The Best Natural Body Lotions for Every Day and Occasion
The Best Natural Body Lotions for Every Day and Occasion
Moisturizing our skin is a year-round job. In the summer, hydrating every inch of our bodies after sun exposure, swimming, and slathering on plenty of SPF—all of which can be incredibly drying—is essential for healthy skin.
And then in the winter, the mix of colder temperatures, hot showers or baths, and central heating, all conspire to cause everything from dry patches and parched elbows and knees, to redness, irritation and literally being uncomfortable in our own skin.
We know we need a body lotion and we need to apply it daily for smooth skin. For some, moisturizing below the neck falls under the category of a grooming chore—necessary, but tempting to skip in a rush, like flossing or shaving. But if you find the right natural body lotion, a step that feels like a must can become something that you look forward to.
What's the best body lotion for you? The key is to choose one that appeals to all of your senses and skincare needs, so you see results and enjoy the experience.
There’s no shortage of choice in the body lotion category: there's a range of textures, transportive scents, and natural ingredients like fair trade shea butter, grape seed oil, aloe vera, argan oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, organic jojoba oil, and vitamin C and vitamin E.
There are also many multi-tasking formulas that do everything from tan skin to address signs of aging, and work for all skin types from normal skin to easily irritated skin. In fact, there have never been more body lotions to choose from.
No matter which one you choose, a good body lotion is even better if you apply it under the right conditions.
There’s a fail-safe strategy to maximize your body lotion and get some solid skin hydration: apply your body lotion right out of the shower or bath, when skin is still damp, to lock in that hydration.
And don't forget regular gentle exfoliation—polishing skin helps clear the way for your body lotion to soak into the skin more deeply.
Here are the Best Natural Body Lotions for Every Occasion
- Best Natural Body Lotion for Dry Skin: Humanrace - Humidifying Body Cream
- Best Natural Body Lotion for Aging Skin: Odacité - Perfect Nutrients Body Lotion
- Best Natural Firming Body Lotion: Fitglow Beauty - Bakuchiol Body Cream
- Best Natural Body Lotion for Glowing Skin: Kora Organics - Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion
- Best Natural Body Lotion, Dermatologist-Recommended: Karité - Creme Corps Hydrating Body Cream
- Best Natural Everyday Body Lotion: Osea - Ocean Lotion
- Best Natural Body Lotion for Summer: Rahua - Enchanted Island Lotion Mist
- Best Natural Body Lotion for Winter: Weleda - Skin Food Body Butter
- Best Natural Vegan Body Lotion: Osea - Anti-Aging Body Balm
Best Natural Body Lotion for Dry Skin
Review: 3.0 out of 5.0
When we’re talking about hair, humidity gets a bad wrap, which isn’t surprising considering it can cause everything from frizziness to flattened strands just by stepping outside.
But when it comes to skin, humidity is actually a good thing. (Hello, instant dewy skin.)
Humanrace’s Humidifying Body Cream was designed to mimic the skin moisturizing benefits of humidity, defined by National Geographic as the amount of water vapor in the air; if there is a lot of water vapor, humidity is higher, and the higher the humidity, the wetter it feels outside.
In other words, unless you’re poolside or on a beach with easy access to quick dips for cooling off, hot and sticky is pretty much the vibe.
For those who don’t live in a tropical climate year round, and have wind chills and polar vortexes to contend with, it’s good to have several tools in the toolbox for dealing with dry skin in need of intense moisture.
Much like how dermatologists suggest investing in a humidifier to help keep skin smooth and moisturized throughout the winter, this body cream (which is the spinoff off from the brand’s best-selling Humidifying Face Cream) works the same way by quenching parched, flaky skin.
It also features Bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol that avoids skin irritation, and other natural ingredients like peptides to smooth and strengthen the skin barrier, while the brand’s signature Snow Mushroom Extract helps to prevent the moisture from leaving the party early.
Best Natural Body Lotion for Aging Skin
Review: 4.6 out of 5.0
Actors like Julianne Moore, Jane Fonda and Renée Zellweger have said in many press interviews that they consider aging or growing older a privilege. We couldn’t agree more.
One way to celebrate aging is by taking care of our skin and using products designed specifically to address its unique needs.
Aging skin is often drier and requires an extra dose of hydration because it doesn’t produce as much natural oil as younger skin, and its cell turnover is slower. Which is why you need a hydrating body lotion that meets skin where it's at.
While it works for all skin types, Odacité’s Perfect Nutrients Body Lotion was formulated to give mature skin the gentle and nourishing boost it needs with organic ingredients: jojoba, coconut and olive oil protect against dryness, while a calming blend of aloe vera juice and lavender soothes and softens skin.
Best Natural Firming Body Lotion
Review: 4.8 out of 5.0
As a personal trainer, Fitglow Beauty founder Anna Buss knows a thing or two about how to get a toned body.
Obviously exercise and a healthy diet (she’s a health nutritionist, too) are the key to achieving your personal goals, but the best body lotion you can use is one that will keep skin hydrated and make it appear firmer and smoother in the meantime.
Fitglow Beauty’s Bakuchiol Body Cream is a body lotion rich in natural and organic ingredients that you’d typically find in facial serums and moisturizers, but gets the same results below the neck: restoring radiance and bounce in the skin.
The star ingredient and namesake, bakuchiol, is a plant-based retinol alternative that firms and smooths the appearance of skin, along with hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening and plumping glutathione.
The formula also features fatty acids found in shea butter for even more skin-smoothing results.
Best Natural Body Lotion for Glowing Skin
Review: 5.0 out of 5.0
Kora Organics founder Miranda Kerr could be considered a tanning expert. As a former Victoria’s Secret Angel, she’s had her fair share of spray tans.
She also hails from Australia (home to more than 10,000 beaches!), considered to be the skin cancer capital of the world, so sun safety is a big deal to Kerr and her fellow Aussies.
The perfect marriage of sunless tanner and body lotion, Kora Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion delivers hydration while imparting a glow over time, so there’s no need to spend a minute on the beach, if that’s not your thing.
Powered by DHA, a natural tanner derived from sugar that darkens over time to produce a bronze effect on the skin, the fast-absorbing, never-sticky lightweight formula features a hydrating blend of ingredients like noni, rosehip, and sea buckthorn, leaving skin soft and sun kissed.
Best Natural Body Lotion, Dermatologist-Recommended
Review: 4.7 out of 5.0
Created by three sisters (one of whom is dermatologist) who could never find a body lotion that compared to the shea butter that they used growing up, Karite's Creme Corps Hydrating Body Cream features the shea butter they were searching for.
While shea butter is a popular ingredient in many moisturizers, it’s often included in lower concentrations, and is highly-processed and refined, which dilutes its reparative powers and can even irritate skin.
Karité’s line stands out because the sustainably sourced shea butter from Ghana they use is raw and unrefined, which means its hydrating powers are in full effect. Plus, the use of this shea butter supports the livelihood of rural African women and their communities.
Certified organic ingredients like unrefined coconut oil, sunflower seed oil and an antioxidant-rich blend of rosemary and West African rooibos round out the ultra-moisturizing cream with no harmful chemicals, that soothes and smoothes the driest and most sensitive skin.
Best Natural Body Lotion for Summer
Review: 4.0 out of 5.0
Rahua may be best known for their incredible hair products, but the brand’s signature rahua oil does for dry skin what it does for hair–make it look and feel healthier.
This body moisturizer was made with summer in mind, aka the season when our skin is exposed to the elements, like sun and saltwater (or chlorine if you like to hang poolside) as well as daily doses of SPF, which can dehydrate and irritate skin.
Formulated for outdoor and active types whose summer schedule is packed with camping, picnics, cottaging and plenty of time under the sun, this fast-absorbing sprayable lotion acts as a botanical climate shield offering protection for sensitive skin.
Because it’s in a mist format, it’s easy to toss into a backpack or beach bag and spray on anytime during the day when for hydrated skin on the go. Bonus: you can also use it as a hand cream when hand sanitizer has stripped away too much moisture.
Hot tip: Apply it immediately after a shower or as an after bath lotion when skin is slightly damp.
Best Natural Body Lotion for Winter
Review: 4.8 out of 5.0
Fans of the nearly century-old Weleda Skin Food will love this full body version that’s as hydrating and nourishing as the original Ultra-Rich Cream, a cult favorite salve for soothing rough and dry hands, cracked heels, skin irritation and wind-whipped faces. (It also has an off-label use: makeup artists apply it as a highlighter.)
It's no wonder Skin Food has been back in the spotlight recently, with everyone looking for an ultra-hydrating hand cream to address a side effect of pandemic hygiene measures: skin that has been washed and sanitized more than ever before, and needs significant repair. We know people who keep a tube in every bag.
Just a small scoop of Skin Food's body butter from the weighty green jar goes a long way, melting as it moisturizes with shea and cocoa butter. Like the other ingredients in the plant-based formula, they are certified biodynamic, and many are grown on the company’s own land in Germany.
You might think that this luxurious body butter with a texture like a whipped dessert would sit on the skin, but instead it's non greasy and sinks right in, delivering a hefty dose of moisture to rough patches like elbows and knees, with a gorgeous and subtle natural fragrance.
Best Natural Vegan Body Lotion
Review: 4.7 out of 5.0
It’s no secret that seaweed is highly nutritious—packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids—making it a popular ingredient in vegan diets. (Thanks to the rise in seaweed farming, it may also help the world eat less meat, another pro for vegans.)
Osea’s Anti-Aging Body Balm, a cruelty-free, silky hydrating lotion meets youth-enhancing serum, features Alaria, a type of seaweed that improves the appearance of skin elasticity and makes skin feel tighter all over.
The nourishing vegan formula is rounded out by skin-softening passion fruit, coconut, acai, and babassu oils.
And here’s another plus for vegans, or anyone concerned about climate change: Osea was recently deemed an Ocean Positive verified brand, which means for every ton of carbon they offset, they also invest in coastal restoration projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere.