More lightweight and fast-absorbing than rich body creams, a dry body oil is the perfect fix for dry skin when short on time. Here’s our ultimate edit
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I religiously moisturise my body every morning and night but even though this has been part of my routine for longer than I can remember, sometimes I simply can't be bothered with the laborious process. This is when I reach for dry body oils.
Typically dry body oils are faster absorbing, lighter and offer less ‘slip’ than normal 'wet' body oil and are largely made up of essential fatty acid-rich oils derived from vegetables, seeds and herbs, (making them ideal for a speedy surge of moisture). Common examples include: borage, rosehip seed, sesame, grapeseed and sunflower oils. As dry oils are less heavy, they also have an added degree of multi-tasking versatility, with many light enough to apply to dry hair too without weighing down roots. They’re also great for taming frizz.
Providing the hydrating benefits of oil minus the oiliness, they’re also especially handy if you’re looking for a lightweight body care swap to see you through the summer months. Here are our top picks.
Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist, £24 for 100ml
Great for: that signature Glossier scent
Glossier's body oil smells of neroli, leaves my skin silky, absorbs easily and I especially like that it sprays on so my hands don't get slippy during application. My only complaint? I finished the whole bottle in ten days and I don't think I was spraying excessively. Bigger bottles please, Glossier!
Olverum The Dry Body Oil, £38 for 100ml
Great for: vegan body oil
Personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read (and creator of YouTube's most liked fitness video of all time) sings the praises of Olverum's Bath Oil, but we're more enamoured by the dry body oil from the brand. It contains over 30 essential and cold pressed botanical oils, including alaria esculenta extract, which is known to boost the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid, preserving the firmness and elasticity of skin. Mist this over your limbs for an instantly polished effect. While this absorbs near instantly we can't help but luxuriate for a few seconds after applying to really soak in the smell.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, £29.50 for 100ml
Great for: Speedy absorption
This mineral oil and silicone-free formula is cult for a reason - and not just because of the speed at which it absorbs into skin (think Usain Bolt in a bottle). It contains no less than seven plant oils (camellia, sweet almond, macadamia nut, borage seed, argan, hazelnut and tsubaki) as well as protective vitamin E.
Aurelia Firm & Revitalise Dry Body Oil, £48 for 100ml
Great for: multi-use dry oil
We wrote about this in our edit of the best body oils so it only seemed right that it gets a slot in our round up of the best dry body oils too. No matter how you prefer to use a body oil in your routine, this one works, be it post-bath to wet skin, to dry skin or on the body before hopping in the shower.
Rituals Kapha Dry Oil, £19.50 for 100ml
Great for: Tired muscles
If you’re feeling sluggish, this invigorating dry body oil can definitely help. Inspired by Ayurvedic rituals, ginger and cinnamon work to re-energise tired shoulders and legs by increasing blood flow and circulation, creating a lovely warming sensation on skin. It feels particularly great post-workout or when muscles are feeling especially stiff.
Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Dry Body Oil, £56 for 100ml
Great for: A perfume swap
Containing notes of clove, damask rose and oud, this more potently fragranced dry body oil is the perfect combo of skincare and scent. A more moisturising alternative to your bottle of perfume, it’s fast absorbing and leaves skin soft and silky - particularly great when applied to the neck and décolleté in our experience.
Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil, from £15.50 for 75ml
Great for: An all-rounder
Containing squalane , an olive-derived oil, chosen for its compatibility with skin sebum and avocado, sesame seed and grapeseed oils (the latter being especially high in omega-6 linoleic acid content), it leaves skin soft and hydrated but not greasy. It also smells pretty delicious too thanks to notes of vanilla and almond and is mineral oil and silicone-free too.
Mauli Sacred Union Scent & Dry Oil, £69 for 100ml
Great for: Stress-relief
From its botanical scent to its ingredients list, this blissful dry body oil is as soothing for skin as it is for senses. Inspired by Eastern wellness practices, the bottle comes finished with three bells, which can be left on or tied on the wrist to act as a gentle reminder to stay present and positive, no matter how stressful life gets. It’s especially great applied straight out of the shower to help lock in moisture - its formula containing omega 6 and 9 fatty acid-rich watermelon seed, antioxidant-rich moringa, softening sandalwood, frankincense, patchouli and jasmine sambac provides a little pocket of calm ahead of a full-on day.
Liz Earle Superskin Dry Body Oil, £30.60 for 100ml
Great for: Long-lasting moisture
Containing skin firming alaria esculenta extract from sea algae, essential acid-rich cranberry seed and rosehip oils and borage oil to help skin hold onto moisture, this award-winner carries some hefty skincare credentials. Providing long-lasting hydration when short on time, it leaves skin plumped up and glowy.
Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray, £3.50 for 150ml
Great for: budget buys
This is my go-to dry oil when I want to get ready in super-quick time. It's infused with jojoba seed oil for extra moisture and while it doesn't feel as luxe as many of the others in our edit it's a great quick fix in the mornings. It's also an unofficial insect repellent thanks to citronella in the ingredients list - read our full Avon Skin So Soft review here for all the details.