June 4th 2021
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When we have a bit more time in on our hands the first thing we add into our beauty routine is a body oil – nothing quite compares to the hydrated, silky-soft feel it gives our skin. However not everyone is in agreement, with many people finding body oils greasy and not conducive to getting dressed – but that doesn't need to be the case; you just need to pick a natural body oil or a nourishing plant oil blend that sinks into skin rather than a petroleum-based oil that tends to sit on the surface.
The body oil people most commonly think of is Baby Oil, but if you're not a fan of this slippy formula it doesn't mean you need to rule out oils altogether. Baby Oil's main ingredient is petroleum-based mineral oil - which does indeed create a barrier as promised, helping skin to retain moisture, but it can be problematic for sensitive skins and potentially trap bacteria.
Mineral oil does appear to do a superb job of making skin look and feel soft and silken but isn't as hydrating longterm as natural oils. In the name of beauty research we put some of the market's finest body oils to the test.
Tropic launched its first mum and baby collection this year and this ultra-cute baby oil is our pick of the products. It soothes and calms the skin with jojoba oil, vitamin E and tiger grass, which is another name for centella extract, which repairs the skin. It can be used as a makeup remover too. The packaging isn't just cute, it does good too – it's packaged in post-consumer recycled plastic and is completely recyclable.
Created in the outer Hebrides in Scotland, this organic oil feels like velvet on the skin. It's made from native seaweed extract along with almond and jojoba oils and scented with uplifting essential oils of lavender, rose geranium, juniper and lemongrass. You can apply it to your body, or add a few drops to your bath if you prefer. Either way, it makes for a luxe addition to your body care range.
Bio Scents won the Best Breakthrough Brand accolade in our Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards in 2020, with the judges praising it for uplifting, ethical and affordable products, combined with a modern take on aromatherapy that looks great in the bathroom. We love this soothing oil for its soft, calming scent. As well as lavender it has an almond oil base for moisturising. Apply before bed for a dreamy slumber.
Undeniably pricey, but this truly smells like a spa in a bottle, transporting you to the most high-end of treatment rooms as soon as a drop comes out. It blends frankincense, patchouli and sandalwood with basil for the most decadent of scents, designed to restore mental clarity and illicit confidence. In a hefty glass bottle, this is a super-luxe treat to indulge in every so often.
Jane Scrivner knows oils like no other. This has tons of skin-nourishing vitamins and the scent is an intriguing mix of opposites: masculine and feminine, uplifters and calmers and it never fails to put your mind and skin back into balance. GTG's editorial director Victoria uses this in the shower, splashing it on as the name would suggest. It has a finer more liquid texture than many body oils and goes on quickly and smoothly. Her top tip for using this? Tip a few drops at the base of your neck and use the showerhead to wash it down, you can even oil your own back.
This brand landed in the UK in early 2020, much to the excitement of beauty editors up and down the country. The hero ingredient is every offering is squalane, but this multi-purpose oil is GTG's Victoria's favourite. She uses it for everything from an in-shower oil, to a cleanser to a moisturiser (apply a few pumps post-shower for optimum moisture) and is a particularly big fan of the pump which dispenses the perfect amount.
It's vegan and cruelty free and is one of the most hydrating oils out there, we'd say.
2020 saw RMS Beauty launch into bodycare for the very first time and boy, was it worth the wait. It was created with the brand's much loved face oil in mind meaning it's lightweight enough to not worry about you leaving oily fingerprints everywhere, but powerful enought that you only need a few drops to create a supple texture and even tone. It has a very light floral scent, with the formula playing host to jojoba oil for quick absorption and hydration, and buriti oil for antioxidant protection.
We found it most pleasing to apply to damp skin post-shower for a morning pick-me-up.
This punchy pink packaging looks pleasing on your shower shelf and works hard to hydrate and protect the skin with antioxidant-rich organic tea oil and soothing marshmallow root extract. It has a pleasant floral scent that lingers on the skin long after you've dried off too. If flowery fragrances aren't your thing, the Myrtle scent might be up your street thanks to the refreshing eucalyptus smell.
Votary's Cleansing Oil pretty much has hero beauty status and this body oil deserves the same revere. It is an exquisite aromatic blend of bergamot and mandarin, with the zesty fragrance instantly uplifting, leaving you with good skin and a good mood to match. Peach kernel cocoons skin in a blanket for soft and replenished skin, without leaving leftover residue on the skin, because no one wants to feel like a grease ball after their shower. The unique blend of plant oils works hard to revitalise, refine and detox your skin, while upping the glow factor thanks to camellia - goodbye dull and flakey skin. There is also a Body Treatment Oil, £55 in the body range, which is brilliant at tackling any lumps, bumps and dry patches, which is all down the gentle inclusion of salicylic acid. In basic terms, deeply hydrating and luxuriously comforting.
This is baby oil, but not as we know it. Soothing apricot kernel and wheatgerm oil along with vitamin E moisturise the skin beautifully and leave it smelling sweet but not sickly. We like to add a capful to our bath, but you can massage it directly onto the skin if you prefer. It's too good to save just for babies...
Celebrity trainer Simone De la Roue sung the praises of this stylish-looking oil last year and we're inclined to agree. It's a quick-dry botanical oil that hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of scars and stretchmarks. It was created with mums-to-be in mind as it supports the skin as it stretches during pregnancy and is easily absorbed so you can get dressed right after you've applied.
Dalston-based brand Neighbourhood Botanicals was created by Australian native Micaela Nisbet who found that moving to London dulled her skin's Aussie glow. In response to this she created a skincare brand made from raw oils and extracts with a focus on hydration that don't irritate or dry the skin. Including this body oil, which is an opulent blend of silky natural oils, to nourish and provide your skin with 24 hour protection from moisture loss. This has a sunny green citrus and herb scent, including oils that stimulate circulation and calm the mind. Apply to damp skin for the full effect.
Irene Forte's products are described as a Mediterranean diet for the skin because the ingredients are sourced from farms in Sicily - anything that gives us a little taste of Italy right now and we are sold! We know this is a pricy oil but it smells like absolute heaven in a bottle, with nourishing ingredients ranging from sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, pistachio oil, grapeseed oil, apricot oil, vitamin E, sunflower oil, calendula flower and of course the namesake, orange blossom oil.
On top of hydrating the skin, this formula is also designed to promote a sense of calm.
Made from 100 per cent pure plant oil including rosemary, geranium and mint, this golden liquid claims to helps firm, tone and improve elasticity, smoothing the appearance of stretch marks, with hazelnut oil in the mix to lock in moisture and leave the skin soft, satiny-smooth and elastic. While we can't vouch for the firming and toning effects, it does leave the skin looking radiant and feeling extremely soft and moisturised. It's a luxe 'glow-up' option for pregnant people who want something fancier in their regime than Bio Oil.
This is one of the richer body oil formulas out there, so we'd probably use it before bed rather than in the morning. With a triple concoction of kelp, magnesium and algae, it locks in moisture to help restore elasticity in the skin, while working at increasing skin toning and firmness. The blend of essential oils gives a calming fragrance, allowing you to feel refreshed in both body and mind - it's great after a shower post-gym too as the magnesium and algae combination has anti-inflammatory properties which help to de-stress the skin. REN is known for its sustainability efforts and the glass jar makes it more environmentally friendly than its plastic counterparts.
A silky moisturiser, scent and mind relaxer in one, this body oil softens the skin without creating a sticky film, delivers on the fragrance front without overpowering (thanks, neroli) and takes mere moments to both apply and absorb. It’s packed with over a dozen bio-organic botanicals and is it pleasantly aromatherapeutic on application, no matter if you choose to apply post-bath to wet skin, to dry skin or on the body before hopping in the shower (all of which are suggested uses from the brand).
The oil is, for want of a better expression, not too oily. Within seconds of spritzing, it soaks right into the skin, leaving a healthy, dewy and non-greasy glow. There’s not much of a scent to report, but the formula is infused with Tsubaki oil, an ultra-hydrating ingredient that works to deliver long-lasting moisture, revealing radiant, healthy-looking skin with a firmer appearance. So while you might not be able to smell it on your skin you'll know it's working hard.
For fans of the almond scent, this L'Occitane offering is a must-try. It's a light and fine body oil that helps skin feel supple and smoother. To make this last longer (and trust us, you'll never want it to run out) it’s best to apply this oil as soon as you step out of the shower while your skin is still damp, spraying into the hands first before applying. The oil still has plenty of moisture even when diluted so a little can go far. The oil itself absorbs quickly into the skin and is non greasy so you can get dressed straight away, and the smell is truly wonderful, not at all heavy. It can easily replace the need for any perfume to be worn and leaves a slight sheen on the skin."
There are many things to love about this oil – firstly, the zesty smell from the pine and citrus, the fact that it’s organic and made in the UK and the fact that it uses marjoram, a herb that grows abundantly in hedgerows in the UK and has been traditionally used for healing skin. It feels invigorating - the clue is in the name - and for that reason we wouldn’t advise use it before bedtime. Splash on your body after your morning shower for an energising start to the day.
Some products are cult for a reason and this is one of them. Though it is mineral oil based, and not the prettiest bottle, it has delivered on its promise to soothe stretch marks and burns. It’s not an oil we'd would reach for in a pamper session but is the work-horse, no frills oil option for hardcore dry skin, scar tissue or stretch marks. It takes its time to soak in, so we recommend applying it well in advance of getting dressed or hopping into bed, but once it soaks in it really gets to work. Its “breakthrough” ingredient PurCellin Oil is cited as the key to its success alongside its line up of other ingredients: vitamin A, vitamin E, calendula oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil and chamomile oil.
This signature Elemis scent is instantly recognisable - just a sniff of it is enough to transport you to a spa treatment room. As well as on the body this can be smoothed into your hair and nails to nourish the cuticles. As well as the heavenly fragrance this delivers fantastic moisture and a healthy sheen for skin - can you tell were fans?
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