Skin Trip Lotion: Sneaky Stuff!

Written by:

Maia James

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When I was a kid, my hippie parents always had a bottle of Skin Trip coconut moisturizer on hand. My mom bought it at our food Co-Op, and kept an extra bottle next on an end table in our living room for easy reapplication during those long, dry Vermont winters. I continued to use Skin Trip (which is made by a company called Mountain Ocean) during college, never tiring of the yummy coconut scent–which somehow smelled so much better than actual coconut oil. And turns out there’s a reason for the suspiciously compelling scent. Skin Trip is NOT actually fragranced with just natural coconut oil.

Although Mountain Ocean assures us that Skin Trip’s top-secret fragrance doesn’t contain phthalates, they make no claims that it is natural. And while hormone-disrupting phthalates are usually the big problem with synthetic fragrance, phthalate-replacements are likely to be just as bad. (On a similar note, BPA is now often being replaced with BPS, which a scientist colleague of my husband’s is studying and finding is a worse hormone-disruptor than BPA.)

Bottom line: Undisclosed chemicals in a “fragrance blend” like the one used by Skin Trip puts Mountain Ocean in our Sneaky Stuff category. Other ingredients I don’t love in Skin Trip include phenoxyethanol and lanolin, plus a couple other synthetic additives.

Want to find a truly natural moisturizer?

Check out our Safe Lotion Guide for better natural body/hand lotions, or our Safe Baby Lotion Guide if you need help finding something extra gentle for your mini me.

For a body and hand moisturizer, my current favorite is Farmaesthetics Nourishing Lavender Milk, which is just as incredible as it sounds. It was formulated for the face, but I use it as a body lotion as well. Harper’s Bazaar editors agree with me, voting it “Favorite Organic Product.”

Sometimes in Whole Foods, I pop open a bottle of Skin Trip, just to breathe in the scent of “coconut.” Most people probably wouldn’t associate this fragrance with wintertime in Vermont, but it transports me right back to the cozy evenings in front of the wood stove, where our dry hands required a constant reapplication of what we believed back then to be an all-natural moisturizing miracle!

Stay sane,

Maia, Founder & CEO

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Leave a Reply

  1. Martin Lindsay Avatar
    Martin Lindsay

    I strongly encourage you to take another whiff of Skin Trip the next time you’re in Whole Foods.

    I started using Skin Trip many, many years ago. In recent years, and in recent years began to note a chemical off-smell to the lotion. I contacted Mountain Ocean who assured me that the ingredients were the same as ever. Assuming this is true – I have no way of checking what they were using 30 years ago – the only other change to Skin Trip has been the plastic bottle which may be interacting with the lotion somehow. Thought I might have gotten a bad batch or some that had been exposed to high temps. Apparently not. Gone is the pleasant coconut smell…. and faithful Skin Trip customers like me.

    Thought about ordering from Walgreens until I came across this recent review:

    ★★★★★ 1 out of 5 stars. AliBug · 22 days ago
    Terrible smell. Expired?
    I’ve been using this product for twenty years. I recently purchased multiple bottles from Walgreens to re-stock my supply, but all of them smell terrible. Perhaps an expired or ‘bad’ batch? I’ve opened them all to test, so don’t feel like I can return or I would. Bummed. This was my ‘go-to’ lotion specifically for the beautiful coconut smell. These bottles all smell like paint & chemical. Yuck.

  2. Nancy Avatar

    My husband has had allergic reactions the Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer. He used it on his body without a problem, but on his face it was different. It took us a while to figure out it was the Skin Trip. His reactions included dry skin, redness, small bumps, itchiness, puffy skin and a burning sensation, especially below the eyes. When we researched the ingredient, there are 5 or 6 items that can cause the reactions he was having.

  3. Caren Avatar

    There are only three natural ingredients listed on the front of the bottle, so I thought that was all that was in it and that this was a healthy product. I have a dust allergy so I thought maybe the itchy red rash I was getting on my arms and lower legs was from dust. It would flare up after I took a shower so I thought it was from the warm (not hot) water aggravating the existing rash that was attempting to heal. I had been putting this lotion on right out of the shower. One day I forgot to and my rash improved. The next day I put it on and it flared. The rash happens to only be on the areas where I primarily apply lotion. It took a while to figure it out, but I’m 95% sure the rash is from this product. I might be allergic to something in it…not the coconut oil or the aloe because I’ve used those in raw form many times with no issues. Maybe the lanolin, alcohol, or 10 or so other ingredients that are listed on the side of the bottle (that I didn’t know were in there until I read this article. (Thank you for bringing it to our attention!) I will be returning this half used bottle to Whole Foods, lathering this scar inducing rash with Vitamin E, and going back to moisturizers I know are actually natural/healthy!!!

  4. Betty Avatar

    Just wondering since I see you using tag lines and such if you are being paid to endorse Farmaesthetics Nourishing Lavender Milk? Also, How do you know they (Skin Trip) uses “hundreds of undisclosed chemicals” in Skin Trip Coconut do you have evidence to support this? If the fragrance is a secret how do you know this? You shouldn’t speculate and make assumptions unless you know for sure.

    1. Maia Avatar

      Hi there!
      I sell Farmaesthetics lotion in my online store. Of course, I could have just as easily sold Skin Trip, except that I don’t like the ingredients. I don’t know what chemicals make up Skin Trip’s fragrance blend (they won’t tell me, as it is “proprietary”)–which is why I say that fragrance blends are “often made up of hundreds of undisclosed chemicals.” Unless Skin Trip is willing to share the specific ingredients in their blend, no one knows how many chemicals they use.
      Thanks for your feedback-

    2. Michelle Avatar

      Betty – On the “ingredients” section of Skin Trip’s own website, they say “our signature coconut fragrance is derived from coconut essential perfume oil blended with ‘other fragrances’.”

      It’s that “other” that leaves a question mark in Maia’s head… and mine. Nowhere on the bottle does it say anything about being “natural”… what the heck else is in there?

  5. Alicia Avatar

    My young son had a terrible rash all over his body and was told to only use “natural or organic cream” to treat his condition so I did just that. However the so called organic brands (that were very expensive I might add) did little or nothing to treat his condition. I was almost most ready to give up and take him to the doctor when a good friend of mine gave me a bottle of Skin Trip lotion. I had never even heard of it and asked her if was safe enough for a child to use. She informed me that her entire family was using the lotion and everybody really liked it with no problems. I have known my friend for a long time so decided to give it a try. My sons rash cleared up very quick,not 1 hour quick but within 48 hours his rash was almost completely gone. ( just an ever so faint pink color) He really liked the smell as well. I am not sure if it was the aloe or coconut oil but for me I was really happy and satisfied with the product results. I am not that educated about chemicals but I do try to lead a healthy and as organic as possible lifestyle with my family. I read and agree with many of the articles on your website but think your review of this lotion is could be biased towards another brand or you must have had a bad experience with it?

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Hi Alicia-
      I’m glad your son’s condition has improved! I don’t like that Skin Trip uses synthetic fragrance (often made up of hundreds of undisclosed chemicals). I suspect that, as you said, the coconut oil might be the reason your son’s skin cleared up—I would recommend you try plain organic coconut oil and see!
      Thanks for writing,