Debra Lynn Dadd

good, safe lotion for dry skin?


I have had poor luck with body lotions, trying to find one that is completely scent free (so many have a masker smell) and does not have any ingredients that would be harmful when absorbed into the body.

I am chemically sensitive and want to avoid buying more products only to find that they are still slightly smelly or have toxic ingredients. Someone told me recently, that Sophia Loren uses straight olive oil on her face and body to keep dryness away. I don't want to resort to that!!!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Ruth R. Wisconsin




Debra :-)


Olive oil is indeed a wonderful way to keep skin hydrated and is full of antioxidants to keep the skin young for a long time.

If this is not appealing, you can try Virgin Coconut oil, it is wonderful for all types of skin, it absorbs quickly so the skin doesn't stay greasy.

I encourage you to read Coconut Cures from Bruce Fife, you'll see how amazing coconut oil is.


concerning oil and an unscented lotion: oil works good though i find it is best to put it on before taking a shower and then washing it off your body- the residue of the oil will still penetrate otherwise it is too greasy if left on as well as it will accumulate in your clothes and go rancid over time-
a woman who is very sensitive just told me about a lotion called Terressentials that i tried the other day and it seemed true to being unscented-

POSTED BY ANDREA :: FLORIDA USA :: 12/11/2007 11:43 AM

Cocoa butter and lecithin makes a very nice lotion/cream (you'll need to purchase these ingredients yourself). The cocoa butter will have a slight fragrance of chocolate but most people don't mind that. It works very well and does not leave the oil on your skin like simply using olive oil would. You need to heat the two ingredients together in a double boiler to prevent burning. If you care to experiment you should be able to use any vegetable oil with the lecithin.

POSTED BY DAVID :: MINNESOTA USA :: 12/11/2007 11:53 AM

I would recommend using a skin oil, like jojoba or almond, after bathing. You can get organic versions since you're worried about chemicals. I've been using almond oil on my skin up here in Cambridge. It's light, seals in the moisture, and has only a faint almond scent. Very quick to use and a little goes a long way. I don't use it on my face, though--I'm on a similar lotion search as your own.


Consider Sea Buckthorn Oil products; is one source. (I am not connected with them.) And be sure your are getting good omega oils in your diet or through supplements. Low-fat diets can dry out your skin.

POSTED BY LINDA :: VA USA :: 12/11/2007 11:59 AM

Miessence Intensive Body Cream is the best body lotion I have found particuarly for winter dry skin. It has zero synthetic ingredients and uses only the purest oils without feeling overly greasy. It's rich, fresh and contrary to other 'natural imposters' it's truly is what it is - 100% certified organic ingredients.

Heather Carmona


I use Tropical Traditions moisturizing lotion. You can check them out here: www.tropicaltraditions.comskincare.htm


POSTED BY JANICE :: IOWA USA :: 12/11/2007 12:14 PM

Well, Ruth, I don't know about you but I think Sophia Loren looks stunning, even at her age now. :) I have several friends that swear by olive oil too. They use it for facials. So along the same lines, I would like to recommend coconut oil. We cook with it, mix it in smoothies and other various recipes, "oil" our cats' ears with it for earmites and also use it on our skin, for dryness and "itchies." The only problem is that in cooler temperatures, it solidifies (like Crisco) and that makes it harder to put on - you have to warm it first - definitely not something to do first thing in the a.m. but more as an evening routine. Seagate Products makes a shark oil that is incredible but also pricey. It does work though - I have used the overnight one. I have just about given up on most of the otc products and have found that these natural oils and things like aloe vera are just as good. You might also want to consider dietary changes - even something as simple as drinking more water can make your skin healthier. Hope you find something that works! Diana


You might try Johoba oil----it has excellent qualities & as far as I know, it has no disadvantages. Soaks into pores quickly & leaves no oily residue. Find it in health food stores. I am chemically sensitive & it works well for me.

POSTED BY MAGGIE :: OREGON USA :: 12/11/2007 1:16 PM

I use organic virgin coconut oil and unrefined shea butter (sometimes combined). The shea butter has an earthy scent and the coconut oil has a mild coconut scent. I think you can buy it "deodorized" if you don't like the coconut odor. I use both as lotion and lip balm (no worries swallowing) and to massage my toddler.

POSTED BY MARTHA :: TX USA :: 12/11/2007 1:22 PM

Have you tried simple aloe vera gel? I'm 37 years old and I use it to moisturize all over, including my face (I have normal to oily skin). It has even cleared up my hormone-related acne problems and spots of eczema! Mountain Rose Herbs sells "99.7% pure organic Aloe Vera" with "natural preservatives and stabilizers consisting of Potassium Sorbate, and Citric Acid at a percentage not to exceed 0.3%." Mountain Rose Herbs



I represent a great skin care line called Sense Beautiful Science. It is skin care based on cellular nutrition. Since its formulas are based on the health of the cell, most people with sensitive skin are able to use it. It also has a self-preserving technology that allows it to be free from harmful parabens and formaldehyde products. This also helps it be gentler.

I believe my son could have been diagnosed with eczema. I donít know because when his irritation starts I use one of the gentlest products and it heals very quickly.


Hi Ruth,
L'Occitane de Provence pure shea butter & Alba Botanica unscented lotion make a big difference for my skin. Warm up a small amount of shea butter on back of hand, then mix in some Alba unscented lotion. The shea butter goes a long way. (can use it by itself, but is very thick and greasy.) I am very chemically sensitive and regular allergy sensitive- these work even thought some of the lotion ingredients might have been a red flag for me.

POSTED BY A. :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 12/11/2007 1:34 PM

If you want something a little less food-like, try almond oil. I mix almond oil with a few drops of tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, and water and put it in a spritzer bottle. I spray it on right after a shower while still damp. You do have to shake the bottle, but it smells heavenly.


Sophia Loren is Mediterranean, so olive oil is appropriate for her skin. Traditionally women use oil of a plant that grows in their regionL: olive oil near the Mediteranean, coconut oil in Hawaii, shea butter in Africa, etc. Also, they consume the oil which nourishes the skin from inside. The fat in the diet of Northern Europeans was from dairy (raw, whole) and fish (for food!).Other nutrients, especially minerals and C, are also very important.

Prepared products to moisturize the skin are appealing and convenient because they modifiy the oiliness, however the modification usually adds some sythetic ingredients, including preservative.

You might look for a "natural" recipe and make a batch of your own.

POSTED BY LAURA :: MAINE USA :: 12/11/2007 1:39 PM

I myself have extremely dry skin and am constantly trying new lotions to see what works best. I have yet to find a body lotion that works as well as Eucerin, however this lotion is not exactly eco-friendly. However, I have find a couple of products that I like for my face. One is from a company called DHC, a Japanese company. The face lotion actually is olive oil, so it's a little oily, but soaks in fairly well. I also only use it at night so I don't care if it makes my face shiny. The other brand that I really like is Dr. Hauschka. I recently purchased their trial pack for dry skin and it gave me 3 different lotions to try and they all seem to work really well, but my favorite is the Rose Day Cream. If anybody has any information to share on body lotion I would appreciate it too!

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I like Dr. Haushka creams too.


Re: olive oil. DHC actually makes an olive oil cleanser, and olive oil has been around a long time as a moisturizer. This is not new. You want to get one that is not seasoned and you don't need extra virgin!!! I don't think you should rule it out. You will find that you only need to use a small amount, which means it will last a long time. If your skin is dry, it will absorb in and then you will just have soft skin, not greasy skin. Don't lather it on like you would lotion, a little dab will do it!
Look at how many chemical free lotions use pure soy oil too. It is the same idea.

Personally, I like goats milk products, especially for my face. I have tried other products but they are either too drying or to moisturizing. I started using a CSAs created cleanser and lotion for my face and hands about a year ago. It is just right....mild enough but kind to aging skin. Especially for the face.

POSTED BY JLS :: FLORIDA USA :: 12/11/2007 2:07 PM

My daughter has very sensitive skin. We changed our laundry detergent to 7th Generation Lavender, and use Kiss My Face pure olive oil soap and Natures Gate Collidial Oatmeal lotion. Since starting this 2 years ago, she no longer complains with burning or itching. I highly recommend them.

POSTED BY STACEY :: AL USA :: 12/11/2007 2:22 PM

many people use coconut oil - virgin, unrefined. it smells lovely going on, but in my experience, after interacting with the skin, it takes on a different smell, that i personally do not care for. but it is a wonderful skin softener, nourisher, and moistener.

the big thing is to avoid lotions with parabens. avalon makes a nice lotion but it does contain essential oils. beauty without cruelty has a paraben-free unscented lotion which i like, but it does still seem to have a slight, though pleasant smell.


I recently purchased some personal care products at the health food store and then came across a link here to the Cosmetics safety database. I was disappointed to find that many of the products I had purchased were not rated any better than their mainstream counterparts. Yes, they are using natural ingredients rather than so many chemical ingredients, but I guess I expected them to have a superior rating to match the increased price you pay for that kind of product. I wanted to feel that the natural products were better, but I see that some of their ingredients are also considered questionable, even though they are natural and organic. I find this frustrating and a bit disappointing. Are natural oils the only safe way to moisturize? What about sunscreen?

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: The safest substances to put on your body are always going to be the simplest and most natural. For my comments about sunscreen, see Debra's Guide to Choosing Natural Sun Protection.

POSTED BY JENNLYN :: FLORIDA USA :: 12/18/2007 10:59 AM

I like the body butter from Wilderness Family Naturals . It is made from coconut oil and other good natural oils. You can get unscented as well as scented with essential oils.

POSTED BY JUDITH :: MINNESOTA USA :: 12/18/2007 11:24 AM

I really love Nature's Gate Colloidal Oatmeal lotion. It comes in an 18 oz pump; has no fragrance and I'm really sensitive.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: This product contains some ingredients I wouldn't include on Debra's List, however, I'm including it here as a recommendation from someone with MCS as a product she can tolerate.

POSTED BY ANNE :: CONNECTICUT USA :: 12/18/2007 11:43 AM

I use BWC (Beauty Without Cruelty) Fragrance Free Hand & Body Lotion. It's the most versatile lotion I've found - I use it on my hands and body, and also my face. It's paraben and fragrance free and contains ingredients like aloe vera gel, jojoba, shea butter, flax seed and sweet almond oil, and vitamins E, A and C. It's not at all greasy. I've tried so many products to find some that don't bother me, and this is one I'm staying with (I've also used pure jojoba oil and that's nice as well).

POSTED BY LARISSA :: VIRGINIA USA :: 12/18/2007 11:49 AM

I believe Citrus Tropical Traditions to be the best lotion on the market. The ingredients are purified water, organic virgin coconut oil, organic jojoba, emulsifying wax (plant-based, no soy), grapefruit seed extract, virgin palm oil, organic essential oils of orange, mandarin, spearmint, lemon, grapefruit, lemongrass and tangerine. It has a nice light scent. You only need to apply a small amount, and it's not greasy. It lasts all day. Coconut oil has the longest shelf oil of any oil which makes it a good choice. Before this I was mixing 1/2 cup fresh aloe, with 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil, then mixing in a small amount of fresh lemon, lime or orange juice. This worked great, but must be refrigerated.

POSTED BY KATHY :: FLORIDA USA :: 01/08/2008 7:13 AM

I feel your pain literally, as I live in Alaska. I recommend a visit to Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep. This site identifies widespread toxins and will let you search products according to their ingredients. When you know which ingredients are troublesome you can be aware of what to avoid, until you can make your own.

I personally love John Masters Organics and Alpen glow which is a heavenly Alaskan product. I love their Rose and Geranium face and hand balm. I recently discovered I don't hate fragrance that is made from natural organic soothing substances, and that I despise un-natural toxic "frakenfragrance" that I find myself assaulted by daily. ~Angelique Alaska


If you have no objection to using animal products, Emu oil is about as close to a miracle cure as you can get. You can use the oil straight, as a salve made of the oil and beeswax suitable for lips and body, or as lotion. It is pricey, but well worth it as a little goes a long way. It is virtually odorless, and absorbs quickly. Not only does it soothe dry skin, but it has excellent healing properties. I recently suffered a very bad bout (several weeks) of cracked, bleeding hands, and large red, dry patches--my hands looked (and felt) like they'd been dipped in boiling water. Awful! After a week of slathering on natural olive-based salves and wearing gloves--with little improvement--I finally splurged on more Emu oil salve and slathered that on when I went to bed. Instant relief from the pain, and massive improvement overall by morning! After two days, my hands just look and feel a little dry. Amazing. (P.S. for the face, a few drops of straight oil is wonderful!)


Fragrance is a constant irritant to so many of us - and non of us can afford to put up with what truly "cheap" products do to our health. Thanks for some great posts on this topic!

I like unrefined shea butter by itself on my skin, although it is harder to find organic sources. Shea butter is non-greasy and won't harden in cooler temperatures. I think "certified organic" shea butter would be awesome before and after gardening and before swimming, and a nontoxic diaper rash solution; whereas if I want a product to stay on my skin all day or night I use supercharged certified organic products that have a wider variety of nutritional benefits to my skin.

Coconut oil seems to me best as soap and I'd use it as a deodorant sooner than any typical commercial chemical-laden one (with baking soda mixed in - it's kind of nice although it leaves a residue) and anywhere else when you don't mind feeling slightly greasy; and it doubles as great cooking oil.
Jojoba oil is thinner, also a little greasy I think but doubles as a household lubricant for machinery! I have used it successfuly on hinges and in a paper shredder. The freedom from fumes felt so good, and then the extra oil was not wasted but rubbed into my skin.

If you would rather be "certified than sorry" use USDA certified organic skin products! There is a whole range of certified organic skincare plus other products at



I would like to let you know that Savannah Moon offers a complete line of natural products that are truly unscented, they are called Moonbeam.

They offer a lovely Extra Dry Skin Cream, here is the description: This nourishing and protective all-natural cream is wonderful for extra dry and cracked skin. A unique blend of Shea Butter, Kokum Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil, Peach Kernel Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Palma Christi Oil and Vitamin E, combined with Beeswax and Vegetable Glycerin for added protection, creates a remarkable cream for your skin. It is a great companion to our Handcrafted Soap. Lovely on your legs after shaving. Nice for massage. Use sparingly, a pearl size amount goes a long way.

On the website they offer a complete list of ingredients at the bottom of each page. There is also extra info on their Extra Dry Skin Cream ingredients and their special benefits under the product description.



coconut oil,cocoa butter, olive oil, Shea butter, + more natural oils/butters..... i mix them together on the stove in a Pyrex dish in a pan of water with the right measurements. easy and it works!

i live in a terribly dry climate so i know how it feels when your skin almost bleeds its so dry.

POSTED BY EF :: COLORADO USA :: 12/28/2009 4:11 PM


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