Written by Grove Collaborative

The Grove guide to natural body lotion

Last Updated: February 15, 2021

Looking to make the switch to natural body lotions? Check out our best body lotion brands and restore moisture to your skin today.

Here at Grove Collaborative, we’re big believers in the power of natural products — both for ourselves and for the planet. But we know making the switch can be daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to conventional products and are new to the world of natural, eco-friendly alternatives. That’s why we’ve created Beginner’s Guides to Natural. Each week, we’ll give you a primer on the ins and outs of transitioning to a natural version of a common household item, plus a few of our favorite brands for making the switch. Let’s get to swapping!

Drugstore lotions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be — in fact, some may do more harm than good. The best body lotions nourish and moisturize your skin without subjecting it to nasty chemicals, like preservatives and synthetic fragrances. Here’s how to find the best natural body lotion brands so you can treat your largest organ right.


There’s nothing like slathering body lotion all over your skin to find relief from a dry, itchy epidermis. But before you lather on your favorite drugstore brand, you may want to know what’s lurking in the ingredients list — and it may not be pretty. Because as it turns out, conventional body lotions contain things that you really don’t want anywhere near your birthday suit.




What is body lotion used for?

When skin gets dry and depleted of natural moisture, body lotion provides incredible hydration. Although delivering moisture may be the prime goal, many of today’s body lotions are packed with additional ingredients designed to improve elasticity, reduce cellulite, or even provide additional sun protection.

Benefits of using body lotion

When you make body lotion part of your daily after-shower routine, you replenish moisture stripped away by soaps and other skincare essentials. Hydrated skin will remain healthier and be less prone to dryness, flaking, and cracking. Applying a face moisturizer before makeup provides a healthy base for your skin — and it helps prevent wrinkles and breakouts.

Is natural body lotion better for your skin?

Your skin has millions of pores that soak up whatever you put on it. Because your skin acts like a sponge, soaking up all those ingredients, it’s important to choose a body lotion that’s free of any harmful chemicals that can find their way to your internal organs. Natural lotions provide a much healthier alternative to chemical-laden options.

3 Ingredients to Avoid in Body Lotions

Butylated Compounds

Commonly referred to as BHA or BHT, these preservatives are present in many beauty care essentials. Unfortunately, they can cause reproductive toxicity, organ toxicity, and skin irritation.


Ethanolamine Compounds

Ethanolamine compounds like MEA, DEA, and TEA are used as fragrances, emulsifying agents, and pH adjusters in body lotions and other beauty products. According to research gathered by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, these compounds are linked with organ system toxicity and even liver cancer.


Formaldehyde

This common body lotion ingredient is easily absorbed into the skin and commonly causes skin irritation, and is even linked to cancer. It’s not only lurking in your lotion — it’s also found in most hair-smoothing products, body wash, nail polish, and eyelash glue.

Tips on how to choose the best natural body lotion

Skin Type

Before you shop, consider your current skin needs. Dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin will all benefit from different body lotions. If you have sensitive skin, these natural formulas will provide safe hydration that won’t leave you with a rash or breakout.

Price

Natural body lotions are available at a wide range of price points, making it easy to find a product you’ll love at a price that stays within budget. Pricier doesn’t always mean better when it comes to body care products, so choose a price point, and you’re bound to find a great natural option within that range.

Scent

Fragrance is a personal choice. As you browse the options, choose a natural scent profile that appeals to you. Go earthy with an herb-based scent, or keep things light and romantic with a floral option. If you have especially sensitive skin, choose a lotion that’s unscented or free of added fragrances.

7 Best natural body lotion brands

Now that you know why we love natural body lotion, let us introduce you to a few of our faves.


Brand: Rooted

Why we love’em: Not only do Rooted lotions come in a range of fun — and sometimes even seasonal — scents, but they’re also made right here in the USA. All their products are cruelty-free, made with post-consumer recycled packaging, and packed with natural ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa seed butter, and antioxidant-rich R7 Complex, making them one of the best body lotions for dry skin. This lotion isn’t only natural — it’s also paraben-, sulfate-, and silicone-free.

Brand: The Seaweed Bath Co.

Why we love’em: It all starts with organic, sustainably harvested bladderwrack seaweed. The Seaweed Bath Co.’s lotions are rife with more than 65 vitamins and minerals that work naturally to promote skin elasticity and detoxify your skin, making them one of the best body lotions for aging skin. Other natural ingredients featured in these products include green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, and hyaluronic acid. These gluten-free products are Leaping Bunny Certified and completely vegan.

Brand: Babo Botanicals

Why we love’em: Dedicated to providing safe, natural products for adults and children, Babo Botanicals creates paraben-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and sulfate-free lotions that are entirely hypoallergenic. Made in the USA, these vegan products are naturally biodegradable. Our favorite part is that these products are delicate on even the most sensitive skin.

Brand: Yes To

Why we love’em: Yes To uses all-natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, aloe, and real California sunflower oil to create paraben-free and gluten-free products that will nourish your skin. There are even convenient spray-on lotions included in this vegan line! Yes To lotions are Leaping Bunny Certified. While you're shopping for Yes To lotions, check out their line of shampoos, conditioners, and sunscreens as well.

Brand: Tree To Tub

Why we love’em: Tree To Tub is dedicated to creating gentle skincare products that nourish sensitive skin. Best of all, all the products made by Tree to Tub are cruelty-free, organic, Fair Trade, eco-friendly, and vegan. Their lotions feature carefully sourced shea butter and wild soapberry, a pH-neutral berry that acts as a natural soap.

Brand: Little Moon

Why we love’em: Reach for the stars when it comes to skincare when you shop for Little Moon body lotions. This women-owned business creates natural products right here in the USA and sends a portion of proceeds along to support their favorite charities. None of their lotions are tested on animals, and they all come in responsible packaging. Best of all, they're suitable for sensitive skin.

Brand: Weleda

Why we love’em: Designed to be food for your skin, lotions by Weleda are safe and incredibly nourishing. Their light, creamy formulas use plant-rich blends with shea butter, calendula, beeswax, and sunflower seed oil. The result is paraben-free, triclosan-free, non-GMO, and CFC free. You'll only find natural fragrances in these cruelty-free formulas.

GROVE TIP

The best time to apply body lotion

Protect your skin with a layer of body lotion:


  • After showering, when your skin is slightly damp for optimal absorption.
  • Before you head outside to exercise in dry or cold air.
  • After shaving to protect new exposed skin and soothe irritation.
  • Before bed, since moisture leaves your skin as you sleep.
  • Anytime your skin feels dry or itchy.

Shop natural body lotion


Looking for more sustainable skin care swaps and other eco-friendly switches you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any menstrual cup questions (or share your own tips for making the switch using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to make the switch to natural eye cream or other eco- and body-friendly products, explore Grove Collaborative's skin care selection.

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