6 Best Hydrating Natural & Organic Face Moisturizers

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6 Best Hydrating Natural & Organic Face Moisturizers
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Moisturizer

No matter what skin type you have, you need to keep it hydrated. Moisturizers are a product you will likely use daily to add and retain moisture. Thus, you want to make sure that you’re using something that won’t damage your skin or health.

That’s why we have compiled this list of the best natural face moisturizers. We have researched the ingredients and consolidated user reviews to give you a comprehensive rundown on each of them.

Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, a moisturizer can help you regulate sebum production—a natural oil that hydrates your skin but can also lead to clogged pores.

In this article, we have reviewed 6 organic face moisturizers that are free of harmful chemicals. We made sure to include products for any skin type and to fit any budget.

If you are on the hunt for a face moisturizer, we will not only review our top 6 products; we will also give you the basics on what to look for when selecting your next moisturizer.

We are also going to discuss different types of moisturizers you can use on your face, how to apply them, and review some of the commonly asked questions people have. That way, you will have all the information you need to purchase a safe yet effective product to hydrate your facial skin.

We want you to stay informed on the latest skincare science so that you can make the best decisions for your skin. That is why we are starting this article, not with our product reviews, but with the most critical factors you need to consider when purchasing your next moisturizer.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing a natural face moisturizer

There are a lot of moisturizers on the market and they are not all created equal.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy:

1. Understand the use of “organic” and “natural” on labels

What exactly do the terms “natural” and “organic” mean when it comes to cosmetics.

Natural:

“Natural” is not a term that is regulated by the FDA or the USDA in the United States. Nor is there a single standard used in the EU that governs its use on labels.[1][2]

What this means for you:

You shouldn’t rely on the word “natural” appearing on the label. Instead, read the ingredients list and look for chemicals like sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals (or petroleum), etc. Avoid products that use these ingredients.

Alternatively, many manufacturers that intentionally exclude these products will indicate so on their label with wording like “paraben free” or “no sulfates.”

We know that reading ingredient lists can be confusing, which is why we review products to help you narrow down your search.

However, if you find yourself confronted with a product you want to try but aren’t sure it is free of harmful chemicals, we recommend using CosDNA or EWG’s Skin Deep.

Both of which allow you to search by product or raw ingredients and then view their overall safety rating. As well as their irritative, carcinogenic, developmental, immunotoxicity and comedogenic effects—comedones are pore blockages that often lead to breakouts.

Their websites are comprehensive, and CosDNA even has image-to-text capabilities so you can upload a photo of the ingredient list rather than typing it out.

Organic:

Organic is a regulated term by the USDA but only applies to agricultural ingredients in the product. Manufacturers must use organic compounds if they are available to fill the desired function but may use non-organic ingredients when there is no organic alternative. Furthermore, there are different ratings depending on the percentage of organic ingredients.

The two most important USDA ratings are “100 percent organic” and “organic” which indicate that the product contains 100% organic ingredients and at least 95% organic agricultural ingredients respectively.[3]

For European citizens, the two most common organic and natural standards are certified by COSMOS and NaTrue. Visit their websites to review each of their criteria for labeling products as organic and natural.

2. Avoid products with synthetic and harmful ingredients

Avoid ingredients like parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or synthetic colors or fragrances. These ingredients can irritate skin and have harmful effects on our bodies.[4]

While most of these ingredients are regulated in North America and Europe, if you are ordering products online, you want to check the ingredients carefully. Even easier, try the moisturizers we’ve reviewed here, and you can be confident they won’t contain any of these potentially harmful compounds.

3. Look for short ingredient lists

Can you sense a theme emerging? Paying attention to ingredients and labels is as vital for buying skincare products as it is for food. The same general rule applies: the shorter the list, the better. A longer list usually means more synthetic colors and fragrances, as well as stabilizers and surfactants (chemicals that help lather and create foam).

4. Look for ingredients that soothe and heal in addition to hydrate

The main goal of any moisturizer is to regulate and balance the moisture of your skin. However, you also want to look for added ingredients that help to heal daily damage and soothe irritation and inflammation.

Skin ages as we get older, and it is less able to heal itself. Products that contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and essential fatty acid ingredients help rejuvenate skin allowing it to function and repair itself more effectively. Fruit extracts, vitamin C, green tea, honey, coconut, jojoba oil, and clary sage, as well as many others, are used by top, trusted brands to help heal and revitalize skin.[5][6][7]

5. Consider your skin type & condition

To find the best moisturizer for your face, you want to know your skin type. Sensitive, dry, normal, combination, oily, and acne-prone skin all have different needs from a moisturizer. Besides skin type, consider your skin’s condition, does it have sun damage, flaky patches, or clogged pores? Various ingredients will help alleviate and treat complex skin conditions—we will discuss these more below in our reviews.

If you have dry skin, you want a moisturizer that is rich in hyaluronic acid and organic oils such as coconut, olive, or argan oil. For those with oily skin, look for oil-balancing ingredients like jojoba, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.

We will go into further ingredient details in the review section of the article, but for now, just remember:

Everyone’s skin is unique, and it may take some time to find the right moisturizer. Your skin is dynamic and always changing as you age and in response to the environment. Thus, you might need different moisturizers for different seasons, or you may need to change things up as your skin is affected by climate, sunlight, or age.

What you need to do:

Figure out your skin type and any underlying skin conditions that may be evident on your face and then use those to help you select the most effective product for your skin. Always be prepared to revaluate your skincare routine and change things up as your needs change.

6. Do a spot test (before purchase if possible)

If you are in a store and they allow you to sample the product. Apply a small amount to your inner arm on the bicep and the bottom of your jawline. Go about your day and monitor the condition of your skin to see if you react. If not, go back and purchase the product.

Spot testing will help assess your skin’s reaction to the moisturizer before you apply it to your entire face.

If you can’t try before you buy, as in an online purchasing situation, then do the same procedure above when you receive your newly purchased moisturizer before you jump all the way into the deep end by rubbing it over your whole face.

Keeping these 6 factors in mind will help you pick the best natural and organic moisturizer for your face. Now, let’s take a look at 6 of the best moisturizers on the market.

The 6 best natural and organic face moisturizers

ZELEN Life Moisturizer (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Helps to control sebum production to prevent pore blockages
  • Antibacterial agents help with outbreaks
  • Soothes inflammation to repair skin

The best natural moisturizer for:

People looking to improve their natural skincare routine. Any skin type can benefit from using this gentle, yet powerful moisturizer that has minimal ingredients, reducing the chances of irritation.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba, calendula, clary sage

Overview:

This moisturizer uses jojoba, calendula, and clary sage to hydrate and protect the skin.

Jojoba oil is very similar to sebum, our skin’s natural oil. Its similarity means that it can hydrate dry skin very well and provide a protective barrier to keep it healthy throughout the day. It also makes this moisturizer great for oily skin, as it can reduce the amount of natural oil your skin produces. Jojoba oil is also non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog your pores.[8] Jojoba oil can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and speed up skin healing, helping to repair any damage your skin may have endured.

All of these factors make jojoba oil one of the best ingredients you can use to control oil and hydrate your face.

Calendula oil can help reduce inflammation, which diminishes redness on your face. It also helps pull moisture into the skin and form a barrier that locks in that hydration.[9] This powerful plant oil also provides some SPF protection. When combined with a sunscreen application, it protects your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays.[10] Finally, it has antioxidants that help remove free radicals, which can damage even the deepest layers of your skin.[11]

The inclusion of clary sage helps reduce inflammation and acts as a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticarcinogenic ingredient to help protect and heal your skin from sun damage and prevent bacterial acne breakouts.[12]

Finally, the essential fatty acids in this formula help provide your skin with the building block it needs to repair collagen and elastin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.[13]

The texture of this moisturizer is lightweight and non-greasy. I was impressed with how much hydration it provided to my skin, even though it is not thick. After each application, your skin will feel smooth, more elastic, and hydrated without feeling oily. I found it to be easily absorbed and long-lasting.

While calendula provides some natural SPF protection, it is just not enough. So you will need to combine it with a sunscreen. If you prefer a moisturizer with SPF included in its formulation, consider Murad Resurgence Age-Balancing Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer. It offers SPF 30 and a lot of antiaging ingredients, keeping your skin protected and youthful.

As for the scent, it has an excellent citrus floral scent that comes from its organic ingredients. It doesn’t have any artificial fragrance that could irritate sensitive skin types, and it is very subtle. It goes away after a few seconds, leaving you wanting more throughout the day.

In terms of the packaging, it earns high marks in both looks and functionality. It features an airless pump that not only does it help to apply the correct amount with each application but also keeps the cream free from any environmental bacteria which can aggregate acne breakouts and other irritations. Holding the bottle, it feels and looks premium, with its green colors emphasizing the green formulation and ethos of the brand’s products.

The good:

  • Helps to control sebum production for oily skin, which in combination with antibacterial compounds, can reduce the chance of breakouts
  • Uses natural plant compounds to soothe inflammation which can help heal damage from the sun and other sources
  • Lightweight and non-greasy application leaves your skin looking supple, not oily
  • Great natural scent and bottle design

Things to think about:

  • Calendula may increase sebum production in some people
  • Doesn’t contain SPF

Bottom line:

This is a great all-around moisturizer that is powerful enough for almost all skin while keeping the ingredients to a minimum, which reduces the chances of irritation and inflammation. The abundance of active ingredients deliver powerful healing and hydrating action makes this an excellent option as your next organic face moisturizer.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Murad Resurgence Age-Balancing Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer (Best for sun protection)

Murad Resurgence Age-Balancing Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Provides added SPF protection
  • Helps to reduce excess dryness
  • A lot of anti-aging ingredients

The best natural moisturizer for:

Dry and combination skin will benefit the most from this moisturizer.

Notable ingredients:

Shea butter, grape seed oil, avocado oil, resurrection plant proteins, phytoestrogens

Overview:

Murad has formulated this moisturizer to provide an SPF of 30, which will help protect your skin from UVA and UVB related aging while hydrating it. The combination of broad-spectrum sunscreen and several anti-aging agents used makes this one of the most effective natural face moisturizers with SPF.

Murad has packed this product with several types of hydrating agents like emollients and humectants such as shea butter, grape seed oil, avocado oil, yeast amino acids, and urea. They help draw moisture into your skin and restore the lipid barrier, preventing the hydration from being pulled out into the environment.[14]

It also contains resurrection plant proteins and phytoestrogens, which promote younger and healthier skin.

Let’s explain the ingredients separately.

Shea butter is a humectant, an occlusive, and an emollient. It attracts moisture to the skin, creates a barrier to maintain and prevent the loss of that moisture, and softens the skin. This powerful ingredient is also packed with vitamins A and E, which have been shown to aid in cell turnover and promote collagen production while helping to heal damage from free radicals and UV rays.[16][17]

Grapeseed is rich in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. [18] These properties are helpful to treat inflammatory conditions such as acne breakouts, blemishes, redness, etc. Its high concentration of vitamin E reduces signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Avocado oil is rich in antioxidants agents that help the skin stay healthy and elastic. It protects it from environmental stressors and is found to be effective in treating plaque psoriasis. [15] Lastly, resurrection plant proteins offer additional hydration, while phytoestrogens assist in improving the smoothness of the skin.

Texture and application:

Due to the inclusion of SPF, you might find this moisturizer a bit on the thicker side than other creams on our list. But rest assured, I didn’t find it to leave any greasy residue behind or make my skin overly shiny. You will instantly feel the hydration after application and your skin more elastic. It tightens the skin up and reduces wrinkles and sagging.

The scent:

It does contain a subtle amount of artificial fragrance that has a citrusy character. I didn’t find its aroma to be overpowering or unpleasant. However, a small number of online reviews described the smell as a little unusual.

Considerations:

If you have oily skin, this moisturizer is probably not for you. This is because it might increase oil production due to its numerous over-hydrating ingredients. Consider using Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil on our list, which is a moisturizer that is best for controlling the overproduction of sebum on oily skin due to its inclusion of ingredients such as silica powder and java tea extracts.

Additionally, this moisturizer is undeniably a premium price tag. If you are looking for a more affordable yet high-end moisturizer, consider ZELEN Life’s Moisturizer. It features an array of organic ingredients that offer a lot of anti-aging benefits and hydration, such as jojoba, calendula, clary sage, orange, sweet almond, etc. However, it doesn’t contain any SPF.

The good:

  • Broad-spectrum SPF protection helps to prevent damage from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays
  • Contains several antioxidants, including avocado and grape extracts to reduce the signs of aging and improve skin health
  • Promotes cell turnover, which improves skin function
  • Offers a great amount of hydration that lasts all day

Things to think about:

  • Not suitable for those with oily skin
  • More expensive but a small amount can go a long way

Bottom line:

This product does offer SPF protection, and also reduces signs of aging. This is a thicker moisturizer that is great for dry or combination skin but not for oily skin. If you over-apply this moisturizer, the higher price point will mean you won’t get good value for your money—scroll down to the How to Apply Your Face Moisturizer Properly to ensure you aren’t using more than necessary.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil Control Moisturizer (Best for oil control)

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil Control Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Mattifies your skin
  • Oil control
  • Reduces the appearance of blemishes

The best natural moisturizer for:

This is the best natural face moisturizer for oily skin on our list due to its mattifying and oil-reducing effects.

Notable ingredients:

Grape seed polyphenols, silica powder, java tea extract, olive squalane

Overview:

There are many reasons that can cause the skin to be oily: genetics, age, stress, humidity, larger pores, etc. Whatever the cause, excess oil needs to be controlled as it can lead to clogged pores and acne.

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil Control Moisturizer is formulated with grape seed polyphenols, silica powder, java tea extract, and olive squalane for this reason. To control oil and prevent sebum overproduction.

Let’s discuss a bit more about how these ingredients benefit the skin.

The inclusion of grape seed polyphenols provides antioxidant and antimicrobial properties while helping to fight blackhead formation [19]. Grape seed promotes collagen synthesis, leaving the skin elastic and young due to its rich vitamin E concentration. Its antioxidant agents protect the skin from environmental pollution and damage while also providing solid hydration.

Silica powder increases the skin’s elasticity and reduces signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. It is a significant ingredient when it comes to controlling excess oil and sweat. This means it can prevent and reduce acne breakouts, and help unclog the pores. Nevertheless, it might be a bit dehydrating for dry skin types.

Java tea extract is another ingredient that helps reduce sebum production in the skin. It acts on the 5-a reductase enzyme, which is known to regulate oil production significantly. It minimizes the appearance of large pores and makes the skin less shiny. Olive squalane is very similar to the skin’s sebum. It nourishes the skin while keeping the complexion more elastic and radiant. It penetrates the skin easily, hydrating from within.

But there’s more:

This natural face moisturizer also uses an essential oil blend, including rosemary and lemon oil. These are potent antioxidants that can help reverse and prevent photodamage from the sun while calming the skin and preventing further breakouts.[20][21]

Rosewater helps soothe the skin with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant ingredients. It is also a natural astringent that can help to control oil and unclog pores.[22] You will love the effectiveness of this moisturizer on oily skin. It doesn’t feel greasy, and it is very light on the skin, making it smooth and hydrated. It gives more of a matte feeling afterward due to its oil-controlling ingredients.

One thing to point out is that if you have very dry skin, you might find it a bit irritating due to its oil-reductive ingredients. If you are looking for a moisturizer best suited for dry skin types, consider Murad Age Balancing Moisturizer SPF 30. It does contain a lot of ingredients that treat dry rough skin – such as shea butter, grape seed oil, and avocado oil. Plus, it contains SPF 30, which protects it from damaging sun rays.

The scent:

If you’re wondering about its scent, it has a fresh citrusy scent that is light and comes purely from its botanical ingredients. Its aroma is enjoyable and relaxing and goes away after a few seconds of the application.

Now for a drawback:

While this cream is probably the most effective in controlling oil, I can’t deny that its price is high. If you are looking for something less expensive, consider TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea. It is another moisturizer specifically for oily skin that also contains a lot of sebum balancing ingredients such as green tea and lemon seed oil.

Last but not least, I liked the design of the tube. Simple yet effective. It’s also easy to use. I didn’t find any problems with its functionality, for example, leakage.

The good:

  • Provides a mattifying effect that will last all-day
  • Hydrates the skin while reducing the excess amount of oil that causes a greasy look or acne.
  • Essential oil blend helps to soothe skin and reduce blemishes

Things to think about:

  • Some users reported that this product was too harsh on the dry areas of their skin
  • It is a bit expensive

Bottom line:

If you have oily skin, this multi-action moisturizer can help to control oil while providing a mattifying effect and reducing blackheads and other blemishes over time.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

ELEMIS S.O.S Survival Cream Daily Rescue Moisturizer (Best for men)

ELEMIS S.O.S Survival Cream Daily Rescue Moisturizer For Men


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Decreases redness and inflammation
  • Powerful hydrator

The best natural moisturizer for:

Men with sensitive or dry skin, especially those who are very active or spend a lot of time outdoors, will benefit from this powerful hydrator. This is one of the best natural face moisturizers for dry skin that has a lot of irritation.

Notable ingredients:

Eucalyptus, willow bark, myrrh

Overview:

ELEMIS S.O.S Survival Cream Daily Rescue Moisturizer is formulated specifically for the needs of men’s dry skin. It includes eucalyptus, willow bark, and myrrh.

Let’s examine these ingredients:

Myrrh is an ingredient that has been used for hundreds of years. Recently researchers have uncovered that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal damage and soothe the skin.[23]

Elemis has also included eucalyptus, another known anti-inflammatory that has been used in Brazil for hundreds of years to promote healing and calm inflammation.[24]

White willow bark, a natural source of salicylic acid, is used to provide additional soothing to the skin. While salicylic acid can have some irritative effects when used on its own, white willow bark have a moderating effect that reduces the chance of irritation and boosts the anti-inflammatory properties.[25] Thus, it is also effective at treating breakouts.

Additionally, it also includes oryza sativa starch (rice). It is an excellent emollient that not only does it moisturize the skin but also keeps it smooth for a long time. It might have a slightly greasy texture but is quickly absorbed by the skin.

Applying it to the skin, you will instantly notice that it is a bit heavier in consistency than other lightweight creams on the list. I found it to be a bit similar in thickness to Murad Age Balancing Moisturizer SPF 30. It can be a little greasy if you overapply. However, it is non-sticky and relatively easily absorbent. It hydrates the skin very well.

If you have oily skin, this moisturizer is not an ideal choice. This is because it can aggravate oiliness and greasiness. Instead, look for other creams such as the Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil or TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea. Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil contains silica powder and java tea to balance excess oil, while TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea uses green tea and lemon seed oil.

The scent of this moisturizer comes from its natural formulation, similar to others on our list. This means it is suitable for easily irritated people, as it is balanced and not overwhelming.

As for the packaging and bottle design, I give it top marks. The minimal black design stands out as premium. Plus, the airless pump keeps the cream free from environmental contamination and ensures the correct amount is applied. Very functional!

The good:

  • A little goes a long way
  • Highly effective at calming inflammation and reducing redness, especially for those who are active or spend a lot of time outdoors
  • The thicker formulation makes this product great for those with dry, sensitive skin

Things to think about:

  • May be too heavy for some users, especially those with normal or oily skin
  • Left a greasy residue on some users’ skin (some people reported that this might be due to using too much product at one time)

Bottom line:

Men with highly irritated skin, either from sports, other activities, or spending time outdoors, especially in cold, windy conditions, should try this moisturizer that is chock-full of calming, anti-inflammatory compounds.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream (Best for acne)

TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Can be used as a daily moisturizer or a hydrating mask
  • Contains the most generous amount of antioxidant ingredients
  • Inexpensive but effective

The best natural moisturizer for:

Those on a budget will appreciate that this is one of the least expensive options on this list that is still packed with plenty of natural and organic ingredients that hydrate and calm skin. It is excellent for keeping normal to oily skin healthy, and several users with combination skin also report positive effects from using TONYMOLY’s green tea cream.

Notable ingredients:

Green tea extract, lemon seed oil, rosemary

Overview:

TONYMOLY might not be as well known as ELEMIS, Juice Beauty, or Murad, but their TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream deserves a mention. It is a cream formulated with green tea extract, lemon seed oil, and rosemary, making it one of the top natural moisturizers for combating conditions, such as acne, blemishes, and blackheads.

Why its key ingredients are so special?

The fermented green tea contains a high concentration of antioxidants that protect from free radicals, keeping the skin young and healthy. The fermentation process helps boost all the effects of green tea, including its hydrating, antioxidant, and procollagen effects.[26]

But there’s more.

Green tea is rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help treat conditions such as breakouts, red skin, blemishes, and blackheads. A 2016 study has shown that people who took green tea extract for four weeks had a significant reduction of acne-related blemishes. [36]

And if that’s not enough, green tea also helps with reducing the amount of sebum secretion and unclogs pores, which are two major causes of developing acne. Also included is lemon seed oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds that help soothe your skin. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells and speeds up the healing process. [27][28]

Rosemary extract is known to reduce swelling and puffiness. It is especially effective against psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

The cream is watery and very lightweight. Almost like a gel. It applies very easily to the skin, and it absorbs rather quickly. It is not sticky and doesn’t leave a greasy residue after application. I didn’t find it to burn or irritate.

The scent:

While it doesn’t contain any artificial fragrance, it does have a slightly heavier scent that is not overwhelming but is clearly noticeable. The smell is fresh and green tea-like.

However, it is vital to note that many people didn’t like the scent. If you prefer something more subtle, consider ZELEN Life Moisturizer. It has a mild citrus floral scent but goes away after a few seconds of application.

Packaging and bottle design:

The green color truly emphasizes the fact that this product is formulated with 63% of green tea. As for the jar, I like it, but I generally prefer airless bottles simply because they are more hygienic and protect the cream from environmental bacteria.

The good:

  • An inexpensive product when compared to most big brands
  • Contains the most antioxidant ingredients of any moisturizer on our list
  • Excellent acne combating action.

Things to think about:

  • Some users reported that the product left a light film on their skin that did not fully absorb
  • Doesn’t provide enough hydration for dry skin types

Bottom line:

This moisturizer has minimal but powerful ingredients that work well for oily and some combination skin types. The main focus of this cream is to provide a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action that prevents acne damage and keeps skin toned and tight.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer (Best anti-aging)

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Helps fight aging
  • Reduces signs of aging and irritation

The best natural moisturizer for:

This is the best organic moisturizer for aging skin. It is packed with a blend of organic fruit ingredients that help to rejuvenate and revitalize skin.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba oil, shea butter, resveratrol (grape juice), apple, fruit stem cells

Overview:

When it comes to premium natural skincare, Juice Beauty is a trusted brand. Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer is a moisturizer formulated to decrease wrinkles and fine lines while also boosting firmness. Its key ingredients are jojoba oil, shea butter, resveratrol (grape juice), apple, and fruit stem cells.

Jojoba oil and shea butter bring hydrating and soothing properties to this moisturizer. Adding sunflower oil (which is also present in the formulation) also helps hydrate and trap moisture in your skin’s cells. These ingredients can decrease skin sensitivity and inflammation, and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier.[29][30][31]

Organic grape juice provides a hit of vitamins and resveratrol. It is a powerful antioxidant that can help soothe irritation and redness on the skin.[32] A study has shown that resveratrol remarkably improved signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines within the first 12 weeks. [37]

Apple is also another great ingredient that provides many benefits. Its acetic acid and antioxidant-rich properties protect from infections and give a dewy glow to the skin due to its citric acid (AHA), which exfoliates and removes dull skin.

Juice Beauty has also included plant stem cell extracts, which are a controversial new ingredient. They are 100% certified organic and are not irritating or harmful to the skin. However, research on their effectiveness is still in its infancy. They are not as effective as living cells but do help reduce the signs of aging by eliminating free radicals and promoting healthy fibroblasts—the cells that produce collagen.[33]

Texture and application:

The texture of the cream is lightweight and easily absorbent by the skin. Even though it contains a lot of hydrating ingredients, I didn’t find its moisturization enough for very dry skin types. This might be because of the cream’s lightweight consistency.

After just one week of use, you definitely notice some plumpness and elasticity, however, you need to be patient for at least three months to see any more radical anti-aging results.

If you have dry skin, consider Murad Age Balancing Moisturizer SPF 30. It contains a lot of anti-aging ingredients, such as shea butter, grape seed oil, and avocado oil, but also includes SPF 30 to protect from damaging UV rays. If you prefer something that has anti-aging qualities without SPF, then consider the ZELEN Life Moisturizer. While it is formulated to provide an all-around action, it does contain a variety of ingredients that possess a lot of anti-aging properties, such as jojoba, calendula, clary sage, and orange peel.

As for the scent, it is on the heavier side. Nevertheless, I found it pleasant but nothing unique. It has a fruity citrus character due to its organic ingredients. Some didn’t like the scent. I believe this is because of the inclusion of a lot of citrus ingredients which make the scent overly savory and stronger on the nose.

The jar design is functional and protects the cream from contamination due to the pump function, however, it contains a lot of plastic for the amount of cream you are getting for such a high price tag. Nevertheless, it does a great job when it comes to hygiene.

The good:

  • Helps to fight the signs of aging using antioxidants and fruit stem cell extracts
  • Jojoba and shea help to hydrate and soothe skin
  • Rich in antioxidants which help to reduce the signs of aging and promote healthier, more resilient skin

Things to think about:

  • It helps with wrinkles but people with dry skin need a stronger moisturizer to help alleviate their skin’s dryness.
  • High cost
  • The natural lemon scent is too overpowering for some users

Bottom line:

While plant stem cell extracts are not as potent as living cells, they are the only way to currently get the benefits of these revolutionary new skincare ingredients in a natural and organic face moisturizer. Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer can work wonders for skin that is showing signs of aging.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

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How to apply your face moisturizer properly

How to apply your face moisturizer properly

Here are a few tips you should keep in mind before getting into the whole procedure:

  • Moisturize your hands first; if they are dry, they will absorb the product you are trying to put on your face.
  • Use upward motions to prevent tugging down on your skin, creating sag over time.
  • Apply it gently; you are here to take care of your face!
  • Follow this order for applying your skincare products (go from thin to thick):
  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Serums
  4. Eye Cream
  5. Spot Treatments
  6. Moisturizer
  7. Retinol (night only)
  8. Face Oil
  9. Sunscreen (day only)

There are many reasons to follow a specific order for applying skincare products, enough to fill an entire article of its own. But, it mainly comes down to skin penetration. Following this thin-to-thick order will help your skin absorb the active compounds of each product, giving you the most benefit from each treatment. You may not use products from all of these categories, so adjust the list as needed according to what you do use.

Remember:

Always start your skincare routine with cleaning. Even if a moisturizer is the only other facial product you use, start by cleansing the skin.

Now we can review the steps for properly applying your moisturizer:

Step 1: Clean your face and pat dry

Before you apply moisturizer, you should always clean your skin first, and conversely, whenever you cleanse your skin, you should moisturize before your skin completely dries. Layers of dead skin, dirt, and other contaminants will prevent the moisturizer from penetrating the skin. Thus, you want to remove these barriers to absorption.

However, that process of cleaning your face strips away the skin’s natural oil, which is why you always want to follow washing with hydrating.

Pat your skin dry before moisturizing.

Don’t forget:

Be gentle when washing your face. If you use a cloth, scrub gently to prevent causing microtears in your skin, which damages its natural barrier. When drying, use a patting action to avoid those microtears.

Step 2: Put a slightly more than a pea-sized amount in your palm

Many people apply more moisturizer than necessary; this can lead to clogged pores or other conditions. But mainly, it just wastes your moisturizer. Instead, get an amount that is slightly larger than a pea on the palm of your hand. If your skin is particularly dry, you can go up to a small cashew sized dollop.

Step 3: Warm the moisturizer in your hand

Use a finger or two to rub the moisturizer around in the palm of your hand to warm it up. If you are using a very thin moisturizer, you may be able to skip this step. The purpose of warming is to achieve even distribution over your skin.

Step 4: Apply to the driest areas first

Using two or three fingers, dab the product onto the driest areas first. This is usually the cheeks, but your skin might be different. No matter where they are, start with the driest areas.

Once you have dabbed the product onto these areas, use gentle upward semicircle motions to spread it over the driest areas moving to the least dry next. For many people, this means moving from the cheeks to the forehead and then to the nose, T-zone, chin, and finally neck.

A few common mistakes here:

Applying the moisturizer to vigorously, you can’t force it into your skin. The product will absorb on its own. You are just spreading it over your face and neck. That being said, don’t forget your neck and any part of the upper chest that isn’t covered by your clothes.

Pulling down on the skin, you always want to lift the skin when applying products. Tugging down can lead to saggy skin over time.

That’s it! Four easy steps, a few simple pointers, and you’ve got all the direction you need to moisturize your face properly.

Types of moisturizers you can use on your face

Types of moisturizers you can use on your face

If you have ever walked down the beauty aisle of a drug or grocery store, you know there are many different kinds of moisturizers and even several different kinds of face moisturizers. Here we will review a few of these broad types from thin lotions up to thick creams.

Let’s start at one of the most fundamental questions a lot of people have, do you need to use a moisturizer designed for your face?

The answer depends on your skin type. The skin on different parts of your body has varying amounts of thickness, hair follicles, and oil glands. The skin on your face tends to be thinner, especially around the eyes, have more hair follicles, and more oil glands. It also tends to be more sensitive to ingredients in moisturizers. Sensitivity and oil glands are why a lot of people to need a moisturizer designed for their face.

Body moisturizers tend to have more dyes, fragrances, and other additives that can irritate sensitive skin. They can also be too heavy for those with excess sebum on their face. All of this means that using a body moisturizer on your face could lead to redness and irritation, dry patches, or breakouts. However, body lotion works fine for some, especially those with no underlying conditions on their face. If body lotion been working for you, you don’t need to change it. If you have any of the above afflictions, it’s time to try something new.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the different styles of moisturizers designed for your face. We will break these down by the skin type/condition for which they are suitable. You will know that a moisturizer is right for your skin shortly after applying it, as it will either make your skin feel soft and supple or irritated and dry.

Oily & acne-prone skin

Use a light, oil-free moisturizer that is thin in viscosity and has ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, or one with balancing oils like jojoba. These products go on light and don’t leave your face feeling greasy—gel-based formulas also work well for this reason. Oil-controlling ingredients limit sebum production in your skin, helping to tone down shine and control breakouts.

Dry skin

It may seem like you should just be lathering on moisturizer all day long to help with dry skin, but there is a more effective way. Use thicker lotions and creams and look for coconut oil, shea butter, or jojoba oil. If those aren’t working for your skin, look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and lactic acid (found in dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and sour cream).

Sensitive skin

Having sensitive skin means your immune system will react to a lot of the added ingredients in moisturizers. Avoid any additives for color, fragrance, or anti-aging. Common anti-aging ingredients you want to stay away from are retinoids, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and beta hydroxy acid (BHA). All of these are potential irritants for your skin. If you are using one of these and it works, then stick with it. But, if you are having trouble finding something your skin doesn’t react to, look for the shortest list of ingredients possible and try a product with jojoba oil as it is hypoallergenic and is most like our natural oil.

Combination skin

Combination skin usually means you have oily skin around the T-zone and normal skin on the rest of your face. Go for a neutral moisturizer, somewhere in the middle in terms of thickness. Apply it mainly to your dry areas, but if you’ve got something with oil-control like jojoba or hyaluronic acid, you want to use a bit on the oily spots as well as they can help curb sebum production which is what is giving you oily skin.

Normal skin

You are then envy of us all, but you still need to moisturize to replace lost hydration from washing. Just like with combination skin, stick to neutral, light, non-greasy formulas. Jojoba oil will be one of the best ingredients as it will help maintain healthy levels of hydration.

Keep in mind:

Your skin can change with the climate, and as the seasons change, you may find you need to switch up your moisturizer. The colder drier months might mean you need a thicker cream. While in the summer months, your skin might demand something lighter or a gel-based product that also cools and soothes.

How we chose these products

Our top priority was providing you with a list of products that hydrate your skin and lock that moisture in. We researched the best organic moisturizers on the market and selected our top six so that there would be a moisturizer for any type of skin. Thus, we looked for products with varying ingredients lists formulated to treat specific conditions that provide soothing and healing effects to rejuvenate your skin and revitalize its appearance.

No matter your skin type or condition, there is a product that can suit your needs. From hypersensitive skin to tough oily skin, we made sure to include a product that could meet your needs. Each moisturizer has proven hydrating ingredients and is free of known irritants and harmful compounds.

We reviewed the ingredients in each product and assessed the benefits each one provided. Each product needed to have hydrating properties, as well as healing and soothing properties to keep your skin feeling and looking great. They had to have high concentrations of vitamins, antioxidants, and hydrating compounds to help soothe the skin and prevent future damage. Each of them has an adequate amount of clinically tested ingredients, which give noticeable results leading to healthier, more resilient skin.

Our top-6 list only includes reputable brands that you can trust. We researched the reviews of those who used these products to bring you the benefit of their real-world assessment of these moisturizers in action. That way, you can make the most informed decision when purchasing your next facial moisturizer and can spend less time and money looking for the right one.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We have covered almost all of the basics for moisturizing, but there are a few more lingering, frequently asked questions we want to answer for you.

How often should I moisturize my face & when?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends moisturizing anytime you clean your skin.[34] cleaning is a necessary but harsh process that removes your skin’s natural oils and moisture in addition to any contaminants. Thus, immediately after you wash before your skin dries, you want to moisturize to trap in that hydration. For your face, you don’t want to wash it more than twice a day, once per day if you have sensitive skin. Thus, you should moisturize two times a day as well, once in the morning and once at night.

A few other tips to keep your skin healthy while washing:

  • Use a gentle cleanser that has no added fragrances or colors.
  • Use just enough cleanser to clean; you don’t need a thick lather.
  • Use warm, not hot water.
  • Limit showers or baths to 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Do not scrub your skin too hard when washing or drying.
  • While drying, you should use a patting or blotting technique instead of rubbing as patting will cause less damage to your skin.

What does “chemical free” mean for cosmetics?

Everything around us is made of chemicals. Thus, no face moisturizer can be genuinely “chemical-free”. We want certain chemicals to keep our skin healthy, chemicals like oils and water. When manufacturers market their products, such as “chemical free face moisturizer”, they are generally using this as a shorthand for “potentially harmful and irritating chemicals.” These are the ingredients we’ve mentioned above, like parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or synthetic colors or fragrances.

As this phrasing is not regulated by any governing body, you shouldn’t outright trust labels that make this claim. Check the ingredient list and ensure that their product is actually free of those chemicals. Plenty of reputable brands use this type of phrasing and do exclude those ingredients, but some just try to ride the train for free. Always check labels.

Do I need to moisturize if I have oily or acne-prone skin?

Yes, yes, yes! Some moisturizers are designed with these skin types in mind. They have ingredients that will help control the sebum production of your skin. Sebum is the skin’s natural oil. Having an excess can give you an oily complexion and lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Using a product that has ingredients to control sebum production can help to reduce these symptoms on your skin.

Do I need a face moisturizer with SPF?

You need sun protection on your face and any other exposed skin when you go outside. UVA and UVB rays, which we receive mainly from the sun, do the most damage to our skin over our lifetime. If you are going outside, even when it’s cloudy, you need something with an SPF of at least 30 and with broad-spectrum protection. Broad-spectrum means it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.[35]

It doesn’t have to be your moisturizer; you can always apply sunscreen after you moisturize. However, if you can use a moisturizer that includes UVA and UVB protection, it will make your morning routine easier. Just remember you need to reapply sunscreen after about 2 hours or after swimming or sweating, so it is good to carry a small bottle of it with you.

One more quick note:

You can go for higher SPFs, but they do not last longer than lower SPFs; instead, they block more UV rays for the same two-hour duration. SPF 30 blocks about 97% of the sun’s UV rays while higher SPFs will obstruct a higher percentage of rays, they will still only protect you for two hours or until you sweat or wash it off. SPF 30 is the minimum recommended SPF according to the AAD.

Conclusion

No matter your skin type or underlying condition, you need to moisturize your face every time you wash it. Cleansing should be once to twice per day. Pay attention to your skin’s condition and choose your moisturizer based on the ingredients it contains.

When selecting your moisturizer, consider whether you need added ingredients to help repair damage, reverse signs of aging, or soothe irritation or whether you need a barebones moisturizer to help avoid irritation for hypersensitive skin.

You should be able to tell shortly after applying the moisturizer if it is the right product. Your skin should feel softer and more hydrated. If it feels dry, tight, greasy, or irritated, switch to a different moisturizer. It may take some time to find what is right for you.

Stay mindful of the climate and how it affects your skin as drier air will pull the moisture from your skin, meaning you need something more robust for colder months.

Comment and let us know what moisturizer works for you and how you keep on top of your skincare with the changing seasons to keep your face healthy and younger-looking. If you know anyone who is having trouble finding the right product for their face, spread the knowledge, and share this article with them!

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References

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ZELEN Life Moisturizer
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Murad Resurgence Age-Balancing Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer
BEST FOR SUN PROTECTION
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  • Includes essential oils that calm and control breakouts
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Our score:
ELEMIS S.O.S Survival Cream Daily Rescue Moisturizer For Men
BEST FOR MEN
ELEMIS S.O.S Survival Cream Daily Rescue Moisturizer For Men
  • Calms inflammation and benefits the active man
  • Thicker texture helps dry, sensitive skin types
  • A small amount is all that's needed
Dry skin
Dry skin
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TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream
BEST FOR ACNE
TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Excellent value for money
  • Great in treating acne-related conditions
Oily, acne-prone skin
Oily, acne-prone skin
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Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer
BEST ANTI-AGING
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer
  • Fruit stem cell extracts have anti-aging qualities
  • Jojoba and shea formula is hydrating and soothing
  • Encourages skin resilience
Mature skin
Mature skin
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About The Author

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Board-Certified Doctor and Educator

Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery MBBS (Cardiff University)

London, United Kingdom

Dr. McKeown is a UK based NHS clinician with over 10 years experience in both hospital medicine and surgery. After an initial career in maxillofacial surgery his focus now lies in elderly care and rehabilitation medicine. A board member for Wadham College of Science, Dr. McKeown is passionate about widening access to both education and healthcare around the world and as a result, outside of his clinical work he spends much of his time either teaching or providing medical consultancy to healthcare startups. Commercially, his interests lie in helping research and promote novel, evidence-based medicines originating from natural sources and processes.

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