970s. They have put decades of work into formulating one of the top sustainable skincare products. The carbon footprint for every 10ml of product is about 23g.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer’s key ingredients include squalane from olives and glycerin. Squalane replenishes the skin’s natural barrier, and glycerin holds in water so the skin feels hydrated. Other ingredients include natural oils from avocado, sweet almond, and apricot. Also, the moisturizer contains no parabens.
The moisturizer promises to keep your face hydrated and soft all day. It is fragrance-free, so it's ideal for people with fragrance sensitivity. Kiehl’s moisturizer is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
The Golden Hour Recovery Cream is a vegan facial moisturizer. With plant-sourced ingredients like sea buckthorn, calendula, vitamins C, A, and E, and omega fatty acids, it provides deep hydration, soothes eczema-prone skin, and reduces skin redness. Additionally, it has ingredients that even out skin tone and face lines.
Unlike other face moisturizing products, applying the Golden Hour Recovery Cream around your eyes is perfectly safe. You won't find synthetic fragrances or color in this moisturizer. It is also free from silicone, parabens, glycols, and harmful petrochemicals.
Ursa Major is a B Corporation that manufactures all its products in the US. Moreover, the glass jar the moisturizer comes in is recyclable, and you can be sure any paper packaging that comes with it is partly recycled.
Eadem formulated the Cloud Cushion face moisturizer to be especially compatible with colored skin, using their Smart Melanin technology. The creamy moisturizer deeply hydrates the skin, strengthens the skin barrier, and instantly soothes irritation and redness. It can also help with preventing dark spots.
The moisturizer has a lot of safe and natural ingredients suitable for all skin types. Key among them is snow mushroom and squalane for hydration, peptides and niacinamide to combat hyperpigmentation, and chamomile and black seed extracts for skin nourishment—the plant ceramides and tucuma extract help to seal in the moisture.
Cloud cushion is safe for colored skin, even pregnant and nursing mothers. It does not contain any skin-bleaching agents or harmful chemicals. Additionally, Eadem manufactures locally in the US and uses recyclable packaging.
Honest is a trusted eco-friendly brand with a range of products that include diapers, makeup, and personal care. Their hydrogel cream is a gentle moisturizer that effectively moisturizes any skin type and reduces facial lines. The lightweight cream leaves even oily skin looking dewy with no grease.
The hydrogel cream contains two types of hyaluronic acid with different molecule weights to help retain moisture in different skin layers. Other top ingredients are squalane and jojoba esters. The moisturizer has no parabens, mineral oils, silicones, artificial fragrances, and dyes.
The Hydrogel Cream is free from animal products and wasn't tested on animals either. They use recycled/recyclable paper packaging. Although the containers have glass and plastic parts, you can easily separate them for recycling.
This is one of the best budget natural face moisturizers for its fantastic quality. The hydrating cream boosts collagen production and protects the skin barrier from moisture loss. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities.
Its key ingredients are shiitake mushroom for brightening dull skin and peptides and ceramides for locking moisture. Other ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, prickly pear extract, shea butter, jojoba oil, and Tremella mushroom. You should note that it has no fragrance.
We love that the R&R face cream is palm- and mineral-oil-free. It also contains no artificial dyes, sulfates, phthalates, triclosan, silicones, or parabens. Even better for eco-cred, they also make the plastic tube this moisturizer comes in from post-consumer plastic waste.
Perfect for aging skin on the face and the rest of the body, this natural face moisturizer also works for the hair, nails, and cuticles. Its list of natural ingredients includes castor oil, grape seed oil, lavender oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and jojoba seed oil. It is rich in vitamin E, copper, and zinc.
The moisturizer suits any skin type, even sensitive skin, as it is hypoallergenic. It absorbs quickly and won't leave your skin feeling greasy. It has a subtle lavender fragrance. The brand doesn't add any chemicals or preservatives.
The Ancient Greek Remedy moisturizer is animal friendly and contains no animal derivatives. Its plant ingredients are free from GMOs and pesticides. Further, the product is certified climate neutral and is climate pledge friendly on Amazon.
One thing reviews agree on is how awesome this moisturizer smells. And that’s just because of the natural scent of its ingredients and not any synthetic fragrance. They also agree that it is lightweight but provides adequate hydration for the skin.
The mad hippie facial cream has powerful ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, green tea leaf extract, acai berry, and pomegranate. It also contains niacinamide, peptides, and antioxidants that reduce wrinkles and facial lines. Argan oil is a star ingredient rich in vitamin E and other moisture-giving components.
This product also comes in a bioresin tube made from sugarcane, and you can recycle it for free thanks to the brand’s partnership with TerraCycle. The paper box is FSC certified and printed on with soy ink.
This multi-tasking product does everything. You can use it as a super-rich moisturizer, a makeup remover, and a conditioning face mask. It is also useful for treating chapped, rough, or irritated skin anywhere on the body. The balm moisturizes and gently cleanses your skin while smoothing out wrinkles.
The wonder-working ingredients of this balm include orange peel wax, coconut oil, butter from mango seed, beeswax, soy oil, oat kernel oil, chia seed extract, meadowfoam seed oil, and jojoba esters. Furthermore, there isn't any added fragrance. The balm is certified by ECOCERT as 100% organic.
Note that the balm has zero fillers, so it can get clumpy or runny due to temperature changes. The balm’s glass jar and plastic lid are recyclable.
Keeping your face hydrated might pose a challenge if you struggle with skin sensitivities. That's because ordinary moisturizing formulas may contain ingredients that would hurt your skin. You need a natural face moisturizer that balances skin PH like Tree to Tub Ginseng Green Tea moisturizer.
It contains hyaluronic acid, vitamins C, E, and B5. Its botanical key ingredients are ginseng, aloe vera, coconut esters, cocoa butter, tea tree oil, sunflower extracts, and shea butter. They add lavender essential oil to give it some fragrance. The moisturizer is 100% free from animal derivatives, phthalates, sulfates, and parabens.
Don't worry; the shea and cocoa butter are balanced with rose water, ginseng, and green tea, so they won't block your pores while providing extra moisture—also, the organic rose and aloe vera present help to soothe skin irritations.
This gentle moisturizer is packed with probiotics and squalane, leaving sensitive skin feeling soft and healthy. Its key ingredients include ginger extract for reducing irritation and redness and red seaweed extract for restoring tired skin. Other ingredients include soy, swiss garden cress sprouts, and glycerin.
The Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel is vegan and cruelty-free. The squalane in the formula is sourced sustainably from sugarcane. They do not add fragrance, parabens, or other toxic substances typically found in skincare products.
Biossance has an EcoVadis silver rating for its ethical business practices. They recycle almost all the hazardous waste into fuel in their laboratory. The brand is passionate about ocean preservation and has donated over $500,000 to Oceana.
This is one of those natural moisturizers created specifically to soothe sensitive skin. It works as the perfect day and night cream for folks with skin sensitivity. The cream calms irritations while providing deep moisturizing. It also evens out your skin tone.
A few of its key ingredients include sweet almond oil, beeswax, and plum seed oil. Weleda sources its almonds ethically from the Manan cooperative in Alicante, Spain. The face cream is free from phthalates, mineral oil, and paraben. Additionally, it contains no added fragrance or preservatives.
The brand partners with TerraCycle, allowing customers to recycle all their Weleda aluminum or plastic tubes, glass bottles, plastic tubs, and caps.
With this doctor-formulated natural facial moisturizer, sensitive, eczema-prone, or dermatitis-prone skin feels amazing thanks to its anti-inflammatory ingredients. The Osmia Purely Simple Face Cream contains jojoba and apricot oil to soften the skin and almond oil to replenish the skin's natural barrier.
Essential oils from chamomile, neroli, and rose help to soothe irritation and redness. There are no alcohol or animal-derived products in this moisturizer. It is entirely plant-based, with no synthetic fragrances, dyes, or toxic ingredients in its formula.
For every order that Osmia gets, the brand plants a tree. They have planted over 100,000 trees in Colorado so far. The brand uses FSC-certified paper packaging printed with non-toxic ink. They mostly use glass containers; if they used plastic, it would be recycled.
Blu Atlas Face moisturizer is one of the most popular recommendations for hydrating dry skin. Its anti-aging formula includes mango seed butter, which protects your skin from UV light, essential fatty acids from moringa seed oil for deep skin hydration, and vitamin C. It also contains Laminaria algae extract, which regulates natural oil secretion, exfoliates, and brightens the skin.
The moisturizer is available in natural or coconut-apricot fragrances and fragrance-free options to cater to various fragrance sensitivities. Blu Atlas is a men's skincare brand, but women can use their products too.
Blu Atlas moisturizer is manufactured locally in the USA. It is vegan and cruelty-free. There are no sulfates, parabens, or phthalates in its formula. However, the brand needs to be clearer about how to go about recycling the product empties or if they are recyclable.
People with gluten sensitivity can react badly to skincare products containing gluten. However, this moisturizer is gluten-free, so gluten-sensitive folks with dry skin can enjoy luxurious moisturizing. The Restorative Sea Culture cream has a plumpy texture. It softens and adds visible shine to dull, dry skin.
This moisturizer is rich in antioxidants and sea minerals, and amino acids. Its many plant ingredients include red algae, seaweed polysaccharides, beta-glucan, sea buckthorn, Shea butter, bacurri seed butter, and sunflower seed wax. It also contains oils and extracts from sage, lavender, bergamot, coconut, honeysuckle, and alteromonas.
The animal-friendly brand uses no animal derivatives. They partner with charities to donate meals to dogs in shelters and plant trees.
This natural skincare solution is for very dry skin with sensitivity issues. It reduces visible signs of skin sensitivity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Customer reviews rave about its non-greasy feel. It also has no fragrance.
Its star ingredients are ashwagandha and reishi for reducing redness and irritation and pentapeptide to protect your skin from environmental stressors. It also contains squalane, jojoba, and shea butter which provides and locks in nourishing moisture.
All ingredients in this moisturizer are vegan, and the brand does not condone animal tests. They also avoid concerning substances like dimethicone, parabens, and phthalates. Youth to the People manufactures their products locally in the USA. They say their empties are recyclable but advise customers to upcycle them instead.
This natural face moisturizer is needed for very dry skin that has gone through a period of neglect. The Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich cream has been Weleda's best-selling product since 1926. It revitalizes and softens the skin on the face, elbows, hands, and feet.
The skin-nourishing ingredients in this face cream include sunflower seed oil, lanolin, arginine, beeswax, calendar, and chamomile. It also has rosemary leaf extract and almond oil. Its natural fragrance comes from essential oils in it.
Comparatively, this moisturizer is the most affordable option on this list, so you can easily try it out without heavy financial commitment. Thanks to the brand's partnership with TerraCycle, you can easily recycle the empties.
Moisturizing can be tricky for oily skin because it can leave the skin feeling heavy. However, people with oily skin or acne-prone skin still need to moisturize because oiliness does not imply hydration. Moisturizing is even more important when using oil-control products and alcohol-based face cleansers.
This Biossance product is one of the few natural moisturizers formulated to give you hydrated, healthy skin without any shine. It is packed with omega-rich oils, squalane, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and acai berry extracts, which deeply moisturize and nourish.
The Omega Repair Cream is vegan; even its omega fatty acids are from plant sources. It is also fragrance-free, but its ingredients emit a mild pleasant scent that dissipates quickly.
Daily Greens is an oil-free moisturizing gel that hydrates oily skin with no shine. It helps to balance the face’s oil secretion while unclogging the pores. The moisturizer has a brightening effect as well. It is lightweight and won't leave a heavy, sticky feeling. It is also fragrance-free, but you may perceive a subtle fresh scent.
Its impressive ingredients include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, galacturonic acid, and polyglutamic acid. The formula also contains extracts from the neem tree, papaya fruit, moringa, turmeric root, and different species of basil leaf. Daily Greens are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Farmacy has a program for recycling product empties. They will even accept empties of other brands as long as one Farmacy empty is present.
This everyday moisturizer repairs dehydrated skin and makes your skin smoother. It is lightweight and absorbs quickly without blocking your pores. Fortunately, it is one of the natural skincare products you can buy on a budget.
It has natural ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter, and meadowfoam seed oil known to rejuvenate skin. It also contains barrier-strengthening ceramides and colloidal oatmeal for soothing stressed skin. They formulated it for combination skin and normal skin, but it’s also safe for sensitive skin.
The Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer does not contain artificial fragrance, nuts, or soy. It is vegan and cruelty-free. Harmful substances like hydroquinone, formaldehyde, etc., are also absent.
This seaweed-powered moisturizer forms a next-to-skin barrier to shield your skin from environmental pollutants. It is quick-absorbing and leaves even aging skin feeling silky. The cream is gluten-free, and gluten sensitivity would not be an issue.
The formula was upgraded in April 2023 with more active ingredients like niacinamide for stronger skin barrier protection, sea algae blend to balance the microbiome, and elfdock to ease environmental stress. Other ingredients include extracts from tapioca starch, sunflower, chamomile flower, rosemary leaf, avocado, and rice. The face cream has a herbal lavender-sage scent.
Osea is certified by PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies and Leaping Bunny. They are certified Climate Neutral as well. The frosted glass tube the moisturizer comes in is recyclable with TerraCycle.
Facial creams come with detailed usage instructions. They tell you what step moisturizing should come in your skincare routine and what other products you should or shouldn't pair it with. They also specify if you should use it once or twice daily.
Most importantly, those instructions tell you which areas of your face are safe to apply a particular product. Some face cream should never be applied around the eyes.
Many natural moisturizers are described as hypoallergenic by their manufacturers. And most times, they say that because of the relative safety of natural ingredients. However, you may be allergic to some of those organic ingredients.
So you should read through the extended list of ingredients to spot any substance you are allergic to.
Just because a face cream is natural doesn't automatically mean it would work for you. Your environment, nutrition, health, skin color, and skin type can influence how the cream works for you. So always do a patch test for a few days before applying a new moisturizer on your face.
Look out for sample sizes, your choice brand may offer those. It will save you money if you end up not liking the product.
Extended exposure to direct sunlight is one of the fastest ways the body loses moisture. It can also lead to skin redness and other skin distresses. Even lines, wrinkles, and dark patches may appear faster than normal.
An eco-friendly sunscreen will give much-needed UV protection without putting your health and the environment at risk.
If you want to see healthy skin every time you look at your reflection, try a face moisturizer with natural ingredients. We curated this list to help you choose the best natural alternative. We chose products with natural ingredients that were free from toxic substances. The moisturizers are dermatologist tested and come in eco-friendly packaging.
Jeong, Y., Xue, J., Park, K. J., Kannan, K., & Moon, H. B. (2019). Tissue-Specific Accumulation and Body Burden of Parabens and Their Metabolites in Small Cetaceans. Environmental science & technology, 53(1), 475–481.
BCPP Right To Know Report 2018 Secret Toxic Fragrance Ingredients (pdf). September 2018.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.