People always ask me why I don't use products containing mineral oil (generally paraffinum liquidum and petrolatum). I started avoiding mineral oil over ten years ago because I found that when I used products containing it (mostly body lotions and lip balms), my skin would immediately get painfully dry and my normally well-behaved lips would start flaking and bleeding. Not to mention the giant under-the-skin spots I got from trying Bio Oil on my face when it first came out!
I know many people use mineral oil-based beauty products without any problems, so it's just one of those things I personally avoid but try not to preach about. I don't believe topical mineral oil is harmful to our bodies, just that it doesn't add moisture to the skin in any way. It's merely a barrier that stops existing moisture from escaping (and from coming in), which isn't particularly helpful when my body seems to be incapable of producing any natural moisture itself!
Dil from SCforM (Skin Care for Men) explains more about this "barrier" on his must-read Vaseline petroleum jelly myth-busting blog post here.
Here are a few body lotions that are free from mineral oil that I have been using recently and can highly recommend. Unlike body butters, these body lotions moisturise without leaving a sticky, greasy layer on the skin that never absorbs.
Lavera Body Spa Rose Garden Body Lotion
Lavera Rose Garden Body Lotion is a thick, white lotion that absorbs easily and leaves no residue on the skin. It smells very strongly of roses and Turkish Delight so you might want to choose one of the many other variants of the lotion if you hate that smell!
Alcohol features quite high up in the ingredients list, presumably to act as a natural preservative as well as to assist with the quick absorption. I was expecting the lotion to be slightly drying because of the alcohol but it's still very moisturising and leaves the skin feeling supple, fresh and clean-feeling.
Lavera Body Lotion costs £7.45 for 150ml and also comes in coconut, honey, lemon, lime, orange, apricot and lavender versions. Lavera can often be found in health stores if you do a quick search on Google, there are countless of online stores (too many to list!) to buy from, usually at slightly less than the RRP. A good place to start is FeelUnique.com where the body lotions start from £6.70 delivered.
The full ingredients of Lavera Rose Garden Body Lotion are:
Water (Aqua), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Rosa Moschata Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Tocopherol, Lysolecithin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Myrtus Communis Water*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Citral**, Citronellol**, Eugenol**, Geraniol**, Linalool**.
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture
** natural essential oils
A'kin Unscented Replenishing Body Moist
A'kin Unscented Replenishing Body Moist is designed to moisturise, soothe and protect sensitive skin. Of the three lotions, this has the most appealing product description if you are blighted with all-over dry skin:
"Deeply calming moisturising lotion with echium oil, the premier source of omega 9, 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, and moisturising certified organic shea butter, vitamin B5, jojoba and avocado oils to help calm and soothe the most sensitive of skins. Perfect to use for skin that has suffered trauma such as wind damage, sunburn and those with fragile, sensitive skin or chemical and environmental sensitivities."
This lotion is not as thick as the Lavera lotion and spreads faster. It absorbs well but also leaves a very light and matte, protective barrier on the skin. Of the three lotions, this feels the most emollient, hydrating and moisturising. It leaves my skin the most baby soft it has ever been in my adult life.
I love that this body lotion is unscented but on initial application, it does smell a bit like melted butter due to all the natural butters and oils in the formula. Fortunately this slightly unusual scent doesn't linger!
This creamy, protecting body lotion is perfect for winter when my skin gets completely sapped of any natural moisture by the dry air, central heating and cold winds. A definite must-have!
A'kin Unscented Replenishing Body Moist has an RRP of £11.99 for 200ml and again is available at various health stores (find stockists here) and at countless online stores, the cheapest I have found is £9.99 delivered at naturisimo.com. There is also a Lavender & Geranium scented version available.
The full ingredients of A'kin Unscented Replenishing Body Moist are:
Aqua (purified Australian water*), cetearyl alcohol (botanical source ), glycerin (botanical source), sodium stearoyl lactylate (botanical source), sorbitol (botanical source), glyceryl stearate (botanical source), persia gratissima (avocado) oil (certified organic cold pressed Australian grown), butyrospermum parkii (certified organic shea butter), lecithin (from GMO free soy bean), macadamia ternifolia seed oil (cold pressed Australian grown), panthenol (pro Vit B5), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil (cold pressed Australian grown), squalane (from olives), echium plantagineum seed oil, carotenoids (from marine algae), tocopheryl acetate (Vit E) (botanical source), ascorbyl palmitate, persia gratissima (avocado) oil unsaponifiables, xanthan gum, tocopherol, hydrogenated palm glycerides citrate, stearic acid (botanical source), sodium isostearoyl lactylate (botanical source), behenyl alcohol (from GMO free rapeseed), glyceryl laurate (botanical source), caprylic/capric triglyceride (botanical source), sodium citrate (botanical source), sodium gluconate (from GMO free corn), phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, fusanus spiactus wood (West Australian sandalwood) oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, farnesol#.
*BP standard #from essential oils
Dr. Organic Royal Jelly Skin Lotion
Dr. Organic Royal Jelly Skin Lotion is a "rich firming skin moisturiser" which claims anti-ageing and firming properties as well as just hydration, being jam-packed with organic ingredients such as royal jelly, honey, red clover extract, olive oil, cocoa butter, shea butter etc.
This body lotion is very fluid and easily absorbed. It hydrates while being absolutely non-greasy and leaves my skin feeling smooth and silky. I can't say much for the firming or anti-ageing claims but just the potential bonus is good enough for me.
If you like to be able to slap on your body lotion across your entire body in a matter of seconds, this is perfect.
The scent is lightly "botanic" smelling... if you've ever caught a whiff of "royal jelly" ranges from Boots or supermarkets, this scent will be familiar. It is perhaps a little old-ladyish but not at all offensive.
Dr. Organic body lotions can be found in Holland & Barrett stores or at hollandandbarrett.com where you'll find them for just £6.99 for 200ml and where you'll also find versions in the Manuka Honey, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree, Pomegranate, Lavender, Rose Otto and Vitamin E ranges as well. They're well worth a look!
The full ingredients of Dr. Organic Royal Jelly Skin Lotion are:
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Aqua, Dicaprylyl ether, Polyglyceryl-3 methyglucose distearate, Glycerin, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Isocetyl palmitate, Cetearyl alcohol, Myristyl myristate, Olea europaea (Olive) oil unsaponifiables, Theobroma cacao seed butter, Butyrospernum parkii butter, Olea europaea fruit oil, Glyceryl caprylate, Tocopherol/helianthus annuus seed oil, Honey extract, Glycyrrhetinic acid, Retinyl palmitate, Xanthan gum, Chondrus crispus extract, Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood) oil, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) peel oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter orange) leaf oil, Santalum album (Sandalwood) oil, Parfum*, Mel extract, Trifolium pratense flower extract, Calluna vulgaris flower extract, Royal jelly extract, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Sodium phytate, Citric acid, Ascorbic acid, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Hexyl cinnamal. *Natural and food grade.
If you have very dry, sensitive skin that needs protection against the elements, I'd recommend A'kin Unscented Replenishing Body Moist; If you need an anti-ageing, non-greasy lotion that you can slap on quickly without compromising on hydration, you'll love Dr. Organic Skin Lotion; and if you are really into your essential oils and smellies, you should check out Lavera Body Spa Body Lotion.
Disclaimer: PR samples