16 Natural Moisturizers Your Skin Will Love

women wearing towel head wrap and robe holds up cucumber slices in front of eyes

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The benefits to using natural moisturizers versus pre-made bottles of moisturizing cream are numerous. With natural products, there are no added chemicals and you know what you’re putting on your skin. These products are safer, less expensive, and less wasteful, which is better for the environment. Many products that can be used as natural moisturizers can be found right in the kitchen, making sampling easy.

Not all skin types react the same way to different ingredients. If you are new to using natural ingredients to moisturize, start with a small test patch to try out different ones to see which ingredient your skin responds to best. For personalized skin care advice, you should consult a board-certified dermatologist.

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hands mash avocado with fork in white bowl on tan linen napkins with flowers nearby

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The avocado is a popular fruit that grows in warm climates. In addition to being delicious, this fleshy green fruit can be used as a natural moisturizer. Avocado oil, which is extracted from the fruit, absorbs quickly and is great for oily skin. Avoid avocado oils that are combined with other oils. Instead, opt for pure, cold-pressed avocado oil.

Peeled and mashed avocado also makes an effective natural face moisturizer. Place mashed avocado directly on your face and rinse with warm water after 10 to 15 minutes. Avocado can also be mixed with honey to make natural hair or face masks.

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Shea Butter

woman in daisy dress adds drop of essential oil to raw shea butter in her palm of hand
Put your own spin on raw shea butter by adding in your favorite essentials oils.

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Extracted from the nut of the African shea tree, shea butter is an extremely hydrating and soothing natural humectant that is particularly good for dry skin. Look for grade A shea butter, which is the most pure, or choose organic when available. Because it’s so thick and rich, use pure shea butter on the areas of the skin that tend to be most dry, such as the hands and feet. 

Shea butter is also used as an ingredient in many bath and lip products and lotions. It combines well with other oils, so if you like shea butter, consider warming and melting it and mixing it with essential oils for a lovely scented natural moisturizer.

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Coconut Oil

woman in striped tank rubs coconut oil onto the ends of brown hair

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Coconut oil has a long history of use for both skin and hair. Best for dry skin, coconut oil can be used after bathing to help retain moisture. Dirt and oil are attracted to coconut oil, so when it is used as a face cleanser, it removes impurities and leaves skin clean and moisturized. Use coconut oil sparingly to prevent clogged pores. A small amount of coconut oil can also be used to effectively manage frizzy hair.

Choose solid coconut oil—its purest form—and look for organic, fair-trade coconut oil that is fairly harvested.

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Mango Butter

green mango cut in half with one side cubed on wooden cutting board next to fresh flowers

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Made from the kernel of the mango seed from the tropical tree, mango butter is extremely moisturizing. Because it is hard at room temperature, it is often mixed with other oils (often coconut oil) to make it softer and easier to use.

Good for all skin types, this non-comedogenic butter won’t clog pores as it softens your skin. Its moisturizing abilities don’t end with your skin—mango butter can also be used to naturally hydrate your hair.

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hand pours buttermilk from wine glass into bathtub with ivy plant on edge

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

While buttermilk won't moisturize by itself, it will help any moisturizer you do use absorb more easily into the skin. Good for all skin types, buttermilk contains lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid), which can expose fresh skin cells via gentle exfoliation. Those with milk or dairy allergies should avoid using buttermilk on their skin.

To treat damaged skin, place a small drop of buttermilk on the affected area for a few minutes, rinse, and follow with a natural moisturizer. Buttermilk baths are an old-fashioned soothing skin remedy. Add two cups of organic buttermilk and a couple of tablespoons of warm honey for a luxurious milk-and-honey experience that will smooth your skin.


  1. Begin filling a bathtub with warm water.
  2. As the tub fills, add two cups of organic buttermilk to the water.
  3. Warm two tablespoons of raw honey in the microwave for a few seconds.
  4. Add the honey to the bath water.
  5. Stir to combine honey and buttermilk.
  6. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
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Olive Oil

woman in daisy dress pours olive oil from small bottle into palm of hand for moisturizing

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Made from fresh olives, olive oil has been used for thousands of years. Olive oil mixes well with other oils and is used as an ingredient in many skin care products. Choose cold-pressed, virgin, organic olive oil for use in skin care.

Olive oil contains squalene, a naturally occurring chemical compound with moisturizing properties. When used on its own, olive oil is a bit heavier than other oils. It takes longer to be absorbed by the skin and may not be appropriate for those with oily skin. Olive oil is also used as a moisturizing treatment for dry hair.

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woman in daisy dress dips wooden dipper in lidded glass jar of honey near window

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Not only great in cookies and tea, honey is an antibacterial substance and a wonderful natural moisturizer. Choose local, raw honey to support apiaries and honeybee pollinators. Honey can be used on its own or blended with other ingredients as part of a natural skin care routine.

Try slathering a spoonful of raw honey on your face for a quick and easy natural face moisturizing mask. You can also create facial scrubs and lotions by mixing honey with almonds, lemon, and other natural ingredients. Try a mixture of honey and coconut oil in the bath for a moisturizing soak.

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Cocoa Butter

raw chunks of white cocoa butter up close on yellow plate

VeganBaking.net / Flickr / CC by SA 2.0

Made from the same part of the plant used to make chocolate (the bean), cocoa is a natural moisturizer that smells deliciously like chocolate. It’s also packed with fats that are great in chocolate and make an excellent skin moisturizer. This replenishing butter is appropriate for dry skin. Unlike some other natural butters, cocoa butter is comedogenic, meaning it can lead to clogged pores. It’s best to avoid using this product on your face.

Look for organic, fairly harvested versions, and consider mixing it with peppermint or orange essential oils for a chocolate-mint or choc-orange aroma.

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hands hold cut aloe leaf with scissors and flowers nearby on wooden table

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

This low maintenance, easy to grow plant may become your favorite moisturizer. The gel in the leaves of the aloe plant is high in antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E. This effective healing and pain relieving sunburn treatment also has other uses in natural skin care.

Suitable for all skin types, aloe promotes collagen production, which aids in skin repair and elasticity. You can use aloe right from the plant—by cutting open a leaf and removing the gel inside. The cooling effect of aloe also makes it a great addition to a soothing homemade face mask.

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woman lies back on green couch with towel head wrap and places fresh cucumber slices on eyes

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Commonly found in salads, the cucumber has a high water content that makes it particularly moisturizing. Like aloe, the cucumber helps reduce pain and skin inflammation due to sunburn.

This hydrating vegetable is good for all skin types. Chilled, sliced cucumbers can be applied directly to the eyes to reduce swelling. Blending one cucumber can produce a soothing face mask. Rinse with cool water to maintain the skin-calming effects.

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Colloidal Oatmeal

ground rolled oats become colloidal oatmeal in glass bowl with wooden spoon

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Colloidal oatmeal—plain rolled oats that have been finely ground—has been used as a gentle and soothing moisturizer for centuries. For those who suffer from dry, scaly, or rough skin, oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties. While colloidal oatmeal is edible, after oatmeal has been ground into a fine powder, it is typically less appealing than the classic rolled oats.

When mixed with water, colloidal oatmeal can make a soothing face mask or an emollient skin treatment. For a calming soak, try adding a cup or two of colloidal oatmeal to a warm bath.


  1. Blend one to two cups of dry oats in a food processor or blender until it becomes a fine powder.
  2. Begin filling a bathtub with warm water.
  3. Sprinkle the colloidal oatmeal evenly throughout the bath.
  4. Stir to combine the colloidal oatmeal with the water.
  5. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
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mason jar of greek yogurt with spoon on wooden counter with window in background

Treehugger / Lesly Junieth

This fermented dairy staple also makes a moisturizing natural face treatment that is good for all skin types. The best yogurt for skin care is thick, unflavored (plain) yogurt, which can be easily applied and contains no unnecessary ingredients.

Like buttermilk, yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that cleanses, nourishes, and moisturizes skin. To soothe dry skin, make a face mask by applying plain yogurt to your face and leaving for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. For plant-based yogurt options, there are dairy-free choices that contain lactic acid and offer the same moisturizing benefits of milk-based yogurt.

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Sweet Almond Oil

woman in black floral top applies sweet almond oil from glass bottle dropper to her cheek

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Like other plant-based oils, sweet almond oil—made by pressing and extracting the oil from almonds—hydrates and moisturizes skin. Considered non-comedogenic, almond oil is safe for acne-prone and dry skin. Many products, such as cleansers, sunscreen, and moisturizers, contain vitamin E-rich sweet almond oil.

Apply organic, cold-pressed sweet almond oil directly on your skin or face for a natural emollient. Since the oil penetrates the skin, those with nut allergies should not use almond oil as a moisturizer.

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Sunflower Seed Oil

women holds small square glass bottle of sunflower oil with cork top pulled off

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The seeds of beautiful sunflowers can be pressed into an oil that is full of nutrients and soothes the skin. Look for cold-pressed, organic sunflower oil to get the most benefits from this natural moisturizer that has been used for centuries.

Sunflower seed oil is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and is good for all skin types. To hydrate and moisturize, apply a small amount of sunflower seed oil and massage it directly onto your skin.

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glass bowl with mashed banana surrounded by whole banana and honey and flowers

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

This delicious fruit has plenty of nutritional benefits when consumed, but bananas can also benefit your skin when applied topically. Bananas contain high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C, which reduces dryness. Overripe bananas are particularly suitable for use in a banana skin treatment.

Simply peel and mash a banana and apply it to dry skin. You can also add honey or yogurt to a banana to create a soothing and nutritious banana face mask. Avoid using bananas in your skin care regime if you have a known allergy to latex, bananas, or other fruits with a cross-reactivity to latex.

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Jojoba Oil

women in floral robe applies few drops of jojoba oil from brown glass bottle

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, jojoba oil is a waxy, long-lasting natural oil. Similar to the oils secreted by the sebaceous glands in humans, jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties.

This non-comedogenic oil absorbs easily and is good for most skin types. Pure jojoba oil can be used as a natural moisturizer or humectant for hair and skin. Look for organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil. For dry skin, apply a few drops after showering to retain moisture.

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