When your bathroom vanity overflows with half-used bottles of skin lotions, facial moisturizers, and hydrating serums for everything from dry eyelids to brittle toenails, it's time to simplify your beauty routine.
Several years ago, I sought a plant-derived, natural skin moisturizer. I found several! Not only do the swaps provide ample hydration from head to toe, they also ease my itchy eczema and double for other personal care products, like makeup removers and shaving lotion.
The Benefits of Natural Skin Moisturizers
It turns out oils from seeds, fruits, nuts, and other earth-based products nourish and heal our skin. The International Journal of Molecular Sciences published an article exploring the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and skin barrier repairing effects of using plant oils topically on the skin.
The researchers discovered that when we apply specific plant oils directly to our skin, the oils promote wound healing (goodbye shaving nicks!), infuse the skin with antioxidants, and repair our skin's natural barrier. They help protect us from the elements (like winter winds and salty sea spray), nourish dry skin, and soothe skin irritations. The article even mentions how these oils may improve skin elasticity, which keeps wrinkles to a minimum. Oh, yes!
Choosing natural skin moisturizers isn't just good for our skin; it's also a greener choice. These products come from plants, which are sustainable resources that we can grow over and over again, rather than lab-created compounds or finite resources, such as petroleum.
Choosing a Plant-Based Oil
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to find many of these natural moisturizers in your pantry. Almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, oat oil, olive oil, peanut oil, pomegranate seed oil, safflower seed oil, sesame oil, and soybean oil all offer benefits when applied to the skin, according to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences article.
Experiment with different oils and see which one works best for you. Here my personal top four natural skin moisturizers, where I like to apply them, and how they've benefited my skin.
1. Coconut Oil
This is my daily go-to moisturizer. I use coconut oil as a creamy, hydrating hair mask when lingering in a bath, apply it to my legs before and after shaving, and even use it in lieu of lip balm and to remove mascara. At room temperature, this oil is thick, making it less messy to apply than a liquid.
2. Jojoba Oil
This oil is derived from the seed of the jojoba plant. I use it in the evenings to wipe away the day's makeup and nourish my facial skin. All it takes is a few swipes of a cotton pad moistened with a few drops of oil. It's also helpful for moisturizing dry fingernails and toenails.
3. Olive Oil
You probably already have some olive oil on hand in the pantry, making it easy to try this natural skin moisturizer. I like to use it after a shower to soften my elbows and feet before getting dressed. It also doubles as a smooth shaving aid.
I've even mixed equal parts olive oil and coarse sea salt with a few drops of essential oil (I like lavender or rose) to create a homemade moisturizer for face and neck pampering. You can massage the mixture into your skin, then rinse it away as you step into the shower.
4. Cocoa Butter
Finally, cocoa butter has a wonderful fragrance since it's derived from the cocoa bean. The antioxidants in cocoa soothe the skin and may help ease or prevent skin diseases, according to a study published in Nutrients.
I like to buy this oil in stick form and glide it over my legs and arms. Your body heat turns the solid into a liquid, so you can massage it into your skin. Warning: cocoa butter may trigger a chocolate craving because it smells so good!
Is it time to streamline your skin care routine and declutter the bathroom vanity once and for all? Try a few of these natural moisturizers and discover which ones will become your favorites. Then tell us about your findings on Twitter!
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Why It's Good
When you switch to single-ingredient, natural skin moisturizers, you know exactly what's being absorbed into your body. Whether your goal is to find simpler, more sustainable personal care products or to ease up on using products with artificial fragrances and dyes, plant-based oils are worth exploring.