As we approach the warmer months, those silky, smooth formulas are all the rage. Think: soft body butters, creamy body lotions and — for supreme hydration — nourishing body oils to make your skin aglow.
Sure, we’re not skipping on serums composed of skin-boosting ingredients niacinamide and retinol (and certainly not our facial sunscreens). But body oils, specifically, add that touch of rejuvenation that’ll leave your skin smooth all day.
“Body oils are organic, unlike lotions, which can contain some ingredients like alcohol,” Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in aesthetic dermatology and associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital with 31 years of experience, told the New York Post. “Body oils are made up of 97% carrier oil, 1 to 2% essential oil and 1% antioxidants.”
Ahead, Peredo outlines the 10 best body oils for every skin type. With these effortlessly glossy formulas, you’ll want to use them not only during the sunny days of summer but year-round. Oh, and keep reading if you want the 411 about what to look for in a quality body oil and notes on how to properly use one, too.
Click to jump to the best body oils of 2022:
First things first: What is a body oil?
According to Peredo, body oil is a skincare product recommended to be used on the skin (specifically, below the neck) as treatment or prevention of dry skin.
“It’s formulated with the ingredients extracted from natural sources such as fruit or vegetable seeds, which give the product a smooth texture,” she notes.
What are the benefits of using a body oil?
Though body oils instantly transport us to a serene spa, these indulgent formulas have some skin benefits, advantageously. “A body oil can help combat extremely dry skin, especially because the skin tends to get dryer in the summer from being in the sun, swimming in chlorine pools,” Peredo highlights. This can make the skin look “ashy.”
Body oils are extremely moisturizing as they can help combat dryness and improve appearance of the skin, most notably.
When should I use a body oil, and how often?
The best time to use a body oil? Like your favorite body lotion or body butter, Peredo recommends applying your favorite formula following your shower when the skin is moist to help lock in moisture. And yes, you can use it daily.
“Body oil, unlike lotion, penetrates the skin very deep and leaves you feeling moisturized all day,” she adds. “Using a body oil in the summer will also give your skin a nice glow.”
What ingredients should I look for in a body oil?
Much like your go-to toner or facial exfoliator, ingredients to scope out depend on your skin type. Peredo highlights what ingredients to look for in a body oil for each skin type:
- Acne-Prone Skin: Look for body oils with tea tree or coconut oil because they are lighter and won’t break you out. Note that patients with acne prone skin should use body oils with caution, avoiding areas that are especially acne-prone, like the back and chest.
- Oily Skin: Look for body oils with jojoba oil to help balance your oil production and avoid leaving a greasy residue on the skin. Argan oil is also beneficial for oily skin because it can balance your skin’s sebum levels.
- Dry Skin: Look for body oils with avocado oil because it is heavier and will moisturize the skin more intensely.
- Combination Skin: Look for body oils with flaxseed oil, jojoba oil and marula oil because they will keep the skin moisturized while also preventing oil and breakouts.
- Sensitive Skin: Look for a body oils that are fragrance-free. Many body oils tend to be scented and have a fragrance which can cause a reaction.
Best Body Oils Overall
1. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, $13 to $23
Dr. Peredo labels Bio-Oil’s Skincare Oil has her absolute favorite. “It helps with stretch marks and scars and has a nice texture,” she highlights.
What’s more, this multi-benefit product is an Amazon-bestseller with more than 123,000 reviews from highly *enthusiastic* skincare enthusiasts. Not only does it moisturize the skin but it also helps for anti-aging.
Interestingly, Pattie Yankee’s Give Me More Agape Oil is a runner-up to Bio-Oil’s hydrating formula — for a different reason.
“It’s my favorite product for the treatment of cuticles,” she explains. “It keeps the cuticles nice and moist and helps with the overall growth of healthy nails.” Plus, it’s infused with 24K gold leaf that’s antibacterial and provides antioxidant properties to protect the skin from radicals that can cause premature aging.
Best Body Oils for Acne-Prone Skin
As one of our favorite brands for body butters, Kiehl’s Since 1851 has a stellar body oil that Peredo recommends specifically for acne-prone skin.
“This is good for acne-prone skin because it’s formulated with tea tree oil which can help prevent acne,” she notes. “Since it’s a dry oil, it will absorb into the skin quickly and won’t leave a greasy residue.”
2. Neutrogena Lightweight Body Oil, $15, original price: $23
Because Neutrogena’s Lightweight Body Oil is lightweight and formulated with sesame oil, it won’t clog pores, according to Peredo. The budget-friendly body oil is a no-frills way to achieve soft and smooth skin. Not to mention, Peredo recommends this product for sensitive skin as well.
Best Body Oils for Oily Skin
1. Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil, $120
Luscious and luxe, Tata Harper’s Revitalizing Body Oil is an investment — but well worth it if you’re experiencing oily skin.
“This body oil has jojoba oil which is ideal for those with oily skin as it will balance the body’s oil production,” Peredo said.
2. Avène Skin Care Oil, $26
“Avene’s Skin Care Oil is ideal for oily skin because it’s a dry oil, so it absorbs into the skin quickly and does not leave a greasy residue,” Peredo notes. What’s more, it can even be used on the hair as a dry hair treatment for added nourishment.
Best Body Oils for Dry Skin
Enter Summer Friday’s new Pool Time Glowing Body Oil. As a serene snag for summer (offering a subtle sparkle, too), it’s recommended by Peredo for dry skin, especially.
“This body oil is formulated with vitamin E which helps replenish lipids and nourished the skin,” she explains. “It’s formulated with jojoba oil, sunflower oil and macadamia oil which hydrate the skin.”
Best Body Oils for Combination Skin
Oh, if you haven’t tried Necessaire, you need to ASAP (it’s incredible for its designer-fledging line of skincare products).
“Necessaire’s The Body Oil is a good option for combination skin because it’s formulated with omegas 6, 7 and 9 that nourish and soften the skin,” Peredo highlights. “It’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, so it won’t irritate the skin.”
2. Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50, $15 to $38
From the brand that brought us one of our favorite facial suncreens, Supergoop! has a legendary Glow Oil that — you guessed it — is also infused with SPF 50 for ultimate protection.
Aside from the SPF protection, Peredo loves how it’s formulated with grapeseed oil, which “nourishes the skin, leaving it silky smooth,” she adds.
Best Body Oils for Sensitive Skin
“One Love Organic’s Botanical C Body Oil is fragrance-free and organic so it won’t irritate the skin,” Peredo notes. “It’s formulated with shea butter oil which nourishes and moisturizes the skin, too.”
Uniquely, this particular body oil also contains vitamin E to offer a dewy and ultra-smooth look, adding to its wealth of clean skin benefits.
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