A Guide to Green Body Lotions
What's the greenest lotion of them all -- that feels good and moisturizes nicely? Looking at the long rows of lotions -- and moisturizers and cremes and body butters -- at a drug store reminds me of The Paradox of Choice -- the book that argues that the overwhelming number of choices we're faced with every day for everything from jam to radio stations actually stresses us out and makes us unhappy.
But back to lotions: I've tried quite a few -- and I hope my reviews will help you choose more easily and wisely without spending hours scanning ingredient labels and dollars trying out duds. Here are the best eco-friendly lotions I've found and use now:
Best everyday lotion: Boots Botanics Organic Rich Body Butter ($13.99 for 8.4 ounce jar)
Don't you love it when an economically-priced green product is also eco-friendly, effective, and easy-to-find? This body butter meets all of those criteria -- or did.
For some reason, the once "low hazard" rated butter's now scoring a "moderate hazard" 4 on Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database. I'm guessing EWG upped the scores on some of the natural fragrance ingredients like geraniol and citronellol, which perfume-sensitive people can have allergic reactions too.
But I don't have such allergies -- and these ingredients are derived from organic sources, as the body butter itself is 81% certified organic -- so I continue to use this body butter. Oddly, considering the fragrance ingredients, this butter is practically scentless, save a faint musty smell that quickly wears off once you put it on. The thick and creamy texture and rich moisturizing power of this body butter can't be beat. Find it at Target and Amazon.
A few runners up:
For fruity scents: 100% Pure Body Cream ($17 per 7.5-ounce bottle). I tend to prefer little-to-no-scent products, but if you love natural fruity flavors, you can't go wrong with 100% Pure. Try scents like Organic Fuji Apple and Organic Strawberry Lemonade, perfumed with organic fruits, which come in a creamy lotion that moisturize with natural ingredients like organic cocoa and avocado butters. Get them at 100% Pure’s web store.
For bargain beauty: SEED’s nourishing body lotion ($8.99 per 8-ounce bottle). Full of plant extracts and shea butter, SEED lotion moisturizes and absorbs quickly -- and comes in an “invigorating citrus blend” that'll wake you up. All ingredients in this lotion rank “low hazard” on Skin Deep, Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic safety database. Find SEED at select Whole Foods stores or online at Amazon and Alice.com.
Save Your World lotions ($12.99 per 8-ounce bottle). If you're eager to save the rainforest, you'll be glad to know Save Your World will send a portion of what you spend to enviro nonprofit Conservation International, which uses the money to pay annual lease fees to keep the rainforest from logging companies. These lotions get an acceptable "moderate risk" 3 on the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic safety database, but are also a bit thin, somewhat slow to absorb, and rather pungent. Still, if you love smelling like essential oils and prefer a lighter lotion, Save Your World might be the lotion to save your skin -- especially as the 8-ounce bottles are currently on sale for $4.49 each.
Ec-Oooh-Chic Bohemian Blue Organic Body Lotion ($19.75 per 8-ounce bottle). This soothing lotion's made with organic blue bohemian chamomile, moisturizes with shea butter, and is very lightly scented with certified organic essential oils. However, Ec-Oooh-Chic’s organic products do contain some synthetic “moderate hazard” ingredients and are just too expensive without doing anything particularly special.
Other ecoistas recommend:
>> Chilean Red Clover ultra rich body moisturizer by Pangea Organics's recommended by Ethical Style's M.J. Prest: "With soothing emollients like sustainably grown organic sweet almond and coconut oils combined with organic cocoa and shea butters, even your ashy elbows and knees will be feeling loved up by this penetrating cream."
>> LaLicious Body Butter's recommended by Michelle Smith at The Gloss: "The first thing I have to say is that the Brown Sugar & Vanilla scent is incredible. It smells good enough to eat. Seriously."
>> Four great winter body moisturizers got reviewed by Katherine Butler at EcoSalon, who says all four are "great, green solutions to keep your skin hydrated."
I haven't tried any of those myself -- or put them through EWG's cosmetic safety database -- so do your research before spending your money. Got a favorite eco-friendly lotion that's not on my list? Make your recommendations in the comments --
Also on Blogher: Eco-Friendly Facial Cleansers: From Soap to Scrub to Eye Makeup Remover
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.