Woman spreading non-toxic and eco-friendly body lotion on her shoulder after showering surrounded by green and zen like environment.
April 23, 2024

10 Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Body Lotion Brands for Soft Moisturized Skin

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ew pleasures are as accessible as the feeling of smooth, hydrated skin. Our skin is our largest organ, and moisturizing it with lotion is one of the most essential ways to keep it healthy and vibrant. However, this simple, daily action could become a health risk if the lotions we use contain toxic ingredients. 

Most of the time, we pick lotions based on their convenience or price, fragrance, or familiarity. Minimal attention is paid to the ingredients, because we often think that if it’s being sold at the grocery store, it must be safe, right? Well, yes and no.

Often, several ingredients are added to our lotions without an understanding of their long-term effects. Other times, new research highlights potential dangers and manufacturers may be a little slow in reformulating their products since it can be a long, bureaucratic process. To stay safe, avoid any lotions with ingredients believed to cause harm by using non-toxic body lotions.

Table of  Contents

What is a Non-Toxic Body Lotion?

Non-toxic body lotion is a lotion that does not contain ingredients associated with harmful or poisonous reactions in humans. These are ingredients that could cause hormone disruption, and in some cases, cancer.

The interesting bit is that most of these ingredients are useful in the formulation of your favorite bottle or tube of lotion. Parabens for example are high on the list of toxic ingredients in lotions but they serve the purpose of preventing bacteria and fungus from growing and thriving in your lotion. 

Phthalates give your lotion its creamy consistency and help with fragrance retention. Both parabens and phthalates are linked to issues like irritation, hormone disruption, adverse reproductive outcomes, allergies, and breast cancer.

A non-toxic body lotion, therefore, is a lotion that is formulated without these harmful substances or will contain safer alternatives

Why Should You Switch to a Non-Toxic Body Lotion?

With non-toxic body lotions, you will rest assured that you are not risking your health. Almost no long-term studies have been done to assess the effects of many high-risk body lotion chemicals linked to adverse health outcomes

Chemicals to Avoid In Your Search for a Non-Toxic Body Lotion

So, which chemicals should you look out for when checking ingredients? Having a list of the most common harmful chemicals will be handy when checking ingredients for both lotions and all other products you use on your body.

Following is a list of common toxic ingredients to avoid in your body lotion:

  • Parabens: Parabens are widely used in body lotions as a preservative and play the vital role of guarding against the growth of bacteria and fungus in your favorite bottle of moisturizer. Parabens have been connected to endocrine system disruption linked to reproduction problems and breast cancer. You will recognize this compound on your label by its various names - methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, or ethylparaben.
  • Artificial/Synthetic fragrances: Because fragrance as an ingredient in body lotions is not regulated, companies often exploit this loophole and add all sorts of chemicals in that category. It could easily mean any mix of undisclosed ingredients some of which may be phthalates. On labels, this will appear as fragrance or parfum. Essential oils can be used as a safer alternative where fragranced lotion is required.
  • Phthalates: These are as widely used as parabens and are just as toxic. Phthalates are used to achieve the creamy consistency in beauty products. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive syndromes and development issues, plus insulin resistance. Look out for DEP (Diethyl Phthalate), and DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate) on your label.
  • Formaldehyde-releasing compounds: These are used in body lotions as a preservative to kill bacteria. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. On your label, look for quaternion-15, DMDM Hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, bronopol, or formaldehyde resin.
  • Mineral Oil: This is the most common ingredient in body lotions after water. Mineral oil is an occlusive that locks in hydration to the skin. When not properly purified, mineral oil can become a carcinogen or even an endocrine disruptor. On your label look out for petrolatum.

Also, beware that some products may only claim to be toxin-free. Having to comb through an extensive list of ingredients and researching the safety of each of them for yourself whenever you want to try a new lotion is a daunting task. After knowing what to avoid, the next best thing to do is use sites such as the Environmental Working Group’s EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to research products and discover what exactly they contain.

However, with all these factors considered, sticking to a proven, non-toxic body lotion is the safest and easiest solution.

What Makes Body Lotion Eco-Friendly?

A circular glass jar of eco-friendly body lotion surrounded by fresh aloe leaves.

A body lotion can be referred to as eco-friendly if it is sustainably manufactured using natural and biodegradable raw materials and then packed in recycled or recyclable materials. The eco-friendly body lotion is therefore not just good for you, but also good for the planet.

The following are the two main points to consider in determining if your body lotion is eco-friendly:

1. Are the ingredients natural and non-toxic?

The ingredients used to manufacture the body lotion should be natural. Look for oils like shea and coconut and also skin-loving stuff like rice water and organic herbs. The presence of essential oils is another indicator of great skin benefits as well as refreshing fragrances.

2. Are the ingredients ethically sourced?

It is well and good to have all these natural non-toxic stuff in your body lotion but how did they get there? Are they grown in conditions that benefit the environment as well as those who tend to them? Is any processing involved done in factories that offer good wages and good working conditions to workers?

3. Is the packaging eco-friendly?

Packaging of skin care products is a major industry. In many cases, the materials used do more harm than good to the environment because they are not biodegradable. An eco-friendly lotion will be packed in biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable materials. The brand will probably also have reusable containers and options to refill.

A brand earns extra eco-friendly points if they have a corporate social responsibility policy that encourages giving back by supporting causes that support environmentalism and community well-being.

How Do You Shop for Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Body Lotion?

Here are some important pointers to consider:

  • Focus on the ingredients used: Take a good look at the labels of the products you are interested in. In this case, the label should be the “tell-all” and a vital clue. It will, however, be of no help if you cannot understand what is written on it.  Check out the section “Chemicals To Avoid In Your Search For Non-Toxic Body Lotion” in this article for a guide to understanding what is written on the product label.
  • Look for certifications on the label and packaging: These certifications are pointers to the kind of environmental standards that the brand holds itself up to.  Take a close look at the packaging to determine if it's biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable.  Some brands will offer refilling options and give you a reusable container.  If information about sourcing and ethical manufacturing is available, the better.

Where Can You Buy Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Body Lotion?

Thanks to the increasing global awareness of the need to have non-toxic ingredients in body and skin care products, non-toxic and eco-friendly body lotions are readily available. They can be found online from stores like Amazon and brand-specific websites as well as anywhere where personal care products are sold off or online.

10 of Our Favorite Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Body Lotion Brands

Amongst the numerous brands of non-toxic and eco-friendly body lotions available in the market today, there is one for you and your specific needs. Whether your skin is dry or normal, whether you prefer a little fragrance or none at all, there is sure to be something for you on this list of our 10 favorite non-toxic and eco-friendly body lotions:

1. ATTITUDE Body Lotion For Sensitive Skin

This body lotion is designed to soothe and calm sensitive skin. Infused with a blend of nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like oatmeal to improve the appearance of dry skin. It also contains chamomile extract for purification.

Skin benefits: Medium consistency non-greasy lotion that moisturizes sensitive dry skin. Soothes discomfort associated with dry skin. Improves the appearance of dry skin.  Subtle chamomile fragrance with floral jasmine and vanilla notes. Unscented option available.

Packaging: Recyclable plastic

Sustainability stats: 98.8% naturally sourced products; EWG VERIFIED; Vegan.

Price range: $15.95 to $18.00

2. OSEA Ocean Lotion

This weightless fast-absorbing fragrance-free lotion hydrates and nourishes dry skin, leaving your skin feeling smooth. Formulated with nutrient-rich seaweed to deliver vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to the skin, this potent formula will revitalize your skin without risking your health. Fragrance-free.

Skin benefits: Increases the appearance of elasticity. Great for after-sun care and also works for sensitive skin. 

Packaging: Glass bottle

Sustainability stats: EWG VERIFIED. Natural, plant-based products

Price: $38

3. Cocokind Ceramide Recovery Balm

This is a moisture-locking balm, formulated with ceramide. It creates an occlusive layer to lock in moisture and help protect the skin barrier. Cocokind’s Recovery Balm also contains natural oat kernel oil and squalane,  which are sustainably sourced from sugarcane. Fragrance-free formula.

Skin benefits: Nourishes, soothes, and softens skin for all-over moisturization and appearance of healthy skin from head to toe. Recommended as extra support for those with a compromised skin barrier.

Packaging: Recyclable tube and box. 

Sustainability stats: Ethical manufacturing practices. Low carbon emissions. Contains organic products.

Price: $22

4. Beautycounter Hydrating Body Lotion

An ultra-hydrating body lotion from a brand known for its lightweight fast-absorbing formulation designed to combat dryness. It includes safflower oil, glycerin, coconut oil and grapefruit peel oil. It has a light grapefruit scent without harmful additives.

Skin benefits: Dry skin is treated with nourishing hydration from a blend of organic oils and lightly fragranced with an uplifting grapefruit scent. 

Packaging: Recyclable aluminum bottle. Option to refill.

Sustainability stats: Working on getting supply chain certified. Vegan. Organic oils are used.

Price: $29

5. Mindbodygreen Post-Biotic Body Lotion

Probiotics make this ultra-hydrating lotion a moisturizing powerhouse. Postbiotics derived from Lactobacillus work together with aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, and squalene for amazing benefits. Neroli and fragrance-free formulas are available.

Skin benefits: Protects skin from free radicals and environmental stressors. The probiotics included in this formulation combat inflammation, supporting microbiome balance and skin barrier protection. It offers premature aging protection.

Packaging: Recyclable

Sustainability stats: Vegan. Organic materials.

Price: $30

6. Necessaire Body Lotion

Necessaire’s multi-peptide firming lotion is infused with peptides, offering skin plumping and hydration. This lotion is also rich in vitamins A, C, E, F, and omega 3 and 6.

Skin benefits: Skin is deeply moisturized, firmed, and strengthened on contact. PH is optimized and moisture is continuously delivered for 48 hours. Fragrance-free. Formula free from parabens, phthalates, silicones, and PEGs.

Packaging: Recyclable.

Sustainability stats: Partnered with How2Recycle to ensure proper recycling. Plant-based ingredients.

Price: $28

7. Weleda Skin Food Body Lotion

This lotion offers intensive hydration for dry to very dry skin. It is formulated with organic sunflower oil, and shea butter together with botanical extracts of calendula and pansy. Enjoy the safe and natural fragrances created with sweet orange, aromatic lavender, and vanilla.

Skin benefits: Skin Food’s lotion imparts restorative capabilities helping skin to regenerate. Skin is left soft, smooth, and healthy.

Packaging: Recyclable

Sustainability stats: Vegan. Essential oil fragrance. Plant extracts. NATRUE Natural Certified. UEBT-certified sourcing.

Price: $19

8. Everyone Nourishing Lotion

This family-sized body lotion takes great care of the face, hands, and body. Formulated with natural oils, Vitamin E, herbal extracts, and essential oils to create a skin-enriching lotion for daily use. Available in a variety of uplifting fragrant combinations, all made with non-toxic chemicals. They also have a fragrance-free option.

Skin benefits: Combined natural ingredients with essential oils give skin hydration coupled with aromatherapy.

Packaging: Recyclable

Sustainability stats: EWG verified. Vegan.

Price: $12.74

9. The Honest Company Hydrating Face and Body Lotion

This gentle face and body lotion hydrates and nourishes dry skin leaving it soft and smooth. Safflower Oil, Jojoba Esters, Shea Butter, and Vitamin E work together for the food of all skin types in a formulation gentle enough for baby skin, all this goodness with zero toxic ingredients.

Skin benefits: Skin is soothed and moisturized by this gentle formula. Available in four uplifting fragrances as well as a fragrance-free option for sensitive skin.

Packaging: Recyclable.

Sustainability stats: USDA-certified biobased product.Organic products

Price: $11.99

10. Vertly Relief Lotion

This rich non-greasy body lotion will not only keep your skin deeply moisturized but will also help soothe your tired muscles. It has a light herbal scent that you can enjoy without health-risk anxiety.

Skin benefits: Skin is hydrated, repaired, and soothed. Sore muscles are healed through the power of plant-based medicine.

Packaging: Recyclable

Sustainability stats: Organic. Vegan.

Price: $48 to $86

Last Thoughts on Moisturizing

It is possible to have healthy, hydrated skin without using lotion formulations that contain toxic substances.  Recently raised awareness of better ways to treat our bodies and planet means that non-toxic and eco-friendly skin products are here to stay. Knowledge of the effects of the different ingredients that go into lotion manufacture will go a long way in helping you make a good choice when shopping for a non-toxic and eco-friendly body lotion.

FAQs About Non-Toxic Body Lotion

Is Everyone Brand Toxic?

Everyone brand of body lotion is non-toxic. Their lotions are formulated with natural oils, Vitamin E, herbal extracts and essential oils. The packaging used is recyclable and the brand is EWG verified.

Should You Use Lotion Every Time You Shower?

Showering and bathing can strip your skin and leave it dry.  This is especially true if you use hot water. This is why it is advisable to use lotion after every shower or bath. Lotion will help to replenish the hydration that your skin has lost as a result of your shower.

Is  Aveeno Lotion Toxin Free?

Aveeno Lotion has some great nourishing ingredients but it is not 100% non-toxic. Some of the items in its ingredient list like petrolatum are derived from petroleum-based sources which are not only harmful to the environment but are also potentially hazardous to the well-being of humans. On the plus side, their lotions are fragrance-free and allergy-tested.

Does Dove Lotion Contain Parabens?

Dove Lotions are formulated with propylparaben as one of the ingredients.  This substance is widely used in a lot of lotions to act as a preservative controlling bacteria and fungus that may grow in the lotion.