Guide To The Best Natural Ingredients for Skin

If you’ve been a reader of this website for any length of time then you know I am a huge fan of natural skincare ingredients. As someone with sensitive skin, I prefer to use skincare products without chemicals, dyes, and artificial fragrances that are likely to cause irritation.

This guide highlights some of the benefits of the top natural ingredients for skin. Click on the name of any ingredient to find out more detailed information such as which skin types they are best suited for, how to use them most effectively, and exactly what they can do for your skin.

I truly hope you find this guide helpful and will continue to update it as I add new articles. Please check back regularly to discover new natural ingredients for your skin!

✅If you are acne-prone check out my guide specifically on how to create a natural skincare routine to fight acne here.

Best Natural Skincare Ingredients

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil keeps skin moisturized and fights the signs of skin aging. It sinks right into your skin without leaving a greasy residue on top. It’s very hydrating but light enough that it can be used by any skin type, including oily skin.

Apricot oil is loaded with antioxidants, including Vitamins A and E. Sun damage from UV rays, pollution, and other irritants damage skin cells and cause free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and prevent them from causing skin aging such as brown spots and wrinkles from collagen breaking down.

Apricot oil also contains essential fatty acids that help maintain a strong skin barrier and are anti-inflammatory. Oleic and linoleic acids are particularly moisturizing while also strengthening our skin barrier, which helps keep moisture in and irritants out.

Look for an oil that is cold-pressed from the apricot kernels as heat can damage the antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

Additional Benefits of Apricot Oil For Skin:

  • Nourishes skin with vitamins
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Antibacterial properties

Find out more about Apricot Oil here.

natural skincare ingredients on wooden table

Body Butter

Body butter is super-rich and moisturizes your skin with essential fats and plant oils. This is one ingredient I use regularly all winter long. The most common types of body butter commercially available are Shea butter, mango butter, almond butter, and cocoa butter. 

Despite being called body butter, you can use it for both your face and body. If you are acne-prone you will want to pick a non-comedogenic butter, such as Shea Butter or Mango butter to use on your face.  Avoid Cocoa Butter as it has a comedogenic rating of 4 on a 5 point scale and will clog your pores.

Besides being moisturizing, body butter is great for your skin because it is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidant vitamins A, D, and E. It fights the signs of aging by protecting your skin from damage caused by UV rays and pollution.

Additionally, the antioxidants in body butter support collagen production. Collagen production decreases as we age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Boosting collagen production is the top priority in my skincare routine, and any products containing antioxidants are sure to help.

Find out more about body butter here.

Coffee Soap

Coffee soap has many benefits for the skin, including antioxidant protection, reducing the appearance of cellulite, and reducing inflammation. The antioxidants in coffee protect your skin from damage from UV rays, pollution, smoking, and other stressors.

Coffee beans contain antioxidants that protect our skin from damage from UV rays, pollution, and pretty much any other source of stress you can think of. 

All coffee lovers know that coffee has caffeine, which wakes us up in the morning, but not everyone is familiar with the benefits of topically applying caffeine to your skin. Caffeine reduces puffiness and the appearance of cellulite in our skin, although the effects last just a few hours

Learn more about how coffee benefits your skin here.

Flaxseed Oil

For thousands of years, humans have been using the flax plant as a source of flaxseed oil, which has a ton of benefits for our skin. Whole flaxseeds are pressed to produce oil, called both flaxseed oil and linseed oil, that is packed with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants.

Look for an oil that is cold-pressed because using heat during pressing will degrade the antioxidants. You should also store it in a cool, dark place to protect it from both heat and light.

Flax seeds fight the signs of skin aging and keep skin hydrated and plump. Antioxidants offer protection from free radicals and UV rays and will help prevent and reduce wrinkles and dark spots.  Flaxseeds also contain Omega 3 fatty acids that moisturize the skin, help balance oil production, and are anti-inflammatory.

Find out more about Flaxseed Oil and its benefits for your skin here.

jar of macadamia oil

Macadamia Oil

Macadamia oil is also known as macadamia ternifolia seed oil. It’s a lightweight oil that sinks right into your skin without leaving any greasiness behind.  It’s an amazing moisturizer due to the high content of essential fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid, and palmitoleic acid.

Macadamia nut oil closely mimics the human sebum that your own skin produces so it is very gentle on even sensitive skin. Not every natural skincare product is necessarily gentle on our skin (think acidic products like lemon juice). As someone with sensitive skin, I find natural plant oils like macadamia oil to be gentle enough that they don’t cause any redness or irritation.

Macadamia oil has anti-aging properties due to its powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Besides fighting the signs of aging, Vitamin E is very soothing and is great for calming irritation.

You may not have heard of phytosterols, which are plentiful in macadamia oil. Phytosterols are found in plant cell membranes that are calming and anti-inflammatory for our skin.  They reduce irritation and strengthen the natural skin barrier.

Find out more about Macadamia Oil and how it benefits your skin here.

Mango and Mango Butter

Mango Butter

Mango butter is a natural, edible plant product that has been used for centuries in West Africa to heal and nourish the skin. It’s made of the seeds of the mango tree fruit. I was somewhat disappointed that it actually doesn’t smell of mangos, it’s a very mild, natural scent.

The seeds are pressed and the oil is used to create the lightweight, creamy butter.  I recommend looking for raw, unrefined mango butter that has no artificial fragrance or dyes added. You can find it in local health food stores or online at Amazon.

You can use mango butter on both body and face. It has a comedogenic rating of 2 on a 5 point scare. This means it may slightly clog pores, so if you have very acne-prone skin you may want to avoid it and try shea butter instead.

Mango Butter contains research-backed antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E to protect the skin from free radicals. This will help protect the skin from signs of aging such as dark spots, as well as help boost collagen production to reduce wrinkles and sagging.

With its high content of essential fatty acids, mango butter is recommended by skin care professionals for relief from dry, cracked skin. I love using mango butter in the winter when I know I will be outside in the cold and wind. It does a great job of preventing my skin from getting chapped and flaky.

Find out more about mango butter here.

Marula Oil

Marula Oil, also known as Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, is made from marula fruit and seeds. It’s native to southern Africa and is a natural plant oil that is a little heavier than rosehip oil.  It also has a light yellow color that disappears into the skin. It’s absorbed quickly and is relatively lightweight. 

Marula oil is a great all-around facial oil that works for all skin types other than acne-prone.  It has a good amount of amino acids and fatty acids to moisturize the skin as well as antioxidants (including Vitamin C and Vitamin E) to fight damage from the sun and pollution. 

Marula oil, just like rosehip oil, is also packed with essential fatty acids, such as oleic acid,  to help prevent TEWL and keep your skin’s natural barrier strong and healthy.

One downside of marula oil is that it can clog pores more than rosehip oil, so if you suffer from acne, I’d recommend rosehip oil.

Find out more about Marua Oil here.

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha green tea is full of powerhouse antioxidants that prevent and decrease the signs of skin aging.  This is one of the most beneficial antioxidant-containing ingredients for our skin. Green tea is very helpful in reducing dark spots and helping to support collagen building.

Another benefit of green tea is that it fights acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties.  It contains high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and catechins, two compounds that not only fight inflammation but are also super helpful in reducing redness in our skin.

You can find green tea in cleansers, serums, lotions, and creams. I recommend using it in the morning, under sunscreen so you get the benefit of the antioxidant protection t throughout the day.

Find out more about how you can use green tea for your skin here.

pumpkin and pumpkin seeds


Pumpkin prevents and diminishes the signs of aging skin because it has so many powerful antioxidants. It contains Vitamins A, E, and, most importantly, Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most studied ingredients used in skincare. It has been proven to increase collagen production, brighten skin and help even skin tone.

Another benefit of pumpkin is that it has fruit enzymes that gently exfoliate the skin.  They are a gentle form of alpha hydroxy acid and a great option for sensitive skin that may not be able to handle a stronger exfoliant like glycolic acid.

Pumpkin also moisturizes skin with essential fatty acids, particularly abundant in pumpkin seed oil. These compounds play a big part in healthy skin and hair. They keep our natural skin barrier strong and keep moisture from evaporating from our skin.

You will often see pumpkin seeds on lists of food to eat to help fight acne. This is because it has many  B vitamins (niacin, folate, riboflavin, B6), zinc, and Vitamin A. All of these fight acne, making it a great part of a natural skincare routine for acne.

In this article, you can find out more about how pumpkin benefits your skin.

Sea Salt in Bowl

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is the first facial oil I tried and remains one of my favorites. It has a slight yellow color (will disappear into the skin when applied) and smells a little herbal. Just a few drops are enough for your entire face but I also love to use it on dry skin on my knees, elbows, and hands. Honestly, in winter, I’ll use it pretty much everywhere. 

There are different varieties of rosehip oil, such as rosa canina and rosa rubiginosa, but they are very similar. They all come from the seeds of wild rose bushes and most products will not specify which type they come from, many are probably a blend, which is fine for cosmetic purposes. 

Rosehip oil is considered a dry oil, meaning it’s absorbed by the skin easily and leaves no greasy finish. It’s great for any skin type, including acne-prone or oily skin.

You can read more about how to use Rosehip Oil here.

Salt Water

I’m lucky enough to live near the ocean, and I’ve always loved how my skin feels when I’m in the ocean. Saltwater has been used for skin care for thousands of years.  In modern times we are lucky that we can find many sea salt skin products to use in our skincare routine even if we live far from the ocean.

Saltwater benefits the skin because minerals in the water help balance and restore your skin’s natural pH levels, while the ocean’s nutrients replenish essential vitamins like A and D and minerals such as magnesium and calcium. These vitamins and minerals can reduce inflammation, heal acne, and exfoliate the skin.

Some of the essential minerals in saltwater are magnesium, calcium, and selenium. These minerals can help heal small wounds and support your skin cells’ health and turnover. Increased cell turnover will make your complexion look brighter and fresher. Additionally, the salt itself is a gentle exfoliant, which always helps your skin glow.

Another benefit of saltwater is that it has anti-bacterial properties, which helps it fight acne. It also reduces inflammation, which will decrease the redness and swelling of breakouts.

Find out more about how to use salt water for your skin here.

sea butchorn berries in bowl

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit and the seeds of the sea buckthorn plant. It has a high concentration of powerful antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental toxins and free radicals. Sea buckthorn oil also provides essential fatty acids and phytosterols to keep skin moisturized and glowing.

Sea Buckthorn plants have bright orange berries that are edible and packed with vitamins. They get their bright orange color from carotenoids, which are orange/yellow compounds that are good antioxidants.

One of my things about sea buckthorn oil is that it smells amazing! I’ve never eaten sea buckthorn berries, but I know you can get them in jams and jellies. If I ever find them at a farmers market I am definitely trying them. If they taste half as good as they smell I’ll be satisfied!

In addition to the antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for sensitive skin types too.

Learn more about Sea Buckthorn Oil here.


Turmeric is a plant, also called Curcuma Longa, that is native to Asia. It is used to produce an orange spice that gives curry its bright color and is widely used in Indian cooking.

The active compound within turmeric is called curcumin. Turmeric powder is used in cooking, in supplement form for health as well as in the beauty and cosmetic industry. It’s one of those versatile ingredients that’s been used for thousands of years and has stood the test of time.

Turmeric has several benefits for your skin:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Brightening
  • Antibacterial
  • Increase Collagen Production

Find out more about how turmeric soap can help your skin here.

Final Thoughts On The Best Natural Ingredients For Skin

I hope this guide has been helpful to you and has helped you find an effective natural skincare routine. I will be continually updating it to include more of the top natural ingredients for skin so check back soon!