As winter slowly creeps it’s way into our lives it’s time to shift our focus from summer skin to winter skin… and with winter comes one common skin complaint: Dry Skin!
Many of us morph into reptile versions of ourselves in the drier winter months which is where Body Oils come into their own!
While lotions and creams can provide moisture, a change of formula to something with more of an oil base might be exactly what your skin needs and the beauty of modern day body oils is that most formulas are non-greasy, lightweight and incredibly hydrating.
Benefits of Body Oils
Body oils are smooth, thick and highly concentrated liquids that are usually clear in colour and enhance the appearance and quality of skin.
Here are a few of my favourite benefits of body oils…
- Magical moisturising properties
During winter, the lack of humidity and cold air causes your skin to get dry, the reason why oils are so great is because the outer layer of your skin is mostly made up of keratin and oils to protect the delicate layers of skin underneath. Oils have a locking and protective nature, they improve cell cohesion and limit transepidermal water loss.
- Enhanced skin quality
Body oils actually enhance the quality of your skin over time because they soak quickly and deeply into skin to leave it moisturised for longer and many contain properties that actually help to heal scars such as stretch marks and acne.
- Longer lasting
Body creams tend to rub off quickly and leave your skin dry again quickly. Body oils are a great alternative to body lotions as they keep your skin moisturised for much longer.
- Physical health benefits
Many of the benefits of body oils relate to their use in massage therapy. Massage is well-documented to improve your body’s overall health as it lessens stiffness and increases the function of joints for those suffering from osteoarthritis as well as reducing the symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment. Body oils make it easier to rub and massage skin. Think about all the good you are doing your body while enjoying a relaxing massage. Body oils need a little bit of extra application time which is the perfect way to get these extra benefits!
- Emotional well-being
Massage has also been known to relieve anxiety and depression and some body oils are designed to boost various aspects of your mood. For example, body oils that contain rosemary enhance alertness and lavender increases restfulness. Need a jolt of self-assurance? Use one containing jasmine to increase your confidence. And let’s not forget that when your skin has a healthy balance of moisture, it feels soft and supple, making you both look good and feel good.
- Free of chemicals
Unlike some body lotions, many of the best organic body oils are free of chemicals such as parabens which is a bonus! The best body oils are organic, free of chemicals and extracted from roots, fruits, flowers and leaves.
- Cost effectiveness
To maximize your body oil purchase, apply oil to your skin after a shower as this way, your skin will still be damp and absorb the moisture of the body oil more quickly and effectively. Also, if you warm your body oil on a low setting in the microwave or in your hands before you apply it to your skin, it will become lighter and cover more area, so that you’ll end up using less during each application.
Top 10 ways to use Body Oil
Everyone knows you can use body oil for massages and to moisturize your skin, but here are few more ways to make the most of your body oils…
1. Manicure. Apply a dab of body oil on your cuticles to soften them.
2. Pedicure. Rub a generous amount of body oil all over your feet. Put on thick cotton socks and allow the oils to soak in. (Do this before bed for extra moisturizing.)
3. Perfume. If you like the subtle scent of your favourite body oil then apply a few drops along pulse points for a light fragrance.
4. Shaving. Rub generously on legs for a close shave that may also help to reduce shaving irritation and eliminate the need for a post-shave moisturizer.
5. Hair. Place 1 or 2 drops of body oil into your hands and run lightly through the hair to eliminate frizz or moisturise dry ends!
6. Deep-conditioning. Rub a generous amount into your hair before bed. Comb it, pile it in a loose bun on the top of your head, place a towel over your pillow, and hit the hay. In the morning , shampoo as usual and enjoy your luxurious locks!
7. Exfoliator. Make a sugar scrub mixing a 2-1 ratio of sugar into body oil. Rub gently into skin in the shower and rinse off for super soft skin.
8. Bath. Add a few drops to your bath for skin that feels silky smooth.
9. Lips. Make your lips extra kissable by mixing 1 TSP each of brown sugar, vanilla extract, and body oil; gently rubbing into lips; and wiping off with a warm wash cloth.
10. Paws. Eliminate sore, cracked paws (not yours!) Dogs can struggle with sore paws from walking on hot tar roads in the summer or from cold, dry winter air so rub some body oil on their paw pads for healing and relief.
A few of my favourite Body Oils
Palmers Coconut Oil Body Oil contains ethically and sustainably sourced Coconut Oil and Tahitian Monoi Oil infused with Tiare flower petals. These raw natural ingredients deliver luxurious moisture for decadently pampered skin. It absorbs quickly into the skin leaving it feeling deeply hydrated, rejuvenated, replenished and radiant, and all for a great affordable price! The formula contains Vitamin E for 24 hour moisture plus there are no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, gluten, sulfates or dyes!
O•Mega Body Oil by Mama Mio is a light body oil that sinks into your skin immediately with no sticky residue. The amazing Gravida fragrance is a blend of the most divine smelling citrus and white flower aromatherapy oils. The body oil is packed with omega oils so doesn’t just mask dry skin it actually works to prevent it over time. Ingredients include Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Argan and Safflower Seed Oils with Vitamin E and each oil has been chosen for it’s concentration of Omega 3, 6 & 9 to give your skin the superfood it needs! These oils also have wonderful healing properties and are great at improving the skin’s elasticity, strength and to help maintain a youthful appearance. After the first use my skin felt super soft, smooth and nourished. Their products are also free of colourants, parabens, petrolatums, phthalates, sodium lauryl and laureth sulphate, carriers, emollients, synthetic fragrance and xenoestrogen.
Oh-Lief Body Oil is created from a blend of South Africa’s purest organic oils and is infused with green rooibos extract which is over 200 times more powerful than vitamin E and is filled with antioxidants. The texture of this oil is such that it doesn’t run when you spray it on nor is it to thick. It absorbs easily and does not leave the skin sticky that some creams often do.
Dr Hauschka Lemongrass Revitalising Body Oil will awaken your body and mind. This body oil fortifies and firms the skin while the uplifting, refreshing scent of lemon peel and lemongrass extracts invigorates. Ingredients include lemongrass, mistletoe, lemon peel and sunflower oil, blended using unique rhythmic processing methods, then heated to 37 °C (human body temperature) and carefully mixed in the mornings and evenings to allow the properties of the nurturing plants to be transferred to the oil! All Dr Hauschka products are 100% natural and/or organic cosmetics, certified to NATRUE and/or BDIH standards, free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEG. Vegan friendly and never tested on animals.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil. The cult-favorite balm which is good for just about anything is now available in an oil formula with a subtle citrus scent! This new version was inspired by the unparalleled Eight Hour Cream and is designed to hydrate, nourish, and tone your skin and hair. It contains an impressive blend of oils (grapeseed, avocado, sunflower seed, olive, and Tsubaki) and delivers intensive moisture. The dry oil is great for face, hair, and body. To apply to face mist onto hands and then press it gently into skin. To apply to hair apply as per your hair’s needs. If you’ve got thick, coarse hair, spritz with abandon, but, if your hair is on the thinner side, spray the oil on your hands first and then pat it in from the ends up to the mid-lengths.
Lipidol After Shower Oil comes from the makers of Bio-Oil. Eight years in the making, Lipidol works to replenish the lipid layer of our skins that we are constantly stripping away with soap. There are six oils in the Lipidol range, namely; a cleansing face oil, a cleansing body oil, an after shower oil, a sunscreen oil, an aftershave oil and an overnight face oil. The product I mention here is the After Shower oil but I consider them all to be body oils of a type. This particular one is slightly scented with Chamomile essential oil although it’s hardly noticeable which means good things if you prefer unscented body products and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive. This medium weight oil nourishes the skin without leaving it feeling oily and leaves skin feeling super soft and smooth with not a dry patch in sight.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is one of the top selling beauty oils in the world and a cult beauty product. France’s leading beauty oil, this formula is beloved for its floral fragrance which is a little warm, a little beachy and instantly recognizable. Huile Prodigieuse contains six precious plant oils – macadamia, hazelnut, borrage, almond, camellia and St. John’s Wort – and it can be used on both skin and hair. I am totally addicted to it’s gorgeous, captivating scent and the unique dry texture of the oil is easy to use and quickly absorbed by the skin. It leaves my skin feel super soft and I love the light glow it gives my skin and subtle scent that lingers all day! Free of silicon and mineral oils.
The oil trend is huge in beauty right now – everywhere you look you find oils for hair, nails, face and body and the truth is that oils are not going anywhere in a hurry. They are here to stay primarily because they do such a great job at moisturising, feeding and nourishing our skin.
The only negative to using body oils might be that they take a bit more time to apply and absorb but all you need to remember here is the benefits you are giving to your body and allow the oil to soak in for at least five minutes before getting dressed so that your skin, rather than your clothing, is the thing that remains moisturised!
I find there is nothing nicer than applying a softly scented body oil to my skin after my bath. It feels indulgent, decadent, comforting and pampering all at the same time.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Body Oils? Which is your favourite?