4 Best Non Toxic Face Moisturizers (A Derm's Guide) in 2021

4 Best Non Toxic Face Moisturizers (A Derm’s Guide)

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In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR ALL SKIN TYPES & ACNE

ZELEN Life Moisturizer

BEST FOR OILY SKIN, ANTI-AGING

Boscia Green Tea Oil Free Moisturizer

Moisturizing is an important step in everyone’s skin care regimen. Every skin type can benefit from moisturizing the skin for several reasons.

Moisturizers deliver hydration which smoothes and plumps the skin, making it radiant and glowing and less wrinkled. It also helps solidify the barrier capabilities of the skin to protect us against environmental damage (which leads to wrinkles), inflammation (which can lead to eczema), and irritation (which can lead to acne).

Not only is it important to use moisturizer, but also to select one that is non toxic to the skin. Some products contain potentially toxic ingredients that can irritate or damage the skin.

There are many choices of non toxic moisturizers on the market. We will discuss how to select a moisturizer and give a detailed analysis of the best non toxic face moisturizers on the market. We will also cover how they were selected, and some frequently asked questions about moisturizers.

Quick summary

bb2-table__imageZELEN Life Moisturizer
  • Plant-based, organic formula, packed with anti-oxidants that calm skin and help acne breakouts
  • Chemical-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
  • Lightweight non-greasy texture, hydrates and soothes fast
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bb2-table__imageboscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer
  • Assists in reducing oil and inflammation
  • Contains glycerin which hydrates and soothes the skin
  • Chemical-free formula
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bb2-table__imageLa Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
  • Contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight acne
  • Packed with hydration ingredients such as glycerin and ceramides
  • SPF 30 sun protection
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bb2-table__imageJack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer
  • Rich in vitamin C, helps in reducing signs of aging
  • Hydrates the skin while being lightweight when applied
  • SPF 20 sun protection
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Before you buy: 4 Things to consider when purchasing a non toxic face moisturizer

1. Determine what your skin type is

There are 5 different skin types: normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and combination.

Here is a guide to help you:

1. Normal skin

    • Face will not appear shiny or flaky
    • Pores will be normal-sized and no acne or blackheads

2. Dry skin

    • Face will appear flaky and dull
    • Skin will feel rough and tight

3. Oily skin

    • Face will appear shiny and feel greasy
    • May have enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne

4. Sensitive skin

    • Face can appear flaky and red
    • You may feel burning or itching

5. Combination skin

    • Face will have characteristics of oily skin in the T zone (forehead, nose, and chin), and dry on the rest of the face

2. Avoid toxic ingredients

There are certain ingredients which, can be toxic to the skin and body and should be avoided. Your skin gets bombarded with damaging UV rays from the sun and pollution from the atmosphere every day, so it is important to choose ingredients that will help your skin and not hurt it.

Parabens:

These can not only be irritating to the skin but may even interfere with the normal functioning of our hormones.

Petrolatum and mineral oil:

Some people can find these irritating and can clog your pores leading to blackheads and acne.

Sulfates:

Some may find these irritating and may clog your pores causing blackheads and acne.

Silicones:

They can clog your pores and lead to blackheads and acne.

Dyes and fragrances:

These can be irritating to some people.

3. Know the difference between organic and natural

Organic products are botanicals that are grown without pesticides. Natural products are grown with pesticides. Pesticides, depending on which ones, have the potential to be harmful to your skin and body. So it is best to stick to organic products.

4. Know the difference between fragrance-free and unscented

Fragrance-free products have no added scents, but they may have natural scents from the botanical ingredients. Unscented means that scents have been added to eliminate unpleasant odors from the ingredients. So, it is best to stick to fragrance-free products.

The 4 best non toxic face moisturizers

1. ZELEN Life Moisturizer

ZELEN Life-Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Great for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Helps acne because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Moisturizing to hydrate the skin
  • Lightweight and is easily absorbed

The best face moisturizer for:

All skin types can benefit from this moisturizer. It has acne-fighting ingredients, hydration, and anti-aging benefits as well.

Overview:

The ZELEN Life Moisturizer has as its main ingredients, jojoba oil, calendula extract, and clary sage oil. It is packed with other great ingredients too.

Jojoba oil is considered a good oil because it will moisturize the skin without clogging your pores (1-3). It has anti-inflammatory properties and will regulate oil production, making it helpful in the treatment of acne and eczema. It has anti-aging properties to help keep you looking younger.

Marigold extract or Calendula has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to help treat radiation dermatitis (4-6). It also has anti-oxidant effects to help with anti-aging, and anti-microbial effects to help with wound healing. These properties make it great for the treatment of acne.

Clary sage has great anti-microbial properties which are helpful with the treatment of acne (7-8). It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may have some benefits in the treatment of periodontitis.

This moisturizer also contains anti-oxidants, such as sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and bay leaf oil, to help protect the skin against the harmful rays of the sun (9-15).

The anti-microbial ingredients, like rose geranium water, orange peel oil, and bay leaf oil, can help treat acne by decreasing bacteria on the skin (14-22).

Sunflower seed oil, rose geranium water, and sweet almond oil, are anti-inflammatory ingredients which, help soothe dry, irritated skin (9-11, 20-23).

Finally, it contains many moisturizing ingredients, such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, and sweet almond oil to help with dry skin (12-13, 23-25).

The good:

  • Organic, plant-based formula
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, dyes, and fragrances
  • Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly

Things to think about:

  • Essential oils – Some people may find these irritating.
  • Natural scents – Some people may find these unappealing.

Bottom line:

This is an excellent moisturizer suitable for all skin types. It offers great hydration and protection without clogging the pores. No nasties are found in its organic formula.

2. boscia Green Tea Oil Free Moisturizer

boscia-Green-Tea-Oil-Free-Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Good for normal and oily skin types
  • Helps reduce oil and inflammation
  • Potent anti-oxidants

The best face moisturizer for:

This is a great moisturizer for normal to oily skin that helps with breakouts and delivers anti-aging ingredients.

Overview:

boscia Green Tea Oil Free Moisturizer has as its main ingredients, Japanese green tea, burdock root, and marine complex. These are combined with other important ingredients to help protect the skin as well.

Japanese green tea has long been known to be a potent anti-oxidant with chemoprotective abilities which, are useful in the prevention of skin cancers (1, 26). It has also been used to treat dermatitis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Burdock root extract has been used to treat acne and other inflammatory disorders because of its anti-inflammatory properties (27-30). It is also a potent antioxidant and anti-microbial agent which makes it helpful for the treatment of acne and wrinkles.

The marine complex with laminaria seaweed helps with anti-aging due to its powerful anti-oxidants (31-33). It is also a great anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent, which will help with acne.

There are other ingredients which, also help with anti-aging that have been included, such as fireweed extract and cork tree extract (34-38).

Some other ingredients that help with acne, because of their anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredients, include fireweed extract, rosemary leaf extract, and glycerin (1, 34-36).

Glycerin will help to hydrate your skin to keep it moist and supple (1).

The good:

  • Free of parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, petrolatum, and fragrance
  • Allergen-free
  • Does not block the pores
  • Free of essential oils

Things to think about:

  • Scents – Some people may find the scent unappealing.
  • Irritation – Some people found it irritating.

Bottom line:

This moisturizer not only reduces oil production but also helps to absorb oil to prevent enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne while delivering anti-aging benefits.

3. La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Good for normal, dry, and sensitive skin types
  • Hydrates and calms
  • Reduces inflammation

The best face moisturizer for:

This is a great moisturizer for sensitive and dry skin that helps to hydrate and soothe the skin.

Overview:

La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer has as its main ingredients, ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin, vitamin E, and thermal spring water.

Ceramides have been around for decades and are known for their moisturizing capabilities and for the vital role they play in the skin’s barrier function, which makes them important in the treatment of dry skin (39). They also have good anti-inflammatory properties making them useful in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (1). It has been used in the treatment of acne, rosacea, and oily skin to control sebum production, as well as atopic dermatitis. It is also a great moisturizer.

Glycerin has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it useful in the treatment of acne patients with sensitive skin (1). It is also a good moisturizer.

Vitamin E is a potent anti-oxidant to help protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, which cause skin cancers and wrinkles (1).

Prebiotic thermal spring water helps maintain healthy skin flora while exerting anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (40-42). These qualities make it useful for treating atopic dermatitis, acne, and rosacea.

The good:

  • Free of parabens, sulfates, fragrance, silicones, mineral oil, petrolatum, and fragrance
  • Allergen-free
  • Environmental pollutant-free
  • Free of essential oils
  • Free of pore blocking ingredients

Things to think about:

  • Flaking – Some people found it to pill and flake making application of makeup difficult.
  • Scent – Some found the scent unappealing.

Bottom line:

This moisturizer is ideal for sensitive or dry skin because it is packed with hydration and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

4. Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer

JACK BLACK Double-Duty Face Moisturizer

Best features:

  • Good for normal, oily, dry, and sensitive skin types
  • Lightweight formula
  • SPF 20 protection

The best face moisturizer for:

This is a great moisturizer for sensitive and dry skin that helps to protect the skin and hydrate while being lightweight.

Overview:

Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer contains a unique blend of blue algae, sea parsley, vitamins A and E, phospholipids, and avobenzone and octinoxate as its main ingredients. It combines these with numerous other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients.

Blue algae contain natural photoprotective properties that are not only anti-antioxidants but also anti-inflammatories (43-46). So, they not only protect against UV-induced damage and signs of aging but also calm and soothe the skin.

Another unique ingredient is sea parsley, which helps the skin in many ways (47-49). It has anti-oxidant properties because of its high vitamin C content, wound healing capabilities due to its high content of vitamin A, and antimicrobial properties. Sea parsley can also decrease sebum production to help with oily, acne-prone skin.

Vitamin A is great for anti-aging and acne-prone skin (1). It is a comedolytic ingredient that also decreases oil production and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which, helps protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun which can cause skin cancer and wrinkles (1).

Phospholipids are an important part of the skin (1). They improve the skin barrier function so you retain moisture and your skin remains hydrated.

This moisturizer is also packed with other antioxidants, like apple fruit extract, edelweiss extract, Buddleja davidii, lemon balm extract, lavender oil, and marigold extract, to help protect the skin and help with anti-aging (4-6, 50-61).

It is packed with other anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe the skin, including edelweiss extract, chamomile oil, Peucedanum ostruthium extract, Buddleja davidii extract, Artemisia umbelliformis extract, lavender oil, rosemary leaf oil, marigold extract, glycerin, and Haslea ostrearia extract (1, 4-6, 53-54, 60-67).

Some of their ingredients have been used to treat acne, atopic dermatitis, and radiation dermatitis because of their powerful anti-inflammatory qualities.

This moisturizer also contains many ingredients with anti-microbial properties, such as lavender oil, rosemary leaf oil, marigold extract, glycerin, lemon balm extract, chamomile extract, and Haslea ostreraria extract. (1, 4-6, 57-63)

The combination of avobenzone and octinoxate gives you a broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA (avobenzone) and UVB (octinoxate) blocking ingredients. UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer and wrinkles (68).

Finally, it has amazing moisturizers, like glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (1). Sodium hyaluronate is unique in its ability to bind 1,000 times its weight in water. It binds water in the skin and keeps it hydrated without feeling greasy or heavy.

The good:

  • Free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum and fragrance
  • Allergen free
  • Environmental pollutant free
  • Protects skin from UV rays

Things to think about:

  • Clogged pores – Some people complained that it clogged their pores.
  • Texture – Some people disliked the texture of the product on their skin.
  • Scent – Some people found the scent unappealing.

Bottom line:

This is a lightweight hydrating moisturizer for dry and acne-prone skin with the added benefit of SPF 20 sunscreen and loaded with anti-oxidants.


How we chose these products

These 4 non toxic face moisturizers were chosen for several reasons. They are all trusted brands that deliver high-quality products. These companies perform extensive research to ensure their products are top quality. Also, there are numerous good reviews on all these products.

This group of non toxic moisturizers contains something for every budget, ranging from expensive to reasonably priced. You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get a good product.

These 4 choices are all non toxic moisturizers that contain quality ingredients. There is something for every skin type. They all moisturize the skin well while delivering added benefits. Some help oily skin and acne, while others help dry irritated skin.

Best of all, they all contain anti-oxidants to protect the skin while helping to keep you looking younger.

Frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions 2-min

How often do I need to moisturize?

You must moisturize twice a day after you wash your face to keep your skin well hydrated. Otherwise, it will not function properly as a barrier to protect your skin from dehydration.

Also, when your skin is dry, it makes your look more wrinkled. Moisturizer will plump up the skin and make wrinkles less apparent. The best moisturizers for dry skin are thicker creams; however, the best ones for oily skin or lotions or gels.

When should I apply a face moisturizer?

It is important to use products in the proper order and at the proper time to get optimal benefits. You should apply moisturizer after you wash your face when your skin is still a little damp. Make sure you apply a moisturizer with clean hands.

Use gentle circular massaging motions to work it into your skin. If you have oily skin, you would apply moisturizer after your toner or acne product, but before sunscreen. If you have dry skin, you can apply it right after cleansing.

Who needs to moisturize?

Everyone needs to moisturize twice a day, even people with oily skin. If you have oily skin and do not replace the moisture on your face and you cause your skin to dehydrate, it will lead to overproduction of oil and worsen your excess oil problem.

People with dry skin may need to moisturize more than twice a day.

Why do I need to moisturize my face?

The skin has many functions, such as a barrier to hazardous substances and UV radiation. It also prevents loss of moisture, regulates temperature and immune function, and produces vitamin D. To keep it functioning properly, you need to take care of it.

You must keep it clean, hydrated, and protected from the sun. Otherwise, your skin will break down and get dry and crack, get infections, and develop wrinkles and skin cancer.

Do I need to moisturize areas other than my face?

You should moisturize your entire body. Skin is skin. If skin dehydrates on your face, it will do so on the rest of your body. The function of the skin and the needs of the skin are the same all over your body. It needs to be cleansed, moisturized, and protected.

However, you may need a different moisturizer for different parts of your body depending on your skin. You may have very dry legs that require a thick cream, while your face is oily and may need a lightweight, non-comedogenic lotion.

Conclusion

Moisturizing is an essential part of everyone’s daily skin care routine. Proper moisturizing will keep your skin functioning optimally and looking great for many years.

With the myriad of choices of moisturizers on the market, it is important to read the labels.

Choose the one that is right for your skin type, with non toxic ingredients, and that will give you anti-aging benefits.

Moisturizing is an essential part of everyone’s daily skin care routine. Proper moisturizing will keep your skin functioning optimally and looking great for many years.

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About The Author

Dr. Jennifer Trent MD FAAD
Dr. Jennifer Trent MD FAAD

Board-certified Dermatologist

Dr. Trent completed a 6 year combined BS-MD at the University of Miami with an undergraduate major in biology and a minor in chemistry. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and her residency in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Trent is a world recognized dermatologist, who has published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals. She also co-authored a textbook on dermatologic diseases and therapy, which was published by McGraw-Hill Co, Inc. She has had the opportunity to present her clinical research several times at national medical meetings. Dr. Trent has been the recipient of several awards for research, teaching and clinical practice, including the prestigious Young Investigators award for research from the American Academy of Dermatology as well as the coveted Castle Connelly Top Doctor award.

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