Desert Essence Lotions

Friday, November 30th, 2012 | click here to comment

I'm on a quest for the perfect lotion. Actually, let me backtrack, I already used a perfect lotion. It moisturized my skin all day, had a silky feel and was loaded with chemicals. 

I used Vaseline Intensive Rescue lotion for years. After I turned 30, I decided it was time to give up the chemical laden beauty treatments slowly, but surely. I started with my lotion. It's something I use every day and slather all over my body, so I figured it was a good starting point. 

What I didn't realize, was how incredibly hard it would be to find a lotion that mimics the chemical laden goodness of that particular Vaseline lotion. 

So I'm on a quest. 

I'm buying a TON of new lotions - all of them natural and all of them gluten-free and will test each one until I find the PERFECT lotion. 

First up? Dessert Essence

Desert Essence

I agonized over buying this lotion for what felt like an hour. I studied the ingredients list until I felt satisfied enough to bring it home. Here's the hot list of everything this particular lotion touts: 


  • Parabens
  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates
  • Phthalates
  • Artificial Colors
  • Silicones
  • EDTA
  • Glycol or Petroleum-based Ingredients
  • Phosphates
  • Animal Testing


  • Wheat & Gluten Free
  • Recyclable
  • Biodegradable
  • Made from Renewable Sources
  • Cruelty Free
  • Safe for Vegans

Desert Essence

I settled on the Coconut lotion, because it smelled pleasant enough. The bottle is smaller than what I'm used to, but the price is comparable to my beloved Vaseline Intensive Rescue at about $9 a bottle. 

I put the lotion to the test the next day and my first reaction was holy coconut! The scent is quite strong once you put it all over your body, but it's not unpleasant, just assertively THERE. More on that later. 

Desert Essence

The lotion itself is thick and requires a lot of rubbing before it aborbs fully into your skin. It's not quite as thick as Shea Butter, but pretty close. My real test of moisturizing power is on my hands. I have VERY dry hands and hate feeling any dryness on them if I can help it. What I like about Vaseline lotion is that it absorbs into the skin quickly and locks in moisture for hours. Desert Essence lotion did not do that for me. It gets into your skin, but once it dried my hands did not feel like they were bathing in moistured goodness. I kept feeling like I had to reapply it to my hands constantly to keep the dryness at bay. 

The rest of my skin is not as bad as my hands, so the lotion did a really good job of keeping my legs and arms moisturized, but let's get back to the scent. I went to work one day and was picking up some papers from the copy room when my boss and a couple of co-workers walked in at the same time. We all exchanged pleasantries when my boss declared, "It smells like sun tan lotion. Does anyone else smell that?" to which I replied, "It's, really." 

Don't get me wrong, the scent is NOT bad at all, it's just really noticeable. My toddler actually hates it with a passion. Whenever I put it on she runs out of the room saying "Mommy, you stink." LOL! 

Dessert Essence does make an unscented version, which I'm going to try and find at the store to A/B with the Coconut option. 

Overall I give this lotion a solid B+. It works well for moisturizing your body, although it's not rich enough if you need powerful moisture on hands/feet. The scent is strong, but not unpleasant (if you like Piña Coladas...) and it's free of many allergens (gluten-free!) and TONS of chemicals. 

Have you tried Dessert Essence products before? What's your take on their lotions/other products? 

If you want to find more of my beauty product posts, click the "beauty" tag located at the bottom of the page. Since this is the first post, you won't find any others, but keep an eye out because more are coming! 


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