Best natural skin care productsShare on Pinterest
From cleansers to moisturizers, there’s a natural alternative for that.

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Natural products have risen to the forefront of the skin care world. Whether it be moisturizers, face masks, serums, or sunscreens, the skin care industry has seen more people become interested in going all-natural.

There are plenty of great reasons to begin using natural skin care products. A 2015 study found that natural ingredients such as plant extracts were a safe and cost-effective alternative to synthetic products. Not to mention, the plant extracts were also found to be beneficial to skin, too.

If you’re looking to add more natural products to your skin care routine (or if you’d like to embark on an all-natural skin care routine), we’ve rounded up some of the best natural products to add to your daily regimen.

Unfortunately, there is no clear definition for what qualifies as natural skin care. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unable to regulate what is marketed as “natural,” as there is still very little research that has gone into understanding the benefits of natural skin care.

Some products may be certified by the Department of Agriculture or by other skin care agencies such as NATRUE, but not all natural products are regulated.

Driver says that this is because “there are not enough regulations in the beauty industry, and greenwashing is still a widespread practice.” Greenwashing is when companies claim to be eco-friendly or environmentally conscious through different advertising and marketing techniques, despite not being either of those things.

Natural could mean naturally occurring, naturally derived, or nature-identical. Because of this, it is always important to check the ingredients of the product.

While they are all similar and can be easily confused with each other, naturally occurring, naturally derived, and nature-identical are not the same things.

  • Naturally occurring. An ingredient is considered to be naturally occurring when it’s found in nature and is used in its natural form, with no further treatment or refining. Raw honey and crushed flowers are examples of naturally occurring additives.
  • Naturally derived. These ingredients need to be treated in order to access particular properties of the raw material. For instance, extracts of raw fat or coconut oil, often used in moisturizers, are treated before being added to a product.
  • Nature-identical. This means that the ingredient has been produced in a lab and is chemically identical to a natural product. Sorbic acid, for example, is originally derived from rowan berries, which contain vitamin C.

Note that this is also not a definitive guide because of the inconsistencies in skin care.

The skin care products we’ve included in this list are all either naturally occurring or nature-identical. We also picked products based on budget, transparency of ingredients, and customer ratings and reviews.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$35
  • $$$ = over $35

Best natural cleansers

Best milk cleanser

Beekman 1802 Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: normal, dry, sensitive, and mature-looking skin
  • Key ingredients: lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids, goat milk, probiotics, chamomile, cucumber, aloe
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: no
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: works to dissolve makeup, cleanse skin, and exfoliate without stripping the skin’s microbiome
  • Con: higher price point

This deep cleanser is a multitasker. The formula transforms from a light jelly into a rich milk to dissolve makeup, gently cleanse, and exfoliate with all-natural alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). These hydroxy acids can help skin look clearer and brighter without making it feel stripped or tight.

The Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser is also microbiome certified, so it won’t strip away good bacteria.

Reviewers says they love how their skin feels after using this cleanser — soft, smooth, and supple. Keep in mind that it’s used a little differently than other cleansers. It should be applied to dry skin and gently massaged into the skin. Then, you add water to emulsify into the milk cleanser before rinsing well.

Best drugstore cleanser

Versed Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser

  • Price: $
  • Best for: dry and acne-prone skin
  • Key ingredients: oat milk, probiotics, marula oil, blackberry vinegar
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: budget-friendly with effective ingredients
  • Con: some reviewers find the natural scent off-putting

Budget-friendly and rich with antioxidants like marula oil, this cleanser helps balance the skin’s pH levels and keep its microbiome healthy. Balancing your pH levels is crucial in helping the skin combat harmful microbes and germs. A healthy microbiome is important for your health as it keeps your skin supple and hydrated. When your microbiome suffers, your skin can become vulnerable to other issues.

The product also uses oat milk (not just for lattes!) as an anti-inflammatory, since, according to the brand, it’s been known to help nourish dry skin. Meanwhile, the blackberry vinegar can help calm redness and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier.

This formula is vegan, nontoxic, and cruelty-free, and reviewers love the way it lifts any built-up residue, grease, or makeup. On the downside, some found the all-natural scent — which comes from the ingredients used — a little off-putting.

Best cleanser for pH balance

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: normal, combination, and oily skin
  • Key ingredients: aloe, lemon, white tea, rice seed, sugarcane
  • Scent: cedar, lime, spearmint
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: gently exfoliating yet moisturizing
  • Con: may be too harsh for very sensitive skin

This concentrated foaming gel has a hint of AHA, which functions as an exfoliant. With regular use of this face wash from Ursa Major, your skin’s moisture and pH balance will work to stay the same, which helps maintain overall skin health.

This cleanser aims to clean the skin using ingredients such as rice seed, which can help moisturize and smooth the appearance of the skin, and sugarcane, a natural source of glycolic acid that brightens and clarifies skin.

Reviewers note that this product works great as a gentle exfoliator when left on the face for a minute, followed by light scrubbing.

Best oil cleanser

Crude Cleanse

  • Price: $
  • Best for: normal, dry, oily, combination, and acne-prone skin
  • Key ingredients: sunflower and safflower seed oils, grapefruit oil, ylang ylang flower oil, bergamot oil
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: doubles as a moisturizer
  • Con: some reviewers are unhappy with the length of time it took their skin to adjust to oil cleansing

This oil cleanser is made with just a handful of ingredients, and they’re all certified organic. It thoroughly cleans the skin, removing makeup, sunscreen, and other impurities, without affecting its microbiome. There are no harsh exfoliants, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or colors, sulfates, parabens, or detergents in the formula.

After cleansing, you can use a few drops of Cleanse as a gentle moisturizer for a soft, dewy finish. Note that oil cleansers work best with a damp cloth to thoroughly remove the oil and daily impurities that have accumulated on your skin.

Reviewers rave about the natural scent and how healthy and hydrated their skin feels after using Cleanse. Others note that there is a skin adjustment period, so that’s worth keeping in mind.

Best natural toners

Best toner for combination skin

100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Toner

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: normal, dry, oily, and combination skin
  • Key ingredients: shiitake mushrooms, bearberry, niacinamide, licorice, sake
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: USDA certified organic
  • Con: higher price point

100% Pure has become a fan favorite in the world of natural skin care thanks to its USDA certification. The concentration of ingredients such as white mulberry, shiitake mushroom, and licorice can balance skin tone and lessen the appearance of dark spots and brighten the skin.

Although normally from the kitchen or pantry, according to the brand, shiitake mushrooms can help brighten the skin with kojic acid, a chemical produced from fungi and a byproduct of fermented rice wine and soy sauce.

Best toner for acne-prone skin

cocokind Organic Rosewater Facial Toner

  • Price: $
  • Best for: sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Key ingredients: rose hydrosol
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: great reviews and price point
  • Con: some reviewers find the natural rose scent off-putting

This product checks two boxes since it can be used as a toner and a setting spray. If you’re looking for something natural to soothe, hydrate, and balance your skin, this rosewater facial toner is an affordable and reliable option.

Best of all, cocokind is a brand that is committed to sustainability. They reuse their shipping boxes (and encourage and help their customers to recycle empty bottles), packaging materials, and are a One Tree Planted partner, an environmental charity that plants trees for every dollar raised.

Those who used this toner found themselves incorporating it as part of their daily skin care routine. Many say that thanks to the way rose water smooths out blemishes, they see a visible change in the texture of their skin.

Best triple-action toner

Youth to The People Kombucha Exfoliation Toner

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: normal, dry, combination, and oily skin
  • Key ingredients: lactic acid, kombucha black tea ferment, tree bark ferment
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: smooths skin texture and gives the appearance of tighter pores
  • Con: may sting or feel sticky

This toner from Youth to the People is a triple-action power toner and is best used overnight due to its strong (and slightly harsh) formulation. Made with kombucha black tea ferment, it aims to enhance the skin’s natural microbiome by working as a prebiotic.

The toner also works to smooth skin texture, give the appearance of tighter pores, and reverse the look of oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is formed as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation (found in X-rays, CT, CAT, and PET scans) and a variety of other chemical agents.

Although some reviewers classified this toner as a bit too harsh for sensitive or mature skin, others noted that it changed the texture and feel of their skin within just a week. You may want to patch test it first since the formula can sting slightly and feel very sticky.

Best natural moisturizers

Best body lotion

Bangn Body Firming Lotion

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: coconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera leaf oil, shea butter, coffee bean extract
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: non-greasy and can be used on both the face and body
  • Con: high price point

A summer favorite, Bangn Body Firming Lotion has gained a cult following after the brand launched in 2019.

Designed for both the face and body, the firming lotion promotes skin circulation, collagen production, and blood flow. It uses ingredients such as shea butter, a super moisturizer, and coffee bean extract. Because it is a non-greasy formula, your complexion should feel renewed and firmer with regular use.

Best drugstore moisturizer

Weleda Skin Food Original Cream

  • Price: $
  • Best for: dry and rough skin
  • Key ingredients: sunflower seed oil, rosemary, chamomile, pansy
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: affordable and effective
  • Con: very thick formula

Described by users as an affordable and natural moisturizer, this product is made by Weleda, an all-natural brand that has been around for 100 years. The cruelty-free and vegan formula has even been certified natural by NATRUE, and its ingredients are all ethically sourced from fair-trade, biodynamic, and organic gardens.

Their moisturizer’s blend of rosemary, chamomile, and pansy has been found to hydrate dry skin anywhere on the body (think elbows, hands, and feet). However, due to the thick feel of this lotion, you’ll only need a little bit—a little goes a long way!

Best moisturizer for mature-looking skin

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: mature-looking and dry skin
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid and evening primrose oil
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: lightweight with no residue
  • Con: some reviewers find it too lightweight to be moisturizing

This replenishing moisturizer features primrose oil, which has been known to help improve the appearance of maturing skin. However, its championing duo is hyaluronic acid and peptides, which aim to quench dryness and calm, repair, and replenish skin prone to rosacea and redness.

Many reviewers have commended this moisturizer for helping clear up any adult acne and scarring. The brand recommends using it every day and night to promote a smoother, brighter texture.

Best natural serums

Best serum for combination skin

Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum

  • Price: $
  • Best for: combination skin
  • Key ingredients: sea buckthorn extract, camellia oil, vitamin E, chamomile flower extract, jojoba oil
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: great price point considering the ingredients
  • Con: some reviewers find the texture too thin

Coined as an oil-serum hybrid, this product does more than just hydrate the skin. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients like camellia oil and sea buckthorn that help to reduce redness, strengthen the skin’s barrier, and prevent moisture loss. You can use this under or over your moisturizer.

Best serum for sensitive skin

Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum

  • Price: $
  • Best for: sensitive and mature-looking skin
  • Key ingredients: bakuchiol and hyaluronic acid
  • Scent: natural fragrance added
  • Vegan: no
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: dermatologist tested, made with bakuchiol as a retinol alternative
  • Con: added natural fragrance

This Burt’s Bees serum offers a liquid with a thicker consistency that helps enrich the skin with ingredients like hibiscus. Dermatologist tested, the serum aims to help by plumping up the cells in your face and tightening the skin’s surface.

The brand also notes that it uses a natural retinol alternative. Bakuchiol, a plant extract described as natural and less irritating than retinol, and vitamin E work to promote healthy, firm skin. If retinol is too harsh for your skin, you may want to opt for this organic serum.

Best multitasking serum

LINNÉ Repair Face Oil

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: dry skin
  • Key ingredients: rosehip seed oil, argan oil, sea buckthorn berry oil
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: made with cold-pressed oils chosen for their skin-benefiting properties
  • Con: includes essential oils, which may be irritating to sensitive skin

This multitasking serum is a blend of cold-pressed seed, nut, and fruit oils handpicked for their ability to hydrate skin and tackle a number of common skin conditions.

Rosehip seed oil, for example, is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants to encourage skin regeneration and improve skin tone and texture. Argan oil is also moisturizing and helps protect the skin from sun damage.

Reviewers describe this serum as lightweight and quick to absorb, and they say it leaves a beautiful glow on their skin.

Best vitamin C serum

Fleur & Bee Nectar of the C

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: dull skin
  • Key ingredients: vitamin C, jojoba oil, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, squalane
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: made with 11 actives
  • Con: higher price point

This lightweight gel is made with vitamin C to brighten skin tone, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and diminish the look of dark spots. It’s combined with 10 other active ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and squalane, to help skin glow.

Reviewers rave about how bright and soft their skin feels after using this serum.

Best natural sunscreens

Best sustainable sunscreen

Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

  • Price: $
  • Best for: all skin types
  • Key ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide, sunflower oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: reef-safe
  • Con: thick and creamy so it takes time to rub in

In a completely recyclable and reusable tin, the Raw Elements Natural sunscreen for face and body Lotion has SPF 30, is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and is free from soy, gluten, and nuts. The sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection for both UVA and UVB rays.

UVA and UVB are different classifications of UV rays, with UVA being 95 percent of the UV rays that reach the ground. When searching for sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends opting for a broad spectrum formula with at least SPF 30.

The active ingredient in this sunscreen is 23 percent non-nano zinc oxide, an all-natural shield against harmful UV rays. This product is also reef-safe and cruelty-free.

Best lightweight sunscreen

cocokind Daily SPF, SPF 32

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: mature-looking and combination skin
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, blue phytoplankton, microalgae, rice starch
  • Scent: no added fragrance
  • Vegan: yes
  • Cruelty-free: yes
  • Pro: quick to absorb
  • Con: leaves a dewy finish that may not appeal to everyone

Another goodie from cocokind, this daily SPF formula is a lightweight, mineral-based sunscreen with SPF 32. The sunscreen uses zinc oxide, which works to prevent damaging ultraviolet radiation.

Although these ingredients are usually found underwater, the sunscreen’s blue phytoplankton and microalgae, are intended to help shield the skin from the effects of blue light and pollution.

Reviewers really like the way this sunscreen absorbs into the skin, and it doesn’t feel too sticky or greasy throughout a long day, either.

PriceBest forKey ingredientsScentVegan/cruelty-free?
Beekman 1802 Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser$$$normal, dry, sensitive, and mature-looking skin lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, goat milk, probiotics, chamomile, cucumber, aloeno added fragranceno/yes
Versed Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser$dry and acne-prone skinoat milk, probiotics, marula oil, blackberry vinegar no added fragranceyes
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash$$normal, combination, and oily skinaloe, lemon, white tea, rice seed, sugarcanecedar, lime, spearmintyes
Crude Cleanse$normal, dry, oily, combination, and acne-prone skinsunflower and safflower seed oils, grapefruit oil, ylang ylang flower oil, bergamot oilno added fragranceyes
100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Toner$$$normal, dry, oily, and combination skinshiitake mushrooms, bearberry, niacinamide, licorice, sakeno added fragranceyes
cocokind Organic Rosewater Facial Toner$sensitive and acne-prone skinrose hydrosolno added fragranceyes
Youth to The People Kombucha Exfoliation Toner$$$normal, dry, combination, and oily skinlactic acid, kombucha black tea ferment, tree bark fermentno added fragranceyes
Bangn Body Firming Lotion$$$all skin typescoconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera leaf oil, shea butter, coffee bean extractno added fragranceyes
Weleda Skin Food Original Cream$dry and rough skinsunflower seed oil, rosemary, chamomile, pansyno added fragranceyes
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer Cream$$mature-looking and dry skinhyaluronic acid and evening primrose oil no added fragranceyes
Versed Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum$combination skinsea buckthorn extract, camellia oil, vitamin E, chamomile flower extract, jojoba oilno added fragranceyes
Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum$sensitive and mature-looking skinbakuchiol and hyaluronic acidnatural fragrance addedno/yes
LINNÉ Repair Face Oil$$$dry skinrosehip seed oil, argan oil, sea buckthorn berry oilno added fragranceyes
Fleur & Bee Nectar of the C$$$dull skinvitamin C, jojoba oil, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, squalaneno added fragranceyes
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen SPF 30$all skin typesnon-nano zinc oxide, sunflower oil, cocoa butter, vitamin Eno added fragranceyes
cocokind Daily SPF, SPF 32$mature-looking and combination skinzinc oxide, blue phytoplankton, microalgae, rice starchno added fragranceyes

Shopping for any kind of new skin care requires some careful consideration. For anyone buying natural skin care products for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming. Here are a few things you may want to consider when shopping:

Your skin type

Regardless of what kind of product you’re in the market for, you’ll want to make sure that it suits your skin type. Whether you have oily, combination, dry, or sensitive skin, choosing a product without doing research on formulas may cause your skin to react badly. Any product more suited to your skin type, natural or not, is more likely to be effective.

Your budget

Natural skin care products span from drugstore to high-end prices. If this is your first time trying out a particular product or brand, it may be best to choose something that’s on the more affordable side. If you’re familiar with a brand and its formula, you may feel more confident in spending money on its products.

Ingredients that may irritate your skin

After doing some research on your skin type, you should peruse ingredient lists to make sure you steer clear of anything that may irritate your skin. Although beneficial, some people may be intolerant of some ingredients in natural skin products.

Make sure you read the product details and ingredients before purchasing. You could also do an at-home patch test to see if your skin reacts to the product. Start with a dime-sized amount of the product and apply it at your jawline, neck, or under your ear for facial products. If your skin doesn’t agree with the product, you’ll see irritation such as redness or itching, which can also suggest an allergic reaction.

Effectiveness

You may not see the effects of trying a new skin care product right away. “Breakouts during the first 3 to 4 weeks of using natural products are completely normal,” says award-winning skin care formulator and founder of Merindah Botanicals, Mel Driver.

“This happens because natural ingredients encourage the elimination of toxins that have been accumulating in the skin from the use of synthetic skin care products,” she says. “It can take up to 30 days for new skin cells to reach the surface of the skin and to see true results.”

It’s a good idea to see a dermatologist if you’re experiencing skin issues that don’t seem to be resolving. A dermatologist can assess your skin condition and recommend specific products designed to improve a variety of skin conditions.

Make a point of explaining that you’d like recommendations for skin care products made with naturally occurring or nature-identical ingredients, and see what your dermatologist suggests.

What are the safest skin care products to use?

The safest skin care products can vary from person to person. That’s because everyone reacts differently to certain ingredients.

Still, some ingredients, like parabens, pthalates, sulfates, and mineral oil, are questionable because of contradictory research about their safety and potential health risks.

It can be helpful to recognize that some ingredients don’t need to be included in a skin care product. Many brands are setting their own standards for effective and safe ingredients based on recommendations from watchdog organizations, like the Environmental Working Group or the European Union’s list of banned ingredients.

What should you not put on your face?

Forget the social media fads. Some products should be kept away from the sensitive skin on your face. Lemon juice, hairspray, extremely hot water, sugar, baking soda, and body or foot creams should all be avoided. These products are far too irritating, abrasive, or drying.

How can I clear my skin naturally without products?

If you want to avoid skin care products completely, you’ll need to make some lifestyle adjustments, like:

  • limiting sun exposure to minimize sun damage
  • swapping out your cotton pillowcase for a silk version to help prevent wrinkles
  • avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • drinking lots of water

Wash your face with lukewarm water to avoid stripping the skin, and make a point of not touching your face to avoid spreading oil and bacteria around.

You also try to exercise regularly to boost circulation for a healthy glow, get plenty of quality sleep, and stay far away from cigarette smoke.

Whether you’ve got sensitive skin, dry skin, or acne-prone skin (or anything in between), there’s a field of effective natural products for you to choose from.

If you’re worried about your skin breaking out with the introduction of a new product, you should first do a patch test on a small part of your skin. That way, you will be able to tell how the product will react to the rest of your skin.

When shopping, it’s important to remember that your skin is unique. This means that what might work for others may not work for you. It will take some time (and possibly some trial and error) to understand what works the best for your skin type.