You may have mastered your skin-care routine by now, but don’t skimp on the rest of your body. Fortunately, staying moisturized from head to toe is easier than ever. All you need? A bottle of body oil.
The best body oils leave your skin feeling soft and looking glowy, while simultaneously moisturizing and strengthening your skin barrier. According to board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, who is based in New York City, body oils also offer long-lasting hydration for all skin types — without any stickiness, grease, or waxy residue. “Many people might assume that using a body oil would do the opposite and cause the skin to feel greasy, but body oils tend to be fast-absorbing,” she explains.
Head-to-toe elixirs are especially essential in the summertime since oils tend to be lightweight yet effective when it comes to locking in moisture and offering much-needed nourishment. “Being in chlorine pools, the beach, and the sun over the summer can leave our skin feeling dry and dull,” explains New York City board-certified dermatologist Marina Peredo. Body oils can help with replenishing any moisture lost.
New York City board-certified dermatologist Brian Hibler tells Allure that most body oils are spiked with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory botanical oils, and a slew of vitamins to promote healthy, smooth-looking skin. According to Hibler, you should look out for body oils that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as rosehip seed and jojoba oils, which “mimic the natural oil in our skin so it won’t clog pores.” He also recommends squalene, which he describes as a “great emollient” that’s “especially great for acne-prone skin.”
Green also recommends choosing a body oil formulated with vitamin E, which she describes as “naturally healing, hydrating, protective, and soothing.” The ingredient is “most often associated with its ability to intensely hydrate and protect against environmental irritants and pollutants,” she says.
For oily and acne-prone skin types, common comedogenic (or pore-clogging) ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax may exacerbate acne breakouts and should be avoided when choosing a body oil. Meanwhile, those with sensitive skin should avoid body oils with synthetic fragrances and dyes, says board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, who is based in Newport Beach, California.
Now for the good stuff: We narrowed down more than a few of our favorite body oils — both scented and fragrance-free — that will keep your skin silky-smooth and glowy throughout the summer months and beyond.