Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- Natural skin care is becoming more and more popular, and there are tons of excellent skin-care products to choose from.
- But “natural” has a broad term that many brands and watchdog organizations have various definitions for, so it’s important to learn about ingredients and recognize which ones are harmful or questionable.
- To help, we tried natural skin-care products from a variety of brands to find the best cleanser, toner, serum, facial moisturizer with SPF, and night cream.
Natural skin care has exploded over the past few years as people become increasingly aware of all the chemicals they’re putting on their skin and into their bodies.
The rise in demand for natural skin-care products means there is now a better selection of higher quality products available, so whether you’re a die-hard natural beauty lover or just want to detoxify your skin-care routine, there are plenty of great options for you.
Traditional skin-care products can often contain potentially harmful chemicals that can irritate skin, so you should look for products that are formulated with natural ingredients and without questionable chemicals. But since there’s no official definition for the term “natural,” you should be aware that even if a brand claims to be natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
It’s important to check ingredients and watch out for parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and formaldehyde, as well as mineral oil, artificial fragrance, and silicones. You can also check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for more detail.
It’s understandably hard to know which natural skin-care product to incorporate into your routine. So, to make your life easier, we’ve tested the best natural products on the market, checked ingredients, and researched hundreds of expert and buyer reviews to come up with our top picks for the best natural cleanser, toner, serum, SPF moisturizer, and night cream.
Here are our top picks for the best natural skin-care products:
- Best cleanser: Acure Brilliantly Brightening Cleansing Gel
- Best toner: Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Toner
- Best serum: Eminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil
- Best facial sunscreen: Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen
- Best night cream: Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm
- You can also check out our guide to the best natural makeup brands.
Updated 5/16/19 by Jada Wong: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
The best natural cleanser
If you’re looking for an effective, but gentle natural cleanser that leaves skin glowing, the Acure Brilliantly Brightening Cleansing Gel is a winner and a steal.
Acure’s super-gentle cleanser is packed with natural, organic, and safe non-toxic ingredients, such as pomegranate, blackberry, and açai berries, which are designed to leave skin feeling refreshed and looking radiant. The Acure Brilliantly Brightening Cleansing Gel has a low pH so it shouldn’t irritate your skin either, which is great for anyone with sensitive skin.
Its naturally-derived fruity scent is divine, and in testing, I found the gel formula foams up nicely and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft.
One happy customer writes, “My favorite facial cleanser! It has such a refreshing citrus scent that will really help to wake you up in the morning and it does not leave my skin feeling tight or dry. It is good at removing light makeup as well. A little goes a long way which makes this stuff a bargain! Clean ingredients and affordable to boot.”
Pros: Great price, vegan, cruelty free, free of potentially harmful chemicals, good for normal to oily skin
Cons: Not suitable for the eye area
The best natural toner
Simple but effective natural ingredients make Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Toner our favorite toner.
Thayer’s simple and gentle alcohol-free skin toner is derived from a Native American formula of easily recognizable ingredients, including certified organic witch hazel extract to help tighten and smooth, aloe vera juice to add moisture, and rose water to help soften the skin and give it a healthy glow. It also includes lots of vitamin C, which can help promote collagen production, strengthen skin cells, and lighten blemishes and scars.
This toner is good for all skin types including sensitive and acneic skin types. It can also be used as a cleansing water or mid-day refresh. Although we chose the Rose version of the toner, it also comes in Lavender, Cucumber, Aloe Vera, and Original scents as well.
In testing, Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Toner had a delicate rose scent and felt great on my sensitive skin. It comes in a big bottle so it’ll definitely last a long time. It’s always great to find a natural product that’s effective and super cheap, and I now use it as part of my daily skin-care routine.
Pros: Multi-purpose, non-drying, good for all skin types, inexpensive
The best natural serum
If you want brighter, firmer skin in a bottle, then the Eminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil is hard to beat.
Eminence’s all-in-one serum packs a punch. It contains a powerful blend of natural and organic ingredients, including rosehip oil to help alleviate redness, vitamin C to help brighten the complexion, and vitamin E to help combat free radicals. There are no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, or other questionable chemicals in the serum.
Dermatologists and beauty bloggers rave about vitamin C serums because it’s a powerhouse ingredient that can help stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, and reduce the signs of aging. This particular serum uses a fat-soluble form of vitamin C, which is considered more easily absorbed than water-soluble forms.
I love the Eminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil. In testing, I found that you only need a couple of drops and it absorbs quickly. It felt light on my face, plus it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. My skin felt tighter and looked brighter straight away. It’s definitely expensive, but the effects made the price worth it for me.
Eminence also has great line-up in general, so if you end up loving the Eminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil, we’d also recommend its other products.
Pros: Paraben-free, certified cruelty-free, suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin
The best moisturizer with SPF
If you’re on the hunt for a natural daily moisturizer that protects you from the sun, then the Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen is a great pick.
It’s even more important to make sure your face is protected from the sun during the summer. The Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen is full of natural antioxidants from green tea, pomegranate, and red algae. It also contains zinc oxide, which is super effective for sun protection.
The multitasking natural mineral formula acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, make-up primer, and even a tinted moisturizer. Most important, it offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays with SPF 3 and doesn’t contain potentially harmful chemicals.
It’s available in five shades – Light, Fair, Medium, Golden Light, and Sand. In testing, I chose “Light,” which looked natural on my skin. Although the formula is thicker than standard moisturizers, it doesn’t feel sticky once it sinks into skin. It is on the expensive side, but it’s worth the price as it doubles as a moisturizer and even a sheer foundation for a no-makeup look.
It’s not only me who thinks the Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen is a great product. It gets top marks on EWG’s list of Best Moisturizers with SPF, and it’s one of Allure’s favorite natural beauty brands too. Suntegrity also gets great reviews on Amazon with one reviewer saying, “It’s my must-have daily beauty item.”
Pros: Great for summer, fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free, good for acne-prone skin
The best natural night cream
The Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm delivers smoother, firmer skin overnight with its rich natural formula.
Beauty sleep is not a myth. Your skin repairs itself during the night, and that’s when you’ll get maximum impact from what you put on your skin. However, there are many night creams that actually do more harm than good as they can impede the rejuvenation process.
Our winning product is actually a balm. The Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm is formulated from botanical extracts and acts as a plant-based alternative to retinoid. It helps enhance your skin’s renewal process, helping reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, and increase firmness.
It includes Echinacea, a botanical ingredient that contains a high concentration of cichoric acid to help maintain youthful-looking skin. It’s suitable for all skin types including acne-prone skin.
The gentle balm formula turns into a gel-oil hybrid when it comes in contact with your skin. In testing, I found it didn’t completely absorb and felt greasy, so you only need a really small amount. The next morning, my skin felt so soft and it didn’t have a negative reaction to the oilier-than-usual formula. After a few days, my fine lines seemed smoother.
Don’t just take my word for it though. The Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm comes recommended by Spy and Sephora shoppers report smoother, more radiant complexions even with acne-prone skin. One buyer wrote, “I was skeptical about the less traditional texture but woke up with very soft and smooth skin.”
Pros: Suitable for all skin types including acne-prone skin, cruelty-free
Cons: Some might find it feels greasy on skin
Check out our other skin-care guides
It’s good for your skin to remove makeup every night, but it can be a pain without the right makeup remover.
We’ve done our research and tested the best makeup removers on the market to come up our top recommendations. Whether you’re a devout double cleanser or prefer removing makeup on the fly, there’s something on this list for everyone.
Here are the best makeup removers you can buy:
- Best overall: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
- Best cleansing oil: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
- Best cleansing oil solid: Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original
- Best foaming cleanser: Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash
- Best cleansing wipes: Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths
- Best milk cleanser: Avène Eau Thermale Gentle Milk Cleanser
When it comes to body-care products, scrubs are oftentimes overlooked in favor of lotions and body wash. But the exfoliating treatments should be included in your skin-care routines if you want to silky smooth skin. While you can also scrub away dull, dry skin by using loofahs or dry brushes, nothing will leave your skin feeling squeaky-clean quite like a good body scrub.
Here are the best body scrubs you can buy:
- Best body scrub overall: Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish
- Best coffee body scrub: Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
- Best salt body scrub: Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Transforming Salt Scrub
- Best sugar body scrub: Tree Hut Coconut Lime Shea Sugar Scrub
- Best gel body scrub: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub
If smooth, supple skin is what you’re looking for, then the Fresh Life Body Oil is the bottle you want to reach for.
Here are the best body oils you can buy in 2019:
- Best body oil overall: Fresh Life Body Oil
- Best all-natural body oil: Jao Goe Oil
- Best body oil that’s not oily: Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydrating Oil
- Best luxury body oil: Kypris Body Elixir Inflorescence
- Best budget body oil: Burt’s Bees Body Oil
Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skin-care pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow.
Here are the best makeup removers you can buy:
- Best overall: Glossier’s Solution
- Best drugstore exfoliator: Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub
- Best exfoliator for daily use: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
- Best exfoliator for sensitive skin: Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub
- Best exfoliator for uneven skin tone: Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub