Soft, winter-proof skin is 50 percent making sure you’re using the best body oil for your skin type and 50 percent knowing when to use it. This is about dryness prevention. The best body oil can completely replace your normal body lotion routine.
For true luxury, get yourself a massage oil warmer so your body oil is the perfect temperature when you apply it.
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1. Most Addictive: L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin OilPros:
- Hydration lasts all day
- Easy spray top
- Over 50 percent sweet almond oil
- Trusted brand
- Never greasy
- Light almond fragrance
- Bottle is small at 3.3 ounces
- Pricier than others
- They claim it lasts 48 hours but that's pushing it
One of the only downsides to using this skin oil is that you won’t have an excuse to use all the other gorgeous smelling L’Occitane lotions because the oil keeps your skin moisturized for the entire day. The box claims it can go as long as 48 hours but that won’t be the case with most people.
With a comedogenic rating of two, sweet almond oil is absorbed quickly, plays well with sensitive skin, and is unlikely to aggravate acne–and sweet almond oil makes up over 50 percent of a bottle of this skin oil. L’Occitane locally sources their cold-pressed almond oil from almond orchards in the south of France.
They also include wild flax, rose hip, carrot seed, bergamot fruit, and sunflower seed oil for extra hydration and omega-3.
The almond fragrance is perfect. Complex enough to not smell artificial but not so strong that it overpowers. It’s a delicious, subtle reminder of pampering yourself.
The bottle has a convenient spray nozzle to make applying a breeze. A little goes a long way with this which is good because the bottle isn’t that big for the luxury price.
2. Most Unique Scents: Ahava’s Dry Oil MistPros:
- Dry oil can be used throughout the day
- Choice of fragrances
- Contains dead sea minerals
- Easy spray cap with incredibly fine mist
- Hydrating jojoba and sesame seed oils
- Long ingredient list
- Contains silicone
- Not for those with very sensitive skin
- Either love or hate the fragrances
If you need your moisturizer to have fragrance choices to die for, check out Ahava’s Dry Oil Spray which comes in four scents: Sea-Kissed, Mandarin and Cedarwood, Prickly Pear and Moringa, and Cactus and Pink Pepper. The fragrances are delicate and distinctive, though not enough to interfere with perfumes if you wear them.
Dry oils are formulated to be used both on damp skin out of the shower and dry skin whenever you feel like your skin needs a little pick me up. They are absorbed quickly, don’t leave a residue, and give your skin a warm, healthy glow.
Ahava is known for its Dead Sea minerals which they include in all their products. This blend of salts and minerals helps your skin absorb and retain more moisture than it can on its own–which is exactly what dry skin needs.
While this spray uses gentle oils like jojoba and sesame seed oil to moisturize, this might not be for folks who are very prone to acne. My main issue is that the first couple of ingredients on here are unpronounceable and include a palm oil derivative and a silicone, both of which are more likely to clog pores in sensitive skin. Both of these types of ingredients are extremely good at their job of sealing in moisture and keeping the oil from feeling greasy, but I’d avoid them if you have particularly reactive skin.
3. Best for Stretch Marks: Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil BlendPros:
- Hydrating almond and camellia seed oil are non-comedogenic
- Helps prevent stretch marks
- Lovely scent
- Calms sensitive skin
- Tiny cap design is lousy
- Not everyone loves the smell
- Pricier than some others
Most of the hype around this one is that it is, hands down, the best body oil to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. I can’t speak to that personally, but I can say that whether it’s written reviews or YouTube videos, the word is that daily use of the Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil left them with no stretch marks after their pregnancy. That speaks a lot to its ability to keep skin supple and healthy.
I like that the ingredient list here is pretty short and the first two ingredients are sweet almond oil and camellia oleifera seed oil which is closely related to green tea. Both of these oils are considered non-comedogenic and the tea seed oil can actually be used as an acne spot treatment.
These oils have a smooth, silky texture that is easy to spread and absorbs quickly. That’s even more important because this product doesn’t have a spray cap and instead has this tiny silver lid that many people find hard to manipulate. It Elemis ups their packaging game this oil would be perfect.
But for the promise of no stretch marks, I can get over a finicky cap.
4. Most Natural: Nutiva Organic Coconut Body Moisturizing OilPros:
- Only one ingredient
- Organic and non-GMO
- Sustainably sourced
- Fragrance-free option
- Deeping hydrating
- Made in America
- Longer to soak in than others
- Too thin to really shave with
- Harder to locate
If the best body oil for you is simple and all-natural, try Nutiva. Their original, fragrance-free skin oil has one ingredient: organic coconut oil.
Now I know a lot of us got burned out on coconut oil when it took over everything a few years back, but this isn’t the greasy white block you’re used to. According to their site, Nutiva was the first company to offer organic fractionated coconut oil that remains liquid even in cool climates.
While virgin coconut oil is too heavy for most skin types and can cause acne, fractionated coconut oil has had its long-chain fats removed making the liquid version about as safe for skin as almond oil.
I got some media samples of Nutiva’s oils and, if left to its own devices, my skin is very acne-prone. I haven’t had any breakouts while using this as post-shower treatment, which, with my skin, says a lot to me.
It has no scent I can detect but they do have three scented versions which raise the ingredient list up to a whole two items. For example their grapefruit version contains organic coconut oil and organic grapefruit oil–it smells exactly like grapefruit peel.
With its simple formula, this oil works for almost anything. It’s perfect as a post-shower moisturizer, massage oil, makeup remover, or hair oil. The oil is much thinner than others so it’s more prone to dripping while you’re applying. I have a smaller bottle with a spray nozzle which helps but isn’t as fine of a mist as I’d like.
5. Most Affordable: Neutrogena Lightweight Body Moisturizing OilPros:
- Great value for the money
- Available fragrance-free
- A little goes a long way
- Highly moisturizing sesame oil
- Doubles as shaving oil
- No spray cap
- Contains PEG's and parabens
- Not for those prone to acne
If you’re looking to be a little more frugal with your skin care routine, check out Neutrogena’s Light Sesame Formula. For under $15 you get over four times the amount of product that you’ll find in more luxury brands. This moisturizing oil is really going to last you a long time, especially since is spreads like dream so you use very little product for each use.
It’s a very light feeling oil that absorbs quickly. It’s not quite a dry oil, but you could use this both post-shower or in place of a lotion during the day if you were careful to not apply too much. The hydration lasts longer than lotion and gives you a nice glow but will leave a bit more of a residue than higher end products.
This one is more suitable for people with dry skin types as sesame oil really delivers deep moisture. The original formula has a light, floral scent, but they also offer a fragrance-free version which is great for folks who are sensitive to smells.
As a multi-purpose oil this also works s a massage oil or in place of your normal shaving cream.
My biggest issue here is that the first ingredient isn’t sesame oil. It’s isopropyl myristate, a synthetic moisturizer that reduces the oily feel of lotions and other oils it’s mixed with. This is awesome for helping sesame oil feel so lightweight, but isopropyl myristate has a comedogenic rate of five, which is as high as the scale goes.
This means the science says it’s more likely to trigger breakouts for people who are prone to acne, but there are loads and loads of people swear by the product and haven’t had that issue. If you struggle with hormonal or body acne, maybe keep this to your legs and arms and definitely off your face. If you’re interested, you can look up the comedogenic ratings of common skin care ingredients on this page.
How to properly use body oil.
For the best, most noticeable results you want to use a skin oil directly after your shower or bath. The beauty of these oils is that they lock in moisture. Hot showers can actually cause dry skin because they open up your pores allowing them to dry out faster.
Your skin needs both oil and water to have that supple smoothness we all want and adding a layer of oil to just barely towel-dried skin creates a protective barrier keeping moisture where you need it most. While applying these oils in the middle of the day like a lotion does work, it takes longer to soak in and won't be working to its full potential.
You don't need much so a little goes a long way with oils. If you're worried about being greasy like I was before I made the switch, quality oils won't leave any more residue than your normal body lotion.
Don't forget that the soft skin triangle is more than just oil. It's moisturization, exfoliation, and hydration. So remember to scrub off that dead skin and make sure you're drinking enough water.
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