Our clocks have officially “fallen back” which means it’s time to up the ante on our skincare routine. Temperature dips coupled with dry heat can wreak havoc on delicate skin. But before you reach for a run-of-the-mill moisturizer, you might want to counteract the feeling of dry, tight skin with a soothing body oil. Beyond giving you a covetable Victoria’s Secret model-inspired glow, some body oils contain healing, anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties to keep your skin looking its best. Confused on where to start? Read on for a few expert tips on finding the perfect formula for just you.
1. Lock In Moisture
“Oils are an essential element of our skin’s natural makeup,” shares Matthew Rance, Head of Research & Development The Body Shop International. “Body oils (like The Body Shop’s Wild Argan The Radiant Oil) form a protective, nurturing cover on the surface of the skin to help reduce water loss through the upper most layer of the skin [the epidermis] and provide a barrier from external aggressors like extreme weather and pollutants.”
2. Find The Right Formula
“Selecting the right body oil for your skin is a science and an art. Fine body oils are composed of the true essence of the plant it was derived from,” explains Idit Gandelman, AHAVA’s Director of Education. “Plant-based oils are super-effective and use natural emollients. Body oils have a better ability to lock moisture into skin better than a body lotion because of their lipophilic properties which protects the skin’s [natural] moisture balance.”
3. Know When To Apply
“I suggest applying an oil when skin is wet, [right] after the shower when your pores are open,” adds Regine Berthelot, Caudalie’s North America and Treatment Director. “Your skin can absorb the oil much easier. [If there’s excess oil] you can pat dry afterwards.”
4. Layer Up
“If you want to mix oils with the application of a lotion, I recommend you apply the lotion first, allow your skin to dry,” says Rance. “Then, apply your oil to help boost the moisturizing effect of your lotion and lock it in. Noella Gabriel, Director of Product & Treatment Development at Elemis agrees, “[You can also] quench thirsty skin by sealing with a body balm to leave skin feeling soft, nourished and with a healthy sheen.”
5. Select The Right Ingredients
“You want to avoid mineral oils since they can clog the skin,” Berthelot explains. “On the other hand, essential oils will actually help to regularize oil reduction. Sage and lemongrass are great ingredients to help eliminate impurities.” Gandleman recommends those prone to breakouts avoiding ‘wet oils’ on the skin. “Coconut oil base is not recommended but sweet almond for acne is good because of its anti-bacterial properties,” he says. “Jojoba seed oil [is another ingredient] that has the best fit to the skins natural sebum.”
6. Get Glowing
“Applying body oil to the skin–especially the arms–will give the skin a wonderful glow while helping to disguise imperfections,” shares Gabriel, who is a fan of Elemis Spa@Home Frangipani Monoi Body Oil. “Oils gently protect the skin while allowing it to breathe and repair itself, all while giving the skin an instant glow of radiance,” emphasizes Rance.
7. Use A Multipurpose Oil
“My favorite body oil is the Caudalie Divine Oil,” says Berthelot. “Grapeseed oil is a signature Caudalie ingredient as it contains omega six and vitamin E, which are super nourishing. I use it in various ways, such as a body lotion, hair treatment or even as a bath oil.”
8. Match Made In Heaven
“Using a body scrub before applying a body oil will help slough away dead skin cells so you have the best skin-palette,” says Rance. “All body oils and moisturizers in every form will absorb better after a scrub and increase the benefits to the skin,” explains Gandelman. “I recommend AHAVA’s Smoothing Body Exfoliator followed by your favorite oil or moisturizer.
9. Embrace The Seasonal Shift
“For those with naturally drier skin may need to use a heavier body oil year-round,” says Gandelman. “Others may want to use a dry oil during the warmer weather when their skin needs less hydration and a heavier oil through the colder months.”