So, here's the zinger. I used to kind of (completely) despise body oil. I found it messy, sticky, and far too cumbersome to apply on a daily basis post-shower. So many formulas I tried clung to my skin, leaving a greasy residue I didn't find at all divine or luxurious (as so many body oils are touted to feel). Not to mention, the thought of coating my clothes, sheets, and the seat of my car in the stuff practically made me nauseous, and as someone who frequently experiences night sweats, the idea of going to bed pre-slicked only to end up entombed like a mummy by my bedsheets was enough to make me swear off body oils completely. Until, that is, I discovered one that I kind of loved. And then another one. And another one.
I'm not sure if brands have simply upped their game where formulas are concerned or if I've just built up my tolerance for all things grease. Regardless, as I've battled to keep my dry, flake-prone skin topped up with dewy moisture, I've found body oils are really the only effective antidote. I'm not saying I can go to bed doused in the stuff yet (baby steps, right?), but I have found slathering my body once a week after my morning shower, adding some layers of comfy loungewear, and letting it marinate all day really does the trick. I simply shower off at night before bed (which helps me de-stress anyway), and my skin stays glowy and hydrated for a full seven days with no reapplication necessary.
That said, not all body oils are created equally. Some smell a lot better than others, some have formulas that sink into the skin more effectively than others, and some have far superior ingredients than others. Below, I'm giving you the lay of the body oil land and sharing 15 formulas I'd recommend. Keep scrolling!
This best-selling product from clean and sustainable skincare brand Versed proves a body oil need not be expensive in order to be effective and downright dreamy. In addition to the serotonin-inducing price tag, it also absorbs more quickly than most other body oils I've tried and smells heavenly to boot. (Think calendula flower, sweet almond, coconut, and ylang-ylang.)
I used to use this sesame-spiked drugstore staple back in high school before I could afford expensive beauty products. Fun fact—it still totally holds its own against the best body oils that are about five times the price. I love it because it's extremely lightweight and perfect for summer.
I get it—not everyone wants shimmer in their body oil, but if you want your skin to gleam (but not in an obnoxiously over-the-top way), I highly recommend Pixi's pearlescent formula. There is also a bronzey, rose-quartz version if that's more up your alley.
I can't get over this body oil. For anyone who's allergic to greasy finishes, you'll fall head over heels for Monastery Made's divine matte-finish body oil. It features Italian squalane, which is incredibly hydrating despite the fact that it sinks into your skin insanely fast. It also has a lovely natural fragrance composed of ginger, grapefruit, and peppercorn.
Okay, so this body oil (combined with the brand's Body Butter) has borderline changed my life. Of course, that's dramatic, but in a time of life when the little things really count and I'm really leaning into my self-care routine, finding a body oil as delicious and gleam-inducing as this one feels big.
First of all, it smells amazing. I can't get over it. Second of all, it absorbs quickly (a detail I require), and the 100% botanical blend is laced with enough nutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids to make Moon Juice's entire supply look weak. The magic lies in the combination of rose-hip, grape, and apricot oils, which instantly awaken the skin and make it soft, supple, and ultra-hydrated
If you're looking to drench your skin in moisture, this lovely body oil from Tata Harper 100% has your back this season. It's chock-full of green juice–like nutrition (think essential vitamins, minerals, and other firming perks) and never leaves skin feeling overly greasy or slick. Plus, the vibrant citrus scent is a home run for summer. (Beyoncé's makeup artist, Sir John, is also a fan!)
So Victoria Beckham is a fan of this all-natural body oil, and I'm happy to report that I completely concur with her positive testimony. Here's what I love about this body oil: It smells divine—not too botanical, not too earthy, but the perfect balance of fruity, fresh, and not at all cloying. I'm usually not a huge fan of overly botanical scents, so the fact I love this one speaks volumes. To match the featherlight scent, the formula itself is also super lightweight, and even though it still feels slightly greasy and a bit sticky right after you apply, said stickiness vanishes pretty dang fast.
Another qualm I have with the majority of oils I try is how fleeting their surge of moisture is, but this one's hydrating perks stick for days—even through sweat and showers.
This formula is so addictively soul-rockingly amazing. (It's by far one of my favorite Goop beauty products!) Unlike almost every single other body oil I've tried, this one is so lightweight. It spreads lusciously over your skin, sinks in quickly, and instead of leaving skin tacky or greasy, it feels satiny smooth. It imparts this amazing healthy radiance, and it also happens to smell completely intoxicating—not surprising since it boasts a unique blend of organic Indian black pepper oil, Bulgarian rose-hip oil, Korean red ginseng oil, Japanese shiso leaf, fresh ginger, and pink peppercorn berries
This is the body oil I reach for when I'm trying to tackle two birds with one stone (aka, when my muscles—which I have a bad habit of clenching and hunching—are screaming). Plus, the handy size and rollerball design make for easy, precise, mess-free delivery.
Is any beauty roundup complete without a Glossier staple? Usually, I'm pretty discerning with my favorites from the buzzy brand, but this clever oil–body wash hybrid is one I find myself repurchasing again and again. I'm a big fan of the fresh, juicy scent (orange blossom and neroli) and love that it hydrates thanks to the seven-oil blend but also extracts dirt and grime from your skin while you shower. If you don't love the idea of applying an oil or lotion on post-bath or -shower, this one is for you!
True story: I've gotten so many sun-loving friends hooked on Australian staple Bali Body. I'm also a fan of its self-tanning products, but the SPF-spiked body oils (meant to be applied before time spent soaking up the rays) are the absolute best for protecting your skin but keeping up the glow and gleam without sacrifice. (So many sunscreens can have a not-so-nice ashen effect.) You can choose from a range of fruity flavors like peach and pineapple, but this watermelon number is my favorite.
Miranda Kerr's line of organic beauty products, Kora, has lots of highlights, but this featherlight body oil is one I've discovered and loved recently. It has the brand's signature hero ingredient, antioxidant-packed noni extract, along with other luscious additions like rose-hip and sunflower seed oil.
This hydrating radiance oil is expensive, yes, but it's also one of the best beauty launches I've tried this spring. I would recommend splurging if you covet illuminated skin by way of a hydrating oil that won't clog your pores. That's my roundabout way of saying it won't break out your chest and will make you look like a real-life fairy. Plus, it even comes with a handy applicator brush to keep things less messy.
Truly, this dark-horse body oil from Kayo has so many perks. It's basically a body serum meets body oil that parched skin will greedily lap up. It's lightweight, gives you a dewy finish, and has a power-packed roster of skin-enhancing benefactors like macadamia nut, kukui nut, açaí, avocado, and coconut oils plus other antioxidants in the form of CoQ10 and vitamin E. And as if that's not enough, the pump feature is game-changing. (It's the little things, folks!)
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.