5 Things to Look for in a Natural Lotion
Keeping your skin moisturized helps protect your skin. Your skin is your body’s first line of defense from the world and keeping it hydrated is critical. Unfortunately, many lotion products use artificial fragrances, colors, and other synthetic ingredients that are known to be harmful in some way. Using lotion doesn’t mean that you need to put your health at risk. Additionally, these ingredients can be irritating to sensitive skin, and they can be harmful if swallowed. That’s not exactly something that sounds good for your body.
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural products that have undergone personal care product testing that are not only good for your skin but are also good for the environment as well. Some of them contain ingredients so good you could eat them, although you probably shouldn’t. Here are some things to look for in a natural lotion.
Avoid Synthetic Fragrances and Colors
Synthetic fragrances and colors are not only bad for your skin, but they can also cause allergies or irritation. Natural products like coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter have wonderful properties that make them perfect for making lotions. They’re also more environmentally friendly than synthetic ingredients. Some natural lotions use plant-based coloring to make them more appealing to the eye without being as harmful.
Look For Unscented
Look for a lotion that is unscented or that uses only essential oils. Essential oils are another key ingredient in natural lotions. These ingredients, which are extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, or roots of plants and trees, are used for their aromatic properties. While some essential oils can be irritating to sensitive skin types—or even toxic if used in large amounts—many brands will use them sparingly or not at all. Some brands will use other plant-derived fragrances that do not contain any volatile chemicals or synthetic compounds as part of their scent selection process.
But how do you know whether your lotion is using essential oils? Look for ingredients such as lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia), eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus), or peppermint oil (Mentha piperita).
Read ingredient labels carefully. Reading ingredient labels is the best way to ensure that you’re buying a product that meets your natural and organic standards. Ingredients are listed on the label in order of how much of them are present, so you can easily spot what’s upfront. Ingredients are also listed by weight, not volume—so even though an ingredient is used in small amounts, it could still be high on the list due to its concentrated nature.
When looking at ingredient lists, look for familiar ones like shea butter and coconut oil or unfamiliar ones like stearic acid or beeswax. Make sure they’re in their original state—you don’t want a lotion with “fragrance” or “parfum” listed as an ingredient if you’re looking for a natural product.
Look for SPF
Check the SPF level, if applicable. Look for a lotion with a SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen is important to protect your skin from UV rays, which can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin and cause wrinkles and other signs of aging. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the SPF number, the more protection it provides. While an SPF rating of 2 may seem sufficient, it doesn’t offer enough protection against UV rays that cause photoaging and cancerous tumors.
Try Out Options
Find a product that mixes well with your skin’s chemistry. The best natural lotion for your skin is the one that matches it. If you have sensitive skin, look for lotions with fewer ingredients and those that are made specifically to soothe or heal. If you have dry or oily skin, look for moisturizing lotions that mix well with your chemistry. You don’t want something too greasy if you’re prone to breakouts for instance.
It’s important to experiment with new products. Don’t be afraid to try something new either. You might discover your favorite scent or product line. Try different brands, different scents, and options with natural preservatives as well. Natural preservatives are good for your skin because they don’t contain harsh chemicals. They also help keep lotion fresh, which means less waste and fewer plastic bottles ending up in landfills or oceans.