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Hydrating Face Moisturizer That Works

Written by Irina Webb

Have you ever wondered whether hydrating the skin is the same as moisturizing it?  Oftentimes, people use these words interchangeably, but these terms actually mean different things.  Thus, hydrating means to bind water to the skin, while moisturizing means to prevent water from leaving the skin.  For instance, oils are good at moisturizing, but you must hydrate first to get the full benefit.  So, it is possible to have dry skin even if you use a moisturizer daily.  In this post, you will learn about my favorite hydrating face moisturizer by Crunchi.  Read on to find out which ingredients make this non-toxic moisturizer the best. And for help with taking care of dry skin, turn to my post The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin.

Crunchi Hydrating Face Moisturizer. A photo of a non-toxic moisturizer.

What makes Crunchi hydrating face moisturizer special?

To begin with, there are several reasons I like Crunchi products, including Crunchi Daylight Cream.

First, I consider this Daylight Cream the best hydrating moisturizer because it contains one of the best hydrating ingredients.  Specifically, it contains hyaluronic acid, aka sodium hyaluronate, which truly reduces the appearance of wrinkles.  And I know what I am talking about now that I am in my forties (don’t tell my husband).  Another cosmetic brand that uses hyaluronic acid is Annmarie and its anti-aging serum, but I find the Crunchi cream more hydrating.

Second, it has withstood the test of time and weather.  To clarify, I have been using Crunchi non-toxic face moisturizer almost exclusively since 2018.  Undoubtedly, my skin looks and feels younger and has no signs of irritation or acne.  Moreover, a while ago I went to the high desert whose dry climate caused my skin to get dry, too.  However, thanks to the Crunchi non-toxic moisturizer, the skin on my face remained normal and looked and felt great.

Third, just like all Crunchi products, this hydrating face moisturizer is vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty free. 

Lastly, if you like traditional white and fluffy creams, Crunchi Daylight Cream is white and fluffy, absorbent, and non-greasy.

Why I consider Crunchi trustworthy

The reason I trust Crunchi is that I have used its other products and have only positive impressions of them.  Thus, I love Crunchi non-toxic makeup because it works.  Additionally, it is made with EcoCert certified pigments that are NOT made in China. 

In addition, Crunchi is conscious about its packaging and uses mostly glass and paper.  Although it is impossible to get rid of plastic altogether, the plastic Crunchi uses is BPA, BPS, and BPF-free.  You can find out why plastic is such a big deal in my post about plastic plates.

Crunchi hydrating face moisturizer ingredients 

Without further ado, let’s look at the Daylight Cream ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Glycerin*, Montmorillonite (Mineral Water), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba)*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower)*, Persea Gratissima Oi l(Avocado)*, Propanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Organic Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Pulp Powder*, Lycium Chinense (Goji) Fruit*, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Powder*, Phenethyl alcohol, Ethylhexylglyceri. *Certified Organic Ingredients

Let me re-organize the ingredients for you to make them easier to read and understand.

Hydrating ingredients in this non-toxic moisturizer

There are several hydrating ingredients in this best hydrating moisturizer.  Specifically, they are water and mineral water, sodium hyaluronate, chondrus crispus extract, and aloe vera leaf juice.

Let’s talk about sodium hyaluronate, chondrus crispus extract, and aloe vera.

Sodium hyaluronate

To start with, sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.  It is also part of our bodies, a natural component of connective tissues such as cartilage.  The Skin Deep database rates it 1 with fair safety data.  In comparison to other skincare ingredients, it has the greatest capacity to hold water (source).  That is why sodium hyaluronate makes the best ingredient for a truly hydrating face moisturizer.

I am so happy that Crunchi uses it now!  There was a time I searched all over for a skincare product with sodium hyaluronate but without potentially allergenic or endocrine-disrupting ingredients.  As a result, I found only one product which in the end turned out to be not so good.

Chondrus crispus extract

This extract is another great hydrating ingredient in this non-toxic moisturizer.  A powerful sea kelp, it plumps and helps firm the skin and reduces the appearance of fine wrinkles. 

It should be noted that some websites pronounce it comedogenic, meaning that it causes acne.  However, they do not provide any references, so the sources of their information are unclear.  As I have mentioned earlier, I have been using this non-toxic face moisturizer since 2018.  Believe me, I expected to have acne because my skin can be very sensitive, but I do not have any.

Organic aloe vera leaf juice

Basically, aloe vera is a great hydrating ingredient because it reduces flaking of dry skin and restores its suppleness (source).  And I am so glad that Crunchi uses organic aloe vera juice, which reduces exposure to pesticides. 

Moisturizing ingredients in this hydrating face moisturizer

In addition to hydrating ingredients, there are great organic moisturizing oils, such as jojoba, sunflower, avocado, and sesame seed oils.  

Consequently, there must be emulsifiers that bind water and oils together.  Frequently, emulsifiers are a source of some concern. 

Emulsifiers in this non-toxic moisturizer

The Crunchi best hydrating moisturizer uses the following emulsifiers: polyglyceryl-2 stearate, polyglyceryl-2 oleate, and polyglyceryl-6 polyricinoleate.  They all belong to the group of polyglyceryls (poly = many and glyceryl = glycerine).  That is to say, they are polymers of joined glycerine molecules.

In 2016, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review assessed polyglyceryls for safety as used in cosmetic formulations and found them safe.  There is limited data on them, though.  However, what gives me peace of mind is that they are EcoCert-certified and are naturally derived.  In other words, there were no chemical additives in the process of derivation.

Preservatives in the Crunchi Daylight Cream

As you know, water in a product calls for preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.  While preservatives are necessary for water-based products, they are often a source of irritation and sensitization.  Sensitization is an allergic reaction to the same product after a period of use.

To replace some of the harsh preservatives, manufacturers choose phenoxyethanol, to which some people can develop an allergic reaction.  Personally, I neither use nor recommend any products with phenoxyethanol.  You can find out why in my post about phenoxyethanol in skin care

As for the Crunchi non-toxic moisturizer, it uses ethylhexylglycerin and phenethyl alcohol as preservatives.

Ethylhexylglycerin in the Crunchi hydrating face moisturizer

To begin with, the Skin Deep database rates ethylhexylglycerin 2 with limited safety data and irritation listed as a concern.  On the other hand, it has no risks associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, or sensitization (source).  It may increase the risk of irritation, though.

Further, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel found it a mild irritant in an undiluted form and not a sensitizer at a concentration of 50%.

Nevertheless, medical literature describes several cases of allergic reaction to ethylhexylglycerin.  As a result, the American Contact Dermatitis Society added it to its 2017 core allergen series along with sodium benzoate and lavender oil.  Sodium benzoate is another common preservative found in plant-based and natural beauty products, especially shampoos.  Both ethylhexylglycerin and sodium benzoate are allergens at concentrations of 5%.

While these are some concerns, know that I have surveyed most common preservatives used by skin care product formulators.  I have also consulted with product formulators on preservatives (get your Savvy Consumer Superpower to learn more about bad preservatives).  Based on my knowledge of other options, I have added ethylhexylglycerin to my approved list of preservatives.

Besides, after using this hydrating face moisturizer for many months now, I have not experienced any irritation.

Phenethyl alcohol in this non-toxic moisturizer

For starters, the Skin Deep database rates it 1 with fair data on safety.  A naturally occurring ingredient, it is produced by microorganisms, plants, and animals.  It has been found in some natural essential oils, food, spices, tobacco, and undistilled alcoholic beverages, beers, and wines (source).  The 1993 safety reassessment of phenethyl alcohol as food flavoring ingredient found it safe (source).  Moreover, the World Health Organization expresses no concerns regarding phenethyl alcohol as a food flavoring ingredient at current doses (source).  And the FDA approves of its use in food.

The CIR report on phenethyl alcohol

According to the CIR report, phenethyl alcohol received the GRAS status from the Flavoring Extract Manufacturers’ Association (FEMA).  This means that it is generally safe. 

Second, in some animal tests it was slightly to moderately irritating while in others it was not irritating at all.  

Additionally, 53 females used an eye remover containing 0.05% phenethyl alcohol once a day for 4 weeks.  As a result, only one person developed excessive dryness and swelling.  However, the scientists believe it happened due to the surfactant in the product.

Next, there were no positive reactions for skin sensitization in 25 subjects. 

Thus, with the exception of this article by a skincare company, there is only positive information about phenethyl alcohol.  By the way, the skincare company did not list their sources of information.  Instead, they contradicted themselves by saying that phenethyl alcohol had never been assessed for safety. 

In sum, phenethyl alcohol is in wide use and there is a fair amount of information on it.  It is safe to use in concentrations of up to 1%.  So, it does not raise any concerns regarding its use in the Crunchi hydrating face moisturizer.  Besides, phenethyl alcohol is not drying because it is not a true alcohol such as ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.  Besides, whether a product is drying or not depends on how all ingredients work together in a product.

Other ingredients in the Crunchi non-toxic moisturizer

The rest of the ingredients are glycerin, propanediol, disteardimonium hectorite, and botanicals.  The latter are organic ingredients, namely laminaria extract, sweet orange peel oil, acai berry pulp powder, goji fruit, thyme leaf, and rosemary leaf powder.   

As for glycerin, it is a skin conditioning ingredient and is common in creams and lotions to prevent them from drying out (source).

Next, propanediol is often confused with propylene glycol, which it is not.  Unlike propylene glycol, the American Contact Dermatitis Society does not list it as an allergen.  Also, I have not found any information linking it with irritation or allergic contact dermatitis.  The European Chemicals Agency database does not list any concerns about it.   Neither does the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel find it irritating, sensitizing, endocrine disrupting, or genotoxic.

Lastly, disteardimonium hectorite is based on naturally occurring clay mineral hectorite agent.

Conclusion about the best hydrating face moisturizer  

In conclusion, I find the ingredients in the non-toxic Crunchi Daylight Cream safe and effective.  I have been enjoying it for a long time already and hope you will try it, too.  If you have already tried it, please let us know in the comments how you liked it.  In addition, they carry Crunchi Night Cream whose ingredient safety is comparable to that of the Daylight Cream.  

For help with taking care of dry skin, turn to my post The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin. Also, feel free to browse my shop for non-toxic products and book a consultation with me. Finally, consider applying to our Savvy Consumer Circle to get an in-depth experience with healthy living and to have fun with the like-minded people.

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32 thoughts on “Hydrating Face Moisturizer That Works”

  1. I just started the Crunchi skincare day time and nighttime cream and I have noticed the hydration is phenomenal!!! If I hadn’t found your site I would have never known about there products! Truly grateful and thankful! I’m like you any other so called “natural/organic” line irritated my skin also. Crunchi is fantastic!

  2. There is one thing I do NOT like about the Crunchi Daylight Cream and that is the pump bottle it is packaged in. I had to dig all the cream out that I could and put it in a jar and it was not easy. The Night Cream came in a jar, thankfully. I do not like the pump because too much of the cream stays in the jar or in the tube and that to me is a waste since it is rather costly. I much prefer a jar since all of the cream is accessible. Since a little goes a long way, I do not need the pump to meter the amount. Other than the bottle I like the cream. It does not irritate and seems to nourish.

    1. I know what you mean, Marianna. I do not like that I have to scoop out the cream on the bottom. I will pass your feedback to Crunchi when I talk to them next. However, there is a reason for this madness. It has to do with the preservation system. Because the pump packaging, the ingredients are kept fresh longer without the use of harsh preservatives. The Night Cream ingredients are a little different and do well in the open jar. ~Irina

    2. I understand that! I recommend getting the every last drop spatula on Amazon! That will help you get every last drop of Crunchi goodness!!

  3. Hi Irina,
    Thank you so much for explaining the difference between hydration and miniaturization. I am looking forward to trying a cream that is more ‘traditional’ in feel and consistency and that is truly hydrating!

    Can you comment on whether the oils in this product are comedogenic???? Also, have you tried the night cream?

    1. Hi, Julia, comedogenicity is a controversial topic. I found only one scientific study dated 1988. As you might guess, a list of ingredients is limited there. The study also emphasizes that an ingredient comedogenicity should NOT be rated in isolation because of the amount and interactions between ingredients matter. In other words, even if an ingredient in a product is rated high on a comedogenicity scale, the overall comedogenicity of a product can be low depending on the amount of that ingredients and the other ingredients used in the product. There are different comedogenicity scales found on the Internet and sometimes they post contradictory ratings. None of them cite their sources of information. With this said, I have seen jojoba oil is rated 0 or 1 or 2 and sesame oil is 3 or 4 in most ratings. I also have an acne prone skin so before I started recommending Crunchi Daylight Cream I used it for 2 months to see if there are any adverse reactions. And there are none. By the way, sesame oil is down the list, which means that only a very small amount used. So I hope you will give it a try. Yes, I use and recommend the night cream as well. ~Irina

        1. No, they are not, at least to me. And I did not hear anybody complain about the scent. Are you sensitive to scents? ~Irina

          1. I am! For example I love some of Annmarie products, while others, like the wild fruit serum, are too strong. Thanks again! I’ll give these creams a try!

  4. Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

    Hi Irina!

    Thanks for the education on the difference between hydrating and moisturizing.

    I prefer plain & simple shea butter that I warm slightly (so it won’t be hard & brittle) by putting the glass jar where I keep it in a larger bowl filled with hot water. No preservatives! And I never have to worry about it getting stuck in a pump or interacting with a plastic container and/or other chemicals in a formulated product.

    Have you ever tried just pure shea butter? It’s so rich that I don’t need a lot either.

    1. Thank you, Jeanne, for sharing your experience! I have tried pure shea butter, it was years ago. It was not hydrating at all. At first, it felt like it was moisturizing but in time my skin got drier than before. How long have been using shea butter? I know what you are saying about simple ingredients. And I completely agree. But sometimes I find that I can’t get away with simplicity. I am happy to report with my current beauty routine, my skin is better than ever. ~Irina

  5. What about the tocopherol in this product? You don’t mention your thoughts on it but the EWG lists it as having possible cancer causing effects.

    1. Hi, Colleen: yes, you are right, it looks like the EWG lists animal study that shows tumor formations at very high oral doses in animals, which would be a good argument for not taking vitamin E as a supplement. But I believe vitamin E is okay for a topical application in small doses. Hence, the EWG rates vitamin E at 1. Almost all skin care products and baby wipes have vitamin E. It is a very common ingredient because it has great skin conditioning benefits. Plus, it is not clear if the vitamin E they used for the animal study was contaminated with carcinogenic hydroquinone, which can happen is vitamin E is synthetically derived. Crunchi uses a natural version. But it depends on your comfort level. I am certainly not trying to convince to use skincare products. The safest way is not to use any skincare products at all but if you are using something conventional then you will definitely benefit from switching to Crunchi. So it also depends on where you are in your detoxifying journey. That is why I offer private consultations to come up with your personal plan. Please let me know if that helps. ~Irina

    1. Thank you for this, Tara!!! It has been on my mind for some time now to write a post with my current beauty routine and update it as I change my routine. You gave me the motivation to do it very soon. Stay tuned! ~Irina

        1. I saw some good reviews for this product, but I’m concerned about preservation (has rose water but doesn’t seem to have a preservative). I wonder if you’ve come across it? Alitura Naturals

          1. Tara, I would go for a company that you can trust. Looks for my newsletter tomorrow. 🙂 ~Irina

  6. I have been using a very good organic product before crunchi but this daylight and night moisturizer surpassed the previous one I am using so I’m sticking with crunchi.

  7. Hi Irina,

    Thank you for this post, I am currently looking for a good hydrating moisturizer to compliment my current skincare routine and that won’t clog my pores or make me break out. Been experiencing some dry patches on my cheeks. Will definitely look into this cream. Looking forward to your current skincare regime (that’s if I didn’t miss it already, which in my case is very possible) lol… PS: What are your thoughts on the Mad Hippie skincare range? Sending lots of love xoxo

  8. Hi Irina!
    I know this post was primarily about Crunchi’s Daylight Cream, but I’m curious if you have any hesitations about the lavender oil used in the Nightlight Cream (or any other product, for that matter, like Earth Mama’s Diaper Balm ). I know lavender oil (alongside tea tree oil) has been called a possible hormone disruptor in a study a while back, and the information keeps circulating. I don’t stand firmly on either side of the debate at this point, but I’m wondering what your take is. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Michelle: I revisit that discussion from time to time. My conclusion is not to worry about it. Thank you for asking. ~Irina

  9. Hi! I know this is an older post but I’m wondering about the presence of Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the product. On the EWG Skin Deep website I noticed that this ingredient is connected with the contaminant “hydroquinone.” How can you be sure that in using this product, the contaminant hydroquinone is not being released, especially since final products are not required to be tested in the US? Thanks so much if you see this! 🙂

    1. Hi, Libybet: The EWG also rates tocopherol 1 with fair data. Yes, generally speaking, contamination with hydroquinone is possible. But I also feel that the line has to be drawn somewhere. I already do unprecedentedly “deep” research. I believe that if we continue going deeper we end being stressed and overwhelmed and the decision has to be made: either we live in a constant fear or stop using cosmetic products altogether. Thank you for asking though ~Irina

  10. Hi Irina, I bought this moisturizer following your recommendation and enjoyed it. However, I wish Crunchi had a tinted moisturizer with SPF like Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer which I used to use and love until I read your research on Beautycounter and then I stopped using their products. Have you come across any product like it that you would recommend? I have a young baby at home and work a demanding job and would much appreciate a 3-in-1 product like Dew Skin. Thank you!

  11. I love this moisturizer but I’m trying to reduce my spending. 🙁 I thought reducing the 48 bucks a bottle plus shipping (unless I buy 3 bottles to cut shipping costs) might be an easy thing to do but it sounds like there isn’t anything nearly as good for less?

    1. Hi, Tara: I hope you will keep enjoying the Crunchi product. It is a really good one and far less expensive than many others I have seen. ~Irina

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