Admittedly, a lot of us don’t break out the sunscreen until summer, and when we do, the number-one obstacle we face is warding off the greasy residue that comes with layering it on top of a daily moisturizer. And if you’re someone who swears by natural oils, then you’ve definitely left a slimy handprint on a doorknob or two. Oils often get a bad rap for being heavy, pore-clogging, and just messy to deal with, but for every thick and slow-absorbing option, there’s a lighter one that’s perfectly suitable for 100-degree days.
“Lightweight oils are perfect for oily skin types or for lighter coverage in the summer months when the moisture in the air is more dense,” says Monastery founder Athena Hewett. There are a slew of variations that fall under this category, two of which are squalane and walnut oil. The former, which we’ve talked about before, is essentially a plant- or science-derived version of squalene, a naturally occurring part of the skin’s barrier that decreases over time. One place that both ingredients can be found is in Hewett’s Lapiz Matte Body Oil.
“The two key ingredients squalane and walnut oil are made of very small lipid molecules. The smaller the molecule, the lighter the oil feels. Invigorating essential oils of grapefruit and ginger grass waken the cells to help produce a glow and tightness to the skin,” she says.
Another lightweight choice, according to Emily Cunningham, co-founder of True Moringa, is you guessed it: moringa, a derivative of the moringa tree that’s also ultra-sustainable to produce.
“Moringa oil boasts a high concentration of oleic acid, which helps nutrients penetrate deep into the skin, repairing skin damage and scarring, and restoring hydration, plumping and nourishing dry, dull, and flaky skin,” she says. “Moringa is also rich in behenic acid, which helps improve the skin’s natural barrier. It’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, aiding in the fight against breakouts and blackheads.”
According to Rachel Winard, founder of the small-batch natural brand Soapwalla, argan and jojoba oils are also summer-friendly options, although the latter is definitely her favorite to work with. “Because of its chemical makeup, jojoba soaks effortlessly into the skin, won’t irritate even the most sensitized skin, blends with other oils well, and is highly moisturizing,” she says.
Ahead are 15 top-rated products made with all of these expert-approved oils. Take your pick!
Urban Decay Drop Shot Mix-In Facial Oil
Combine this multi-oil formula (which includes jojoba) into your foundation for a dewy—not greasy—glow.
$34 at Urban Decay
Soap Walla Restorative Face Serum
"For summer, we absolutely love Restorative Face Serum. Carrot seed, sea buckthorn, and rosehip seed oils are chock-full of vitamins and essential fatty acids to protect against environmental damage and to calm redness," says Winard. "In addition, we love moringa and jojoba oils for light moisture."
$56 at Soapwalla
True Moringa Refresh Moringa Peppermint Oil
This all-over oil can be used on the face, body, and hair to deliver antioxidants and ward off dryness.
$36 at True Moringa
Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil
This face oil is made with 20 oils from around the world, including argan and sunflower, to absorb quickly and hydrate.
$55 at Origins
Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji
The squalane in this new quick-absorbing oil helps lock in moisture, while the maqui fruit delivers antioxidants.
$44 at Youth to the People
Youth to the People
Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil
The best-selling product in model Miranda Kerr's all-natural line is made with rosehip oil, which is renowned for its ability to provide lightweight moisture to the skin.
$68 at Kora Organics
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer
This head-to-toe oil is also made with chemical-free SPF, so you get moisture and sun protection at once.
$32 at Josie Maran
Herbivore Botanicals Citrine Glowing Hydration Body Oil
Named for the popular chakra stone citrine, this body hydrator is made with a slew of moisturizing oils, including rosehip and neroli.
$44 at Herbivore Botanicals
Monastery Lapiz Matte Body Oil
The scent of this squalane- and walnut-infused oil can be likened to the beach.
$42 at Monastery
Weleda Wild Rose Pampering Body Oil
This oil is extracted from fair-trade wild roses in Morocco.
$26 at Weleda
Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil
Grapeseed, jojoba, and argan oil are just a few of the moisturizers you'll find in this luxurious dry oil.
$110 at Tata Harper
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil
Besides being ultra lightweight, squalane oil is a multitasker that can be used all over the body, including the hair.
$58 at Biossance
Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil
This multi-use, multi-oil formula is stored inside an easy click pen so you can hydrate on the go.
$38 at Milk Makeup
Dr. Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil
This hydrating oil also includes a healthy dose of vitamin C to brighten the skin as it provides moisture.
$65 at Dr. Dennis Gross
Dr. Dennis Gross
Ahava Dry Oil Body Mist- Prickly Pear & Moringa
Spray on this moringa-scented mist when your go-to lotion just isn't enough.
$42.50 at Ahava