Forget moisturizers! These body oils will replenish dry skin in a snap.
No matter the season, moisturizing the skin is any important part of any daily routine. Like skin care and hair care routines, you’ll probably need to switch your mode of moisturizer as the seasons change to accurately pair with the weather. Winter faves are likely to feel heavy and greasy in the heat. And with spring in full throttle and summer just mere weeks away, it might be a good idea to ditch heavy moisturizers for a lightweight body oil.
If you’ve never tried a body oil before, you’re likely wondering what sets it apart from your typical lotion or moisturizer. It turns out the product category actually has its own unique set of benefits.
“Oils are used to help lock in moisture, providing occlusive benefits while also delivering emollient and skin soothing properties to the skin. They are often highly concentrated, unlike body lotions which also incorporate water and other ingredients that can be utilized to help with dry skin,” dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick explained.
They also penetrate the skin’s protective barrier, which helps you maintain a radiant glow all day,” board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Somenek added.
Shop TODAY sought the expertise of several skin care experts to dive into what makes this skin care product an essential for your beauty routine. They also shared some of their favorite body oils on the market so you can stock up ASAP.
Best body oils, according to skin care experts
If this is your first time trying a body oil, Garshick recommends this affordable option from Vaseline.
“It’s great for those with dry or dull skin, as it not only works to hydrate the skin but also to lock in moisture without leaving the skin feeling greasy,” she said. “While in an oil formulation, it also offers the benefits of both shea butter and cocoa butter, leaving the skin looking and feeling healthy and refreshed.”
Coconut oil is basically a wonder child and can be used for everything from cooking to your skin care routine.
“Studies show that coconut oil is an excellent emollient to prevent transdermal water loss and increase skin moisture,” Dr. Anar Mikailov, Director of Hospital Dermatology at Beth Israel Lahey Health in Massachusetts, said.
The board-certified dermatologist told us he particularly enjoys this budget-friendly body oil from Jason Organic.
“It has unique properties that decrease the itch response, which makes it ideal oil for individuals with eczema. It also has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties,” he said. “This oil should be used by those with very dry skin. In other skin types, coconut oil can induce acne breakouts in its unrefined, raw oil when used as a facial oil.”
“Body oils are great for an instant moisturizing effect since they immediately get absorbed into upper layer of dermis (skin cells),” Dr. Liia Ramachandra, a former pharma executive and founder of beauty brand Epilynx, told Shop TODAY. “When various oils are mixed together, body oils are also very nourishing for the skin. They make the skin softer and offer instant hydration.”
Ramachandra named this Aveeno body oil mist as one of her go-tos and said its jojoba and oat oils are great hydrators.
“Plus, it’s paraben- and phthalate-free,” she said. The spray is ideal for rough, dry, sensitive skin and is formulated with 98 percent naturally derived ingredients.
One of the other perks of body oils? They can help minimize the appearance of pesky stretch marks.
“They can limit transepidermal water loss. Most oils also contain anti-inflammatory botanical oils, antioxidants and vitamins to promote smooth-looking, healthy skin,” Somenek said.
Ramachandra recommended this popular Bio-Oil Body Oil that’s often used during pregnancy or to help repair skin damage from scars after surgery.
“The vitamin E in it is great to smooth out and hydrate your skin,” she explained. The oil is also formulated with chamomile and lavender oil to help calm and cleanse damaged skin.
Mikailov enjoys this body oil because it shares many properties with our body’s natural oil (sebum).
“This characteristic allows the oil to absorb much more quickly to restore and improve the natural skin barrier,” he explained.
At first, the oil sits “on top” of the skin and forms a thin layer, then it absorbs within 15 minutes and leaves skin feeling nice and silky. It’s made with only one ingredient — organic jojoba oil — and can be used on body skin, scalps and beards.
Board-certified Miami dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez from Riverchase Dermatology was happy to explain why she’s such a huge fan of jojoba oil in general.
“It mimics the natural oil in the skin so it won’t clog pores,” she said.
The derm raved about this hydrating oil and explained that it’s rich in antioxidants.
“They help heal dry skin, stretch marks and sun damage. The product is also fragrance-free and can be used on nails, skin and hair,” she told us, adding that the oil is ideal for those dealing with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Dry, brittle hair and nails can be a drag, but Mikailov has a secret weapon for combatting these two pesky beauty woes: squalane oil.
“It’s ideal to use for hair and nail moisture restoration,” he explained. “This oil will absorb the fastest, even faster than jojoba oil.” You can also use it on your face to combat dryness, redness and uneven texture.
Mikailov said this particular oil from Biossance is well-suited for those with acne-prone skin.
“Squalane tends to be much less comedogenic (less prone to clog pores),” he said.
Top facialist Candace Marino loves how body oils help lock in moisture.
“Most body oils contain fatty acids and ceramides, which are very protective of the skin barrier and prevent water loss, acting almost like a seal on the body. Body oils can also contain antioxidants and vitamins that have repairing and protective benefits for the skin,” she said.
She recommends this luxurious oil that’s made of clean and organic ingredients.
“It feeds the skin with vitamins and super fruits that provide protective benefits thanks to their antioxidant-rich makeup,” she said. “This formula features rosehip seed oil, which is rich in omega fatty acids and is known for its ability to brighten the skin tone; noni, a super fruit known for its high antioxidant content; and sunflower seed oil, which is rich in vitamin E and provides a lightweight yet nourishing oil to replenish dry skin.”
Want to really lock in moisture? Garshick filled us in on the best time to use a body oil.
“It can be especially helpful to apply it immediately after showering,” she said.
The skin care expert said she digs this splurge-worthy oil from Elemis and said it’s ultra hydrating.
“It contains a blend of Frangipani, Monoi and coconut oils to help replenish moisture and nourish the skin. It will leave the skin feeling rejuvenated without leaving behind a greasy finish,” she said.
Best body oils, according to shoppers
This body oil is new to the Ole Henriksen family of products but is already receiving rave reviews from shoppers who say it’s lightweight and leaves their skin not feeling greasy but healthy and hydrated. A few of its highlighted ingredients include peptides, elderberry, black currant and cloudberry oil.
You’ve probably already heard of Versed after one of their face masks went viral late last year. Made specifically for body (not face), this oil contains a blend of calendula flower extra, ylang ylang essential oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E to provide nourishing hydration and the appearance of healthy glowing skin.
With an average rating near perfect, it’s safe to assume shoppers love this body oil from Aveda. Not only do they love how it feels on their skin, but several reviews on the brand’s site raved about how good it smells. One reviewer even said they’ve seen a difference in their acne after using this oil on their face.
If you want soft, supple skin with a little bit of shine, Glowmotions is exactly what you’re looking for. A bestseller on the brand’s site, these shimmery body oils have almost 2,000 five-star reviews. The oils come in three colors, each sold separately, and are made with nourishing ingredients like coconut oil and açai oil.
Restore your skin to its supple, elastic, former self with this shopper-loved body oil from Eminence. Loaded with nourishing — and deliciously scented — key ingredients like apricot kernel oil (loaded with vitamins A, C and E), biodynamic jojoba oil and antioxidant-rich pomegranate seed oil, shoppers love how “soft and silky” it leaves their skin without the sticky residue that’s typically associated with body-oriented skin care products.
Incorporating aged undaria seaweed into its formulation, Osea’s lightweight oil practically feels like a tropical escape upon application. Besides its wanderlusty scent, the brand claims that it’ll give your dermis a boost of hydration while firming sagging skin.
“It has been a whole 24 hours since i put this oil on. I’ve changed my clothes multiple times and have obviously been to bed. My skin is STILL moisturized. I have never actually had a product that was this moisturizing for this long after applying,” added one Ulta shopper who rated this option a glowing five stars.
Aside from its decadent scent, shoppers across retailers like Amazon, Sephora and Nordstrom are raving about how effective this skin oil is at delivering long-term hydration and suppleness. It doesn’t hurt that the award-winning formula is 50 percent almond oil, which is rich in essential omegas that naturally nourish and soften your skin.
Body oils don’t just moisturize skin; they travel deep down to regulate oil and sebum protection, which ultimately helps hydrate and heal your dermis over time. Fortunately, Dermalogica’s body oil is formulated with a range of multitasking and nourishing ingredients that do just that. French plum seed oil and avocado oil hydrate and protect skin, for starters, then fermented red ginseng chips in to calm inflammation.