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Give Your Skin Some TLC With These Hydrating, Moisturizing Vegan Body Lotions

by Charlotte Pointing

Aug 29, 2022

Over the last few years, many of us have become obsessed with ensuring the skin on our faces is cleansed, hydrated, moisturized, brightened, and so much more. There's no doubt: facial skincare routines are a big deal. But what about the rest of our bodies? Just like our faces, our bodies deserve time, attention, and great products. Here are all the best vegan body lotions to kickstart your body care routine.

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Why use body lotion?

Body lotions are essentially a moisturizer for your entire body. Thicker than the creams you may use on your face, they help to give your body a boost of hydration and moisture, leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth, and conditioned.

Regular use of body lotion also supports the all-important skin barrier.

The skin on the human body has three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Body lotion helps to nourish the top part of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, which serves as your body's frontline defense against toxins and germs.

Sometimes the skin barrier can be damaged by things like harsh soaps, sun exposure, allergens, or humidity, but the right moisturizer or lotion can help to keep it healthy.

Jojoba oil, for example, is a common lotion ingredient, and research suggests that this (as well as other plant oils) may be able to help repair damage to the skin barrier.

Ingredients like hyaluronic acid can also help your skin to retain vital moisture and limit water loss.

What is vegan body lotion?

Like a number of skincare products on the market, body lotions can sometimes include animal ingredients.

Tallow, for example, can sometimes show up on ingredient lists. Used to thicken creams, tallow is a type of animal fat, and is often derived from sheep or cows.

Super-hydrator squalene (known in its stabilized, hydrogenated form as squalane, with an a) is another common addition. And while it can be sourced from plants, it can also be harvested from sharks too. (Sharks produce squalene in their livers.)

Other animal ingredients sometimes used in moisturizers or lotions include lanolin (from sheep's wool), honey (produced by bees), and collagen (which often comes from fish or bovine sources).

But good news: the plant world is also filled with skin-boosting ingredients.

Shea butter, vegetable and fruit oils, cocoa butter, and coconut extract are just a few of the common vegan-friendly ingredients used across body care to hydrate, moisturize, and nourish your skin.

Best vegan body lotions

Technically, body lotions, creams, and butters are different things. But while lotions tend to be lighter and creams and butters are thicker, they all achieve a very similar moisturizing effect.

The type of product you use depends on your personal preference or skin type, so we've included a range of options below for you to choose from. And of course, every item on this list is cruelty-free. Animal testing has no place in your beauty bag.

Key ingredientsGrapefruit, lemongrass oil, bergamot water
Sustainable packaging elementsRefillable glass bottle
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsNo

Moisturizing and sustainable with a delicious scent, this body lotion truly ticks all the boxes. Plus, it soaks beautifully into your skin.

The key ingredient in this formula is bergamot water, which UpCircle upcycles from the juice industry. (As the name suggests, upcycling ingredients is a key focus for the brand.)

Bergamot is a skincare hero: it helps to stimulate cell renewal, unclog pores, and even serves as a natural disinfectant, helping to cleanse the skin and leave you glowing.

Use this lotion as a body moisturizer after a shower, or take it in your bag as a hand lotion and apply it throughout the day as required.

Key ingredientsSunflower oil, fruit extract, arnica extract, sea kelp
Sustainable packaging elementsFeatures recycled plastic, recyclable tube
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsNo

If you want to go about your business smelling like a field of strawberries (and honestly, who doesn't?), then you need this body lotion in your life.

But aside from its sweet smell, this formula has tonnes of skin benefits. It features sunflower oil and vitamin E, both of which help to hydrate and moisturize. The latter is also an antioxidant, which means it helps to prevent cell damage.

Key ingredientsPassionfruit oil, almond milk, shea butter
Sustainable packaging elementsRecycled plastic tub
Best forNormal to dry skin
Parent company tests on animalsNo

Yogurt was made for eating, right? The Body Shop says not always.

The brand's range of Body Yogurts is just what you'd expect from the name: lightweight and grease-free with a silky texture. This means they don't just work wonders on your skin, but they feel amazing during application too.

The formula features 92 percent natural ingredients, including Fair Trade almond milk, which is rich in antioxidants, and Fair Trade shea butter, an effective emollient.

Plus, thanks to the addition of passionfruit oil, it smells good enough to eat. (But seriously, stick to just slathering it on your body.)

Key ingredientsCocoa butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil
Sustainable packaging elementsSolid formula, reusable bamboo container
Best forDry skin
Parent company tests on animalsNo

Kate McLeod's signature Body Stone takes the process of moisturizing your body to the next level. Once you've tried it, it will become one of the most relaxing and enjoyable parts of your body care routine.

First, warm up the stone in your hands until you feel it begin to soften a little. Next, begin to smear the stone across your body and enjoy the sensation of the nourishing formula melting into your skin. No mess, just pure relaxation.

The mix of cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, and coconut oil will ensure your skin feels hydrated and smooth long after application.

The product is planet-friendly too, thanks to the reusable bamboo container.

Best for sensitive skin:

Key ingredientsCalendula, Jojoba
Sustainable packaging elementsRecyclable tube
Best forNormal, dry, sensitive skin
Parent company tests on animalsNo

If you suffer from itchy, dry skin that is prone to conditions like eczema, this formula may offer some relief.

Designed for ultra-sensitive skin, the formula is gentle yet deeply moisturizing. Calendula is present for its natural anti-inflammatory, and skin-soothing benefits, while jojoba will leave your body feeling soft and smooth.

Plus, you'll receive endless compliments thanks to the product's delicious citrusy scent, which comes from plum oil, jasmine, and orange peel.

Best for minimizing waste:

Key ingredientsCocoa butter, coconut oil
Sustainable packaging elementsPlastic-free
Best forSensitive skin
Parent company tests on animalsNo

If you love trying out new products, but hate throwing away plastic, Ethique has come up with a solution.

The brand's Concentrates are totally plastic-free. All you have to do is boil up some water and mix it with the solid bar, and you'll find yourself with a creamy, silky body lotion.

Formulated for sensitive skin types, the bar features Fair Trade cocoa butter and coconut oil, both of which help to moisturize and soften, while the latter also offers a boost of antioxidants.

Plus, to ease your consumer guilt even further, Ethique plants one tree for every order.

Key ingredientsPineapple, honeydew melon extract, jojoba seed oil, hemp seed oil, shea butter
Sustainable packaging elementsnone specified
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsNo

As the name suggests, this formula from Hempz contains hemp seed oil, an anti-inflammatory, soothing ingredient that helps to moisturize and hydate without clogging up pores.

But that's not all. Antioxidant-packed pineapple and honeydew melon provide extra nourishment, while shea butter helps to soften and smooth.

Plus, the formula isn't sticky or greasy, it smells amazing, and sinks into your skin easily.

Best for self-care:

This product listing is sponsored.

Key ingredientsSweet jasmine, peach, rosewater, cupuaçu butter, Abyssinian oil
Sustainable packaging elementsnone specified
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsNo

Self-care and skincare are intertwined, believes Celine Tadrissi. That's why she founded Céla, so that more people can enjoy the relaxing, restorative effects of going to the spa without leaving their homes.

This body lotion captures that entire experience in one hydrating formula. It even smells like a spa, thanks to the additions of sweet jasmine, peach, and rosewater. Plus the silky, velvet texture feels amazing on your skin.

But of course, a lotion is about more than scent and sensation. We also want to see results. And good news: this formula packs in skin-nourishing ingredients.

Super moisturizing cupuaçu butter will help to restore elasticity, while Abyssinian oil serves to reduce wrinkles and boost suppleness. It also contains the brand's signature Céla Complex, a blend of Canadian botanicals.

Key ingredientsGuaraná, cupuaçu butter, coconut oil, açaí oil, Brazil nut oil
Sustainable packaging elementsRecyclable tub
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsYes - L'Occitane

This body cream is suitable for application all over your body, from your tummy to your arms, and of course, as the name implies, your bum.

Simply massage in small circles across your body, and let the hydrating, conditioning formula work its magic.

Cupuaçu butter is an excellent source of skin hydration, caffeine-rich guaraná helps to smooth and tighten, and Brazil nut oil, packed with omega fatty acids, prevents dryness and boosts moisture.

Nuts, jasmine petals, and salted caramel also help to give this product a sensational fragrance. Seriously, you'll be getting non-stop compliments.

Best for dry skin:

Key ingredientsHyaluronic acid, coconut milk
Sustainable packaging elementsRecyclable jar
Best forDry skin
Parent company tests on animalsNo

The key ingredient in this nourishing body butter is hyaluronic acid. The skincare staple is popular for good reason: it helps the skin to retain moisture, which in turn, gives a plumping, firming effect and long-lasting hydration.

But that's not the only star of the show. The lightweight formula also contains anti-inflammatory vitamin B5, nourishing prickly pear flower extract, which is also rich in antioxidants, as well as moisturizing coconut oil and softening mango butter.

This product works best when applied to clean, damp skin, after a shower or a bath.

Key ingredientsKalahari melon, coconut oil, jojoba, shea butter, mango butter, glycerin
Sustainable packaging elementsRecyclable and refillable jar
Best forAll skin types
Parent company tests on animalsYes - LVMH

When it comes to skincare and catchy music, Rihanna always knows what she's doing. This body oil cream is yet more proof of that fact.

The formula is packed with skin-nourishing oils, like Kalahari melon, sunflower, and jojoba, all of which are packed with antioxidants. There's also ultra-moisturizing glycerin, as well as anti-inflammatory mango butter, which helps to quench and soften dry skin.

But one of the best parts about this product is it's refillable. So once you've bought it once, you can cut down on your plastic use and order the refills. (Because once you've tried it, you'll be hooked.)

The verdict

Body lotions help to moisturize and hydrate your skin, as well as support your all-important skin barrier. Plus, the ritual of rubbing lotion into your body every day is relaxing and soothing. Self-care is just as important as skincare after all.

To wrap it up, here are some of our favorite vegan body lotions available right now:

Best for...
Sensitive skin: Pai Polly Plum Hydrating Body Moisturizer
Minimizing waste: Ethique Gentle Body Lotion Concentrate
Self-care: Céla Crème Rose
Dry skin: Kopari Beauty Ultra Restore Body Butter

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