Do you need a body oil in your routine?

5 Aug 2015

I've always liked body oils, but I've never been consistent with using them. I tend to get a new one, use it for a few weeks and then I just forget about it, going back to my usual body butters and lotions. Over the past couple of months that has all changed, with body oils becoming a constant in my body care routine and my product of choice particularly at night before bed. But do you really need a body oil in your routine, or are they more fuss and mess than they're worth?

I'd say the body care product I turn to the most is body butters and I've shared my love for The Body Shop Body Butters in particular more than once here on Tattooed Tealady. Over the past few months I started to notice that although my skin was still lapping up the benefits of my favourite body butters, the hydration and softness didn't seem to be lasting for as long as usual. After doing some online research I stumbled across a few articles and brand quotes proclaiming the benefits of using body oils, with a few different ones stating that over time our skin can get used to using one particular product, rendering that product less beneficial.

Now, you can think what you will of that - but this is something I personally agree with because it's a reason I constantly have to change up the hair care I use. If I use a shampoo and conditioner continuously, for example using a bottle of each then repurchasing and continuing to use that same product and range, they are less effective for my hair and my hair becomes harder to manage. I wholeheartedly believe our skin, hair and body can get used to a product, a formula or a particular set of ingredients. I've found the same evident with tattoo aftercare products. For years I relied on Bepanthen which is a popular choice for healing tattoos; around 3 years ago I found it just simply stopped working for me and started to have a negative effect on the healing process of new tattoos, so I had to switch things up and moved onto a balm. After a couple of years the same thing happened with the balm - so I now dry heal (which if you have any tattoos yourself and have ever dry-healed them, you'll know that's not the nicest or most pain-free ways to do it!).

Simply by formula and ingredients, body oils - just like facial oils - have been hailed as better for keeping skin hydrated, softer and supple over time and with continued use. Whereas many products can simply sit on the skin, as this is even the case for cheaply made oils of any type which have filler ingredients, body oils are formulated to sink in and penetrate skin deeper and in a different way to your general lotions and potions. There's such a vast variety of body oils on offer, too, that cover everything from dry oils to fragrance free or beautifully scented oils, shimmer oils, tanning oils, you name it and like all areas of beauty, the possibilities are endless. It surprises me how few people I know use a body oil in their body care routine, and usually it's because they hate the messy nature of applying an oil, or the sticky residue they leave on your skin - but not all oils are like this, and there are some absolute gems available which can be hugely beneficial for your skin.

One of my favourites is Antipodes Heavenly Body Oil (£24.99, 100ml) which has a handy pipette which has turned out to be my favourite method of using an oil, as you can decant the perfect amount either directly onto your skin or into your hand, before massaging in. Like all Antipodes products I have tried, I've found it to be incredibly effective with my skin and of all the oils I've been using, it's the oil which I notice the longest lasting hydration with. With a mix of Lavender, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang and Jasmine, alongside organic Avocado, Macadamia, Rosehip and Jojoba Oils. It is a light organic oil which works to rejuvenate and moisturise skin whilst being non-greasy and suitable for both morning and night time use, leaving my skin feeling like silk to the touch. The scent is fairly subtle, with hints of all the ingredients inside but none are too overpowering or intense. It's just a very lovely body oil that does exactly what it promises. 

If you prefer a dry oil, then one I've repurchased a couple of times now when summer has come around is the Di Palomo Wild Fig & Grape Enriching Dry Oil (£18, 50ml), which scent wise is one of my favourites (just another blogger obsessed with fig scents!). Unlike Antipodes, it has a spray applicator, but the oil itself actually comes out in quite a fine mist and as a dry oil, is quicker and easier to massage in. It has a lovely subtle scent of wild and freshly ripe figs with the sweetness of grapes, with a unique blend of luxurious oils and Vitamin E which are absorbed into the skin providing nourishment, leaving skin feeling softer and revitalised. 

For those who want something really luxurious, there's few oils that are as luxurious as the REN Moroccan Rose Otto Perfect Glow Oil* (£26, 100ml). Also with a spray applicator (that is a little bit intense, so I'd recommend spraying into your hand before massaging into skin, rather than straight onto skin), this one has a luxurious formula, a luxurious scent and leaves a luxurious and extremely hydrated and softened feel to skin. Utilising Rose Otto Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Omega 6 and 7 alongside Jojoba and Argan Oil, it's nourishing, anti-ageing, works to protect skin from harmful environment damage and leaves skin softer, supple and looking healthier. A body care product with the oomph of a hard-working skincare saviour, all with a beautiful scent. Perfect. 

The Body Shop Beautifying Oil (£10, 100ml) is the most budget-friendly of the body oils I've tried so far, without being full of nasty and cheap ingredients simply to bulk it out like a lot of cheaper options I've come across. I am currently making my way through Cocoa Butter, but there's pretty much an oil for all the scent ranges The Body Shop have, so quite the variety to choose from! Using a light-weigt blend of Nut Oils including Community Fair Trade Marula Oil, it's a lovely oil that quickly absorbs into skin and leaves my skin feeling pampered and hydrated for hours. One thing worth noting, though, is that of all my favourite body oils, this is the only one which leaves any kind of residue; although it's not much at all and doesn't leave my skin feeling uncomfortable or sticky, it just doesn't sink in as well as high-end options. 

Melvita L'Or Rose Body Firming Oil (£30, 100ml) is just as lovely as the REN option, but I find it slightly smoother and thinner in consistency, which in turn makes it quicker and easier to apply. It combines berries from La Reunion alongside Sea Buckthorn which is meant to give this oil a slimming formula which works to visibly reduce cellulite; the key word there being reduce, as nothing can stop or permanently alter or prevent cellulite. If you're going to get cellulite, you're going to get cellulite. It has a lovely scent, slightly more on the subtle side, but also more fresh which makes it great as a morning oil. 

The main reason I decided to start applying body oils on a more regular basis, was the desire to keep my skin as soft, supple and hydrated as possible throughout my pregnancy. I know that no product, whether an oil, cream, balm or lotion, can prevent stretch marks. So many products are sold as miracle workers that will 'stop' stretch marks from appearing, but it doesn't take a genius to work out it's all a selling tactic. Products which promise to help reduce the signs of stretch marks? Now that's a different story and I have a couple of reviews coming your way of body oils specifically designed for mothers-to-be. A lot of body oils can be quite pricey, but I do find that due to the pure nature of an oil, a little goes a long way and all the body oils I've been using are lasting a lot longer than my usual body butters, which I use up more often and therefore spend more money replacing on a regular basis. In the long run, using a body oil can definitely be more cost-effective, even if the initial price is a bit more than you'd usually fork out. 

*PR sample - Disclaimer