Whether Your Skin is Dry, Oily, or Acne-Prone, Your Moisturizer Needs *This*
I've recently been on an organic skincare kick and I can't really say that I'm mad about it. Although there are plenty of products out there on the market using the words "clean" or "nontoxic" as a selling point, I like to focus on skincare that includes research-backed natural ingredients that will make my complexion glow—plain and simple. It hasn't always been easy finding the right organic products for my skin though. You name it, I've struggled with it—acne, hyperpigmentation, dehydration, dullness—I'm only beginning to get my skin to a happier, healthier place.
One key part of my routine that took a while to nail down was finding the right moisturizer. It was difficult to find one that included all the ingredients I love for my skin, was mostly organic, and provided rich moisture for my dehydrated skin without breaking me out. After much trial and error, I found a few favorites that I always keep in my rotation now. When shopping for the right face moisturizer (especially a natural one), you'll definitely want to get to your skin and how it reacts to certain ingredients. Although it can be overwhelming trying to sort through the many beneficial organic ingredients out there, there is at least one that estheticians swear by for every skin type. If you're in the market for an organic face moisturizer and are curious about what key ingredient it should include, read on. I've tapped two master organic estheticians to share their insight and recommendations.
What to Look for in a Natural Face Moisturizer
Master organic esthetician Katie Sobelman says that if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a natural face moisturizer. "Niacinamide is one of my favorite ingredients to support healthy skin," she says. "Whether you're battling breakouts or dryness, niacinamide can help. A 2013 study showed that 4% niacinamide worked as well as 1% clindamycin, offering an antibiotic-free acne treatment." If you weren't totally sold by the above, Sobelman has even more good things to say about niacinamide. "Rarely is there an ingredient that can treat acne and dryness, but niacinamide does it all. It increases ceramide and fatty acid production in the skin to restore suppleness, and studies show it to be more effective than Vaseline (petrolatum) at reducing water loss and increasing skin hydration levels." In addition to all this, niacinamide can also help stop your skin from overproducing oil, making it a great option for those with oily skin too.
Niacinamide is her top ingredient choice, but she also stresses that there are a few things to avoid if you're acne-prone. "Avoid moisturizers that use pore-clogging oils, like coconut and chia seed, as the molecular size of the oil is too large to penetrate deep into the skin. Not sure if the oils in your moisturizer are pore-clogging? Run a quick Google search for the oil's "comedogenic rating." Many of us have essential oil sensitivities that can lead to breakouts and irritation, so be on the lookout for products that include them."
Sobelman also says those dry skin types will want to seek out hydrating and nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and replenishing lipids. "Ceramides and lipids make up both the outer layer of our skin and the extracellular matrix—the solution between our skin cells holding it together," she shares. "Both can be found in moisturizers and are fantastic at locking in hydration (like hyaluronic acid) and supporting the skin's barrier. Most sensitive skin showing signs of type one rosacea has an impaired barrier and needs more ceramides and lipids to reduce that pesky redness through the cheeks."
If you're shopping for an organic moisturizer and want to know what other natural ingredients to consider, master esthetician and Flora Mirabilis founder Jordan LaFragola has you covered. "If you have acne-prone skin, you want to look for ingredients with a low comedogenic rating, meaning they are not pore-clogging," she says. "Almond, apricot kernel, argan, grapeseed, hemp, pomegranate seed, sacha inchi, and safflower are great choices. You also want to look for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as cedarwood, frankincense, lavender, and tea tree. Ingredients rich in linoleic fatty acids will restore your skin's barrier, making it look plump and youthful. Fruit seed oils are excellent sources, and sacha inchi has one of the highest levels of linoleic fatty acids of any plant oil. Ingredients with brightening and resurfacing properties are also key. Sandalwood is a particularly great anti-aging oil, as are Frankincense, rose, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin C."
For a few great moisturizer options, keep scrolling below.
Luzern Labs offers this rich, hydrating cream with niacinamide, oxygen, peptides, Co-Q10, and prebiotics. It has remained one of my top three organic moisturizers since I was first introduced to it by Sobelman.
"Luzern's Force de Vie Crème Luxe is my favorite moisturizer because its silky, lightweight formula is great for all skin types, from sensitive and acne-prone to drier skin showing signs of aging." —Sobelman
I've been using and loving this Flora Mirabilis face oil since I had the privilege of getting a facial with LaFragola. This along with her all-natural Cleansing Clay ($60) are such a treat for the skin. They also both smell delicious, organic, and earthy.
"This is made from 10 all-natural, plant-based ingredients, is dermatologist tested, EWG-verified, and clinically proven safe and effective for all skin types. It contains a balanced ratio of fatty acids and is rich in phytonutrients that immediately brighten, balance, soften, and restore the look of health and vitality to your skin. It's also deeply moisturizing and incredibly potent—made from 100% active ingredients which can replace serums and moisturizers for a simple, yet highly effective skincare routine. The bottle is made from recycled opaque glass that protects it from light exposure which keeps the oil fresh." —LaFragola
This weightless moisturizer from Youth to the People firms the skin, reduces the look of fine lines, and strengthens the skin's moisture barrier. Youth to the People formulas are vegan and packed with superfoods—this particular formula includes peptides, ceramides, and other plant proteins to give skin a healthy glow.
Infused with nourishing organic ingredients like jojoba, squalane, and hyaluronic acid, this hydrogel cream from Honest Beauty softens and firms the skin.
Created by board-certified plastic surgeon Chanvene Jeanniton, MD, Epi.logic Skincare utilizes holistic ingredients that provide next-level results. This fortifying cream contains bakuchiol, niacinamide, peptides, and milk thistle to support healthy collagen production in the skin and provide rich hydration.
This organic moisturizer from Eminence is great for sensitive and rosacea-prone skin types. Chamomile calms and balances the skin while calendula, sunflower oil, aloe vera juice, and rosemary protect the skin with essential vitamins and antioxidants.
Tata Harper's Water Lock Moisturizer is great for makeup wearers because it can act as both a hydrator and primer. Orange peptides, pomegranate spheres, and hyaluronic acid, smooth out rough skin texture, dullness, and dryness.
May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon is definitely a pricier moisturizer, but it offers such rich hydration in a balm-like texture. Best of all, it utilizes organic, wild-harvested ingredients like blue tansy, camellia seed oil, shea butter, cacao seed butter, myrrh oil, and frankincense.
Infused with Juice Beauty's proprietary blend of fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and resveratrol-rich grapeseed, this moisturizer smooths away fine lines and improves skin texture and tone over time.
Celebrities (like Kate Hudson) and makeup artists never have enough good things to say about this all-purpose balm from Egyptian Magic. Made with just six all-natural ingredients like olive oil, bee pollen, and royal jelly, it immediately relieves dry skin.
This moisturizer is packed with ingredients like superfoods, greens, aloe leaf juice, and rose flower oil. It helps to reduce fine lines, increase firmness, and improve overall tone. It also provides rich hydration, making it great for dry and mature skin types.
Bakuchiol, squalane, ceramides, apple fruit extract, apricot kernel oil, peptides, and olive fruit extract are just a few star ingredients in this velvety natural moisturizer.
Pai's vitamin C-rich moisturizer is great for those who struggle with hyperpigmentation and uneven texture. In addition to vitamin C, it also contains uncycled bilberry extract, camellia oil, and cacao seed butter for a boost of moisture.
Klur's Sculpture A+ moisturizer is a multi-active oil-based cream that's loaded with organic ingredients like shea butter, jojoba seed oil, gotu kola extract, and plum seed oil. It's meant to be used in the evening as it also contains 1% retinol, functional peptides, and 19 anti-inflammatory botanical actives to rejuvenate the skin overnight.
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