Why Body Oils Are The Real Secret to Silky Smooth Post-Shower Skin
Not sure whether body oil is for you? News flash: it probably is. Here’s why you should consider this body care essential if it’s not part of your beauty routine yet.
If you have visions of yourself slipping and sliding around your bathroom trying not to break a bone after slathering on body oil, you’re probably not alone. But fear not: today is the day you learn about the benefits of adding body oil to your routine, and how to apply it so that everything goes smoothly.
Why Body Oil?
If you’ve ever wanted soft, perfectly moisturized skin, then the question should be “Why not?” Although there is a body oil suited to every skin type, people with dry skin tend to benefit from its use the most. And contrary to what you might think, it can be used in any type of climate, all year round. “You may want to use a lighter oil in summer, and a richer one in winter, but you can play with textures for optimal effect,” notes Dr. Sarah Villafranco, Founder and CEO of Osmia Organics, which offers an array of top-rated body oils. On top of their superior moisturizing properties, many body oils offer a delightful aromatherapy experience, making them a joy to apply—not to mention that certain oils also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, “delivering vitamins and nutrients to the skin,” adds Dr. Villafranco.
How Does Body Oil Compare to Lotion or Cream?
You (hopefully) already moisturize your body regularly, so why would you use body oil instead of your regular body lotion or cream? According to Dr. Villafranco, lotion is made up of roughly 65% water and 35% oil, and is held together with an emulsifier. “By using oil on wet skin, you’re providing the water component, and you do the emulsifying with your hands as you rub the oil in,” she explains. You also end up getting more for your money, since a little bit of “oil goes a long way on wet skin,” she points out. Interesting! That would explain why a bottle of body oil tends to last me longer than other body moisturizers.
How To Apply Body Oil
Apparently, this is the most important part of using body oil—and it’s also why people sometimes give up on it, as using it on dry skin is likely to make it feel greasy. “The way to use body oil is to apply it on sopping wet skin after bathing or showering,” reveals Dr. Villafranco. The key: not drying off at all before reaching for your favorite bottle, so that the oil mixes with the water left on your skin as you massage it in. “If you can handle air drying for a few minutes, it helps the oil sink in so you don’t end up wiping it all off with your towel,” she notes. It may take a bit of getting used to this way of moisturizing, but after a few days, you’ll be glad you stuck with it!
Different Oils, Different Benefits
Most body oils are a blend of different kinds of oils. Some of the most common: sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and jojoba oil. “Some of my favorite less common ones are kukui and camellia seed oil,” shares Dr. Villafranco.
- Sweet Almond Oil is high in oleic acid and omega-9 fatty acids, which can penetrate deeper into the skin than other fatty acids. It also has potential anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties due to its high levels of vitamin E.
- Sunflower Oil is high in vitamins A and E, absorbs easily, and leaves a soft finish on the skin.
- Jojoba Oil isn’t a “true oil,” but rather a liquid wax akin to the sebum naturally produced by the skin—which makes it effective for softening both the skin and hair.
- Kukui Oil comes from the candlenut tree, and has a high vitamin A, C, and E content.
- Camellia Seed Oil is a popular ingredient in Asian skincare that comes from tea plants and is high in antioxidants. It can do wonders for your hair and skin.
What to Look for in A Body Oil
Dr. Villafranco recommends looking for certified organic ingredients, as well as a mix of oils that contains richer oils (almond, jojoba, and kukui), as well as lighter ones (fractionated coconut, rose hip seed). “You may have to try a few brands before finding the one that works best for your skin type,” she advises. Scent is also important, but highly personal: “Our popular Osmia Organics Night Body Oil is a lavender-cedar blend that is amazing after a pre-bedtime shower, and our Light Body Oil has a bright, lemongrass scent that is better than coffee in the morning!” promises Dr. Villafranco. Explore different scents and find one you like, or opt for an unscented oil to avoid it clashing with your perfume, or if your skin is particularly sensitive to fragrance.
Other Beautiful Body Oils
Here are some of my favorites, and others I’m coveting.
- Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil
A part of Japanese beauty rituals for centuries and used in many a skincare and hair care product (including some of my favorites—Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo and Conditioner, anyone?), camellia oil is the star ingredient of this facial oil, which can also be used on the body and hair. With antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to boot, this precious elixir is supposed to leave your skin silky smooth and super glowy. Sounds right up my alley!
- Osmia Organics Night Body Oil
On top of 11 nourishing oils including jojoba, kukui, rosehip seed, and organic hemp seed oils, this blend also contains lavender and roman chamomile essential oils for a calming, soothing, and highly moisturizing experience. Sounds like it would be the ideal complement to my lavender pillow spray, face mist, and lip mask – I love a theme!
- True Moringa Simplicity Pure Moringa Face, Hair, Body Oil
Naturally rich in Vitamin A, zeatin, said to stimulate cell division, growth, and slows the aging of cells. Moringa Oil comes from the Moringa Tree, known as the “miracle tree.” It’s rich in oleic, behenic and linoleic acid which reportedly minimizes the appearance of scars and stretch marks and imparts a natural glow to both the face and body. Use this healing oil all over, including the hair. The philanthropic founders work directly with 5000 small farming families throughout Ghana and have planted over 2 million Moringa Trees to combat deforestation and malnutrition.
- NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil
This classic body, face, and hair oil can be used on its own, or you can add a few drops into your facial moisturizer or body lotion. A true multitasker, it eradicates dry skin thanks to a blend of seven precious botanical oils including tsubaki (camellia), argan, macadamia, and sweet almond oil. Plus, its orange blossom, magnolia, and vanilla scent is addictive!
- Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime Bois d’Orange Perfume Dry Oil
This is the product that made me fall in love with dry oils, and convinced me of their effectiveness—not to mention that it made me look forward to applying it every day. Conveniently packaged with a spray applicator, the lightweight oil absorbs quickly, leaving your skin beautifully soft. And its warm citrusy scent smells like heaven. I’m so sad it’s no longer easily available where I live!
- CHOBS Organic Argan Treatment Oil
Argan oil is rich in moisturizing actives—just what’s needed for fighting off split ends in your hair, as well as dry patches on your knees, feet, and elbows. Use a drop of this argan treatment oil on your lips for an instantly smooth pucker, or add a bit to your face cream or serum. A true multipurpose product that sounds like a great way to enhance your beauty routine!