When you have glowing, healthy skin, you feel better. Your skin is a living, breathing organ and should be well cared for. As we begin to age the cell renewal process slows down and skin becomes drier. Look to age-old remedies from nature, ingredients derived from plants and vegetables, when you are looking for a quality hand and body lotion. Applying a moisturizing hand and body lotion is necessary for skin to maintain its elasticity and to prevent premature skin ageing. Some of the skin nourishing oils and butters added in a quality hand and body lotion include the following:12 Best Retinol Body Lotions of 2022: Smoother, Firmer-Looking Skin

Forms a breathable retinol body lotion, water-resistant film and is the leading natural product for moisturizing. Natural Shea Butter has a high amount of Vitamins A and E which help to repair skin damage. Natural Shea Butter is widely used to help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays and is known for softening and healing cracked and aged skin. It also provides some relief to itchy skin. Look for natural shea butter that is unrefined or is refined by a natural filtering process which is used to remove any botanical impurities usually found in unrefined shea butter. The refining process produces a shea butter that is lighter in color and does not have a smoky or nutty scent. When you read the label look for the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) name, Butyrospermum Parkii.

A soothing ingredient that helps minimize dryness and helps improve the skin’s elasticity. Cocoa Butter is a yellowish vegetable fat most often used to soften the skin. It is solid at room temperature but melts on contact with the skin. Cocoa Butter is made during the manufacture of cocoa and chocolate. It is known to help prevent and minimize stretch marks, protect dry, chapped skin, treat skin irritations, help erase wrinkles on neck, around eyes and mouth and adds a firming agent to skin care products. The INCI name for Cocoa Butter is Theobroma Cacao.

It supplies more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil and contains vitamins A and D. It offers smoothing properties in hand and body lotions and is easily absorbed into the skin; a great vegetable oil for massage products. It softens and moisturizes skin and is highly recommended for dry, weathered, aged, and damaged skin. The INCI name for Sunflower Oil is Helianthus Annuus.

Olive, Grapeseed, Avocado and Sweet Almond Oils are also great additions to hand and body lotions. Each has unique characteristics that are beneficial to your skin. Jojoba Oil is especially good for mature skin, while Grapeseed Oil is often recommended for acne and oily skin. Avocado Oil penetrates the skin easily and Sweet Almond Oil is suitable for most skin types.

It has emollient like properties which can soften and soothe the skin. It is hygroscopic which means that it attracts moisture from the air and it assists the outer epidermis layer of the skin in retaining moisture. Glycerin is available in vegetable and animal derived forms. I prefer Glycerin that is derived from vegetable oil, palm or coconut. The INCI name for Vegetable Glycerin is Glycerin.

If you have ever purchased a bottle of lotion that separates, it may be due to the lack of or an insufficient amount of an emulsifier. Lotions are made by combing oil and water which is not an easy task. The addition of an emulsifier helps bind the oil and water together and it is also a thickening agent. There are at least six types of emulsifiers that may be added to lotions, but I prefer vegetable based Emulsifying Wax. Emulsifying Wax can be plant or petroleum based so you may want to ask the person you purchase your lotion from whether it is plant or petroleum based. The INCI name for Emulsifying Wax is Emulsifying Wax NF or Cetearyl Alcohol & Ceteareth 20.

Like Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid is used to emulsify, thicken, bind, and stabilize hand and body lotions. Stearic Acid occurs naturally in vegetable and animal fats; however it has to go through a hydrogenation process to convert it to the end product. I prefer stearic acid that is 100 % Palm derived, with no added chemicals, emulsifiers or other agents. The INCI name for Stearic Acid is Stearic Acid.

Acts as a natural antioxidant, a natural preservative that reduces the rate of oxidation in oils that oxidize quickly and extends the shelf life of your lotion. Natural substances such as ROE show antimicrobial activity, however it is usually not adequate for broad spectrum protection and an additional preservative is needed. The INCI name for ROE is Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.

Some creams and body butters do not contain water, however, most lotions do and water based products need preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria. The two I prefer are Cosmocil CQ and Optiphen because they are gentle, effective preservatives that are paraben free and do not release formaldehyde. Cosmocil CQ is commonly used in baby wipes and contact lens solutions. The INCI for Cosmocil CQ is Water, polyaminopropyl biguanide and the INCI name for Optiphen is Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol. Commercial hand and body lotions and some handmade lotions are sometimes loaded with preservatives so they remain fresh for a long time. The preservatives do extend the shelf life of the lotion and help keep them free from bacteria but sometimes the preservatives used are unhealthy and may cause skin problems. Some commonly used preservatives are either paraben or formaldehyde based. Germaben (INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben), Liquid Germall Plus (INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate), LiquaPar Optima (INCI: Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben), and Phenonip (INCI: Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben) are preservatives that contain parabens.

There is a lot controversy these days regarding fragrance oils being added to hand and body lotions due to the fact that most fragrance oils contain phthalates. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did a study that evaluated phthalates in children’s toys and recommended that toy manufacturers remove phthalates from soft rattles and teethers until more study is done. (cpsc.gov/). Essential Oils are extracted from flowers and herbs and are natural; however, there are some that should not be used on the skin (e.g. clove oil). Also, some essential oils should be avoided while in the sun and if you are pregnant. For some people, fragrance or essential oils may cause skin irritations.