Body oils are the new way to moisturise. They are PACKED full of yummy goodness for your skin, AND have the canny ability to transport you to memories of spa massage when RELAX is the only word in the dictionary. #YouDeserveSomeMeTimeLovelyLady! Until recently Bio-oil and Johnsons baby oil were the only widely available body oils, NOW there are a LOAD of body oil yummies. So what is so great about them and what is the ULTIMATE best way to use a body oil? Lets chat…
WHAT DOES A BODY OIL DO DIFFERENTLY THAN A MOISTURISER?
You can think of a body oil like a concentrate. Very environmentally friendly ‘ey *wink wink*. Remember when Ribena brought out the first ‘concentrate’ version of their squash? You got a smaller bottle, so it looked like you were getting less, BUT that juice in there was JAM PACKED with flavour. It’s like boiling down a broth, or stew, it loses a bit of water and suddenly you have a super concentrated taste sensation. You need only a little bit to get the same level of YUM!
This is how a body oil works. A body oil is a little power-house of YUM for skin. It is FULL of skin-identical ingredients that help skin to nourish and repair.
Body oils have more oil than water in ’em OR no water at all, whereas a moisturiser is mostly water. I can hear you awesome skin gurus asking me, ‘but doesn’t my skin need water to be moisturised?’. You are so ‘on this today!’, you are absolutely right, skin needs both water and oils. The thing is, skin is waaayyyy better at hydrating itself from the inside out. The way skin is set-up is a bit like a one way street, you can drive down it the wrong way, but it’s much harder than ‘going with the flow’.
Skin is designed to keep water IN, so the top layers of your skin are mostly oil based, that means your skin is way better at hydrating from the inside and the EASIEST way to help skin stay hydrated is to give those outermost skin layers a helping ‘let’s keep water in’ hand. You guessed it! That perfect helping hand for skin is a body oil.
It doesn’t just stop there, because body oils are skin identical, they are super sensitive to skin (think of a body oil like your comfort blanket!) and they work for skin EASILY. Sometimes the thing with a moisturiser is, it has a lot of hurdles to JUMP before it can get to the right part of your skin to work, it’s slowly hurdling its way down that one-way street and there’s a lotta obstacles. Body oils do not have the one-way street challenge, they can get started on making skin awesome without a ‘rest-room’ break!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BODY OIL AND A DRY OIL?
If you have used a body oil before then you might have seen ‘dry body oil’ as well as ‘body oil’. So what’s that all mean y’all? I hear you! A dry body oil has different makeup! It’s a different recipe is all! Dry body oils usually contain some ingredients that are not natural oils. That can be ingredients like alcohols (to help ‘thin’ the oil), it can also be mineral oil OR dimethicone/silicones which are man-made slippy texturisers, these guys are ‘baby-sitters’ and they sit on top of your skin to make it feel smooth and silky.
THE MORE YOU USE A BODY OIL, THE BETTER YOUR SKIN GETS AT ABSORBING IT
Sometimes the very FIRST time you use a body oil can feel a bit strange. Like anything we start new, it takes a bit of practise to get skin in tip-top condition. This is the science of ‘like, like’s like’, ‘like dissolves like’, breaking that down, all that means is we like things that are similar to us, and will spend more time with them!! So skin likes stuff exactly like skin. Body oils are packed full of the skin identical ingredient called fatty acids – this is skin’s idea of chocolate pudding!
If your skin is slightly dry when you FIRST start using a body oil, then it will take longer to ‘sink in’ as skins’ normal oily and super-protective skin barrier has some holes in it. There is less ‘like’ about town. The more you use a body oil, the ‘better’ your skin starts to feel and ‘be’ its radiant, yummy looking, soft self. That means as your skin condition gets to its best, body oil sinks in easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy because there is way more ‘like’ about town.
THE ULTIMATE BEST WAY TO USE A BODY OIL
Ok, so you CAN absolutely use a body oil at any time you want to. There is ONE way that is the absolute, ‘squeeze every last drop of goodness outta that body oil that you can’ way to use one! This is like the first winter jumper you buy for the coming winter, you can absolutely pull it on at any time you want, but that ABSOLUTE perfect time to grab it outta the waredrobe is the first frosty morning when you feel all smug that it’s winter and you ARE outside AND you are WARM!!
The ultimate best way to use a body oil is as SOON as you step outta the shower. There are 2 reasons why this works awesomely.
Reason no.1. After your waterfall worthy shower your skin has been BATHED in water! It has lots of water on the very top layers of it. If you put nothing on your skin, that water, with your body warmth, leaves you like summer just turned to winter. In comes the body oil and it puts a STOP sign to water leaving. Body oil is your water lock! #CanWePutAStopSignToSummerLeavingPlease?
PRO-TIP: Don’t even pat dry, get your body oil lovin’ on before you get bonding with the towel.
Reason no.2. If you LOVE to have a hotter than hot shower, then a body oil is your absolute saviour. Hot showers make us feel all yummy, but they can be a skin nightmare. That’s because they encourage our skin hydration to leave us. We start to ‘sweat’, you’re not likely to notice that ‘ey, I mean we are already wetter than wet! What’s a little bit of sweat? When we get hot, our skin naturally tries to cool us, and its number 1 way to do that is to lose water. Our skin gets all soothed, and it opens up like it was having a heart to heart with the shower head. Cue the body oil and skin gets to have its heart to heart without losing all of its hydration!
Are you a body oil lover? How do you best use yours?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.