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Current Top 5 Favorite Natural Moisturizers

I am obsessed with moisturizing; I can't tolerate the feeling of dry hands and lips. As a nurse, I wash my hands an innumerable amount of times in a day. I usually use whatever terrible and useless cream is lying around our unit, but at home I am sure to compensate. Our family has always tried to use simpler products, which not only are more effective, but a lot cheaper. Most of the products can be find at your local Indian or African store for a few bucks. 

1. Unrefined Shea Butter:

This is a long-time family favorite. I can honestly say it is the most moisturizing product out there for me. My skin does not respond to coconut oil or cacao butter in the same way. Yes, it is sticky and tacky. Yes, it is thick. But, you will not have dry skin for like 2 days. It is too heavy for my face, but we use this as a body butter and nothing can compete. Also, from experience, there is nothing that heals and fades scars faster. 

Since we use 100% unrefined solid Shea butter, other creams that only have a few percent of it do not impress me greatly. As an exception, I do really enjoy L'Occitane En Provence hand creams, especially as they smell lovely and are perfectly sized for traveling. I am also pretty easily sold by packaging and these are sold in tubes that remind me of oil paint. I am a painter so that probably is not cute to anyone else, but I love the industrial-chic combination. Most of their hand creams are 20% Shea or greater. I like this Provence-based brand in general, although I recognize that they are unreasonably expensive. 

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another long-time favorite in our house. It melts a lot faster and is thinner. It moisturizes well, but not as well as Shea. We also use this as a body moisturizer, but what is great about coconut oil is the versatility. You can use it as a very effective makeup remover, you can use it on your face, you can use it as an amazing pre-shampoo conditioner, etc. In the winter, if your scalp and hair need a little hydration, massage coconut oil into your scalp and hair (and especially the ends) and put it in a bun. I would not recommend leaving it in all night--for some reason, my hair does not respond well to that, but a half hour every week makes a big difference. Do it on the day you have extra time to rinse it out.

I think pretty much everyone is on coconut oil, but if you somehow missed the boat, do try!

3. Macadamia Cream

I buy this when I go to Guatemala from an herb garden co-operative run by women and benefiting women and children. They make their products by hand using the herbs that they grow. These lovely ladies have a wide range of products, such as rose and aloe facial cream, rosemary/aloe shampoos, (LOVE this) countless teas, natural soaps and so much more. They utilize all of their herbs for natural treatment and support, externally and internally. These ladies are so knowledgeable about their products and about natural medicine. The medicinal uses are listed on all of their labels along with the ingredient list, which is usually less than 3 ingredients. I usually buy the rose cream for my face, but I decided to try the macadamia cream on my last visit, and it really suits my skin. The texture is light but moisturizing. It almost works as a primer under my makeup and it smells nice. I use this cream more for when I travel.

Macadamia cream has a high amount of fatty acids and acids that keep skin taut. I would think this cream is thin enough to be an option for mixing in essential oils. 

4. Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter smells amazing. This is the only brand I buy and it is also from Guatemala. It is sold at a chocolate-making museum/store. I buy/regularly use their cocoa butter chapstick too.

The texture at room temperature is the most hard from this list. If the room is cooler, you really have to sharply dig in to get the product. I find that it takes a bit to melt too. It is the most similar to Shea but not as rich. It is much less sticky and tacky. I use this mostly for my hands, arms, and sometimes my face. Again, I take this more when I travel due to the size. What I love about cacao butter is how it smells in combination with a rose-based perfume. The scent also reminds me of Guatemala and traveling, so I'm a bit biased.

5. The Ordinary 100% Plant-derived Squalane

This is the newest one on the list for me. I have been trying to get into a solid night-time skincare routine (cannot stick to anything). I am still trying out different products, but this one I still like. This feels like an oil, but it is an emollient. I use this after my toner and serum as a final moisturizer, mostly just at night. My skin looks a lot more hydrated in the morning. It comes with a dropper and I only need to use 2-3 drops.

Squalane absorbs slowly and acts like a seal on the skin, keeping the hydration in. It also helps with skin cell repair.

My kitten, Lumos, naturally thought this set-up was for her

What's your infallible moisturizer?


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