One of my favorite ways to moisturize my skin is with a body oil. There’s something inherently more luxurious about them — and while choosing between a lotion and oil is mainly a matter of personal preference, there is a belief that that body oils are the better choice for dry skin, since lotions typically have a higher water content, meaning they might not be as emollient (skin-softening), or long-lasting. As a self-professed body-care aficionado with skin that dries out easily, I’m here to share the absolute best body oils for dry skin that I’ve tried over the years. And believe me when I say I’ve tried dozens.
While you might be inclined to believe that body oils will leave a greasy residue behind, in my experience, it’s actually quite the opposite: rich lotions tend to leave a stickier feeling, while lightweight oils — especially when applied onto damp skin (ideally, right out of the ocean or shower) — absorb quickly and leave skin feeling nourished and soft.
Body oils also have many more benefits besides treating dryness. Yes, they’ll leave your skin feeling as smooth as can be, but they’re also great for massages and pre-natal use.
Below, you’ll find seven of my favorite body oils on the market. As a big believer in non-toxic beauty, you can feel assured knowing I only included formulas made with the safest, cleanest ingredients.
1. Best Drugstore Body Oil
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E, Skin Therapy Oil
If you’re looking for a no-frills body oil to nourish your dry skin without having to spend a ton, this classic, under-$10 pick from Palmer’s is a great choice. Like all of Palmer’s products, it’s rich in deeply-moisturizing cocoa butter, but this formula also contains vitamin E, rosehip oil, sesame oil, canola oil, and argan oil. This combination rejuvenates and softens skin for up to 24 hours and can also help fade scars and even out skin tone. It comes in a convenient spray bottle, which I love, and it’s free of mineral-oil, parabens, and phthalates.
2. Best French Pharmacy Body Oil
Avène Eau Thermale Skin Care Oil
As I write this, I have this body oil slathered on my legs. Avène, one of my favorite, most-trusted French pharmacy brands — especially for those with sensitive skin — created this oil using a skin-soothing complex made with botanical-based oils (camelina, safflower, and shea) and their signature thermal water, which has been used for centuries for its restorative properties. The thing I really love about this oil is how lightweight it is — it’s one of the least greasy I’ve tried and blends into skin instantly, leaving behind zero residue whatsoever (it’s also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores). It smells really good, kind of like lilies or other tropical flowers, and since it’s hypoallergenic and super gentle, those with sensitive skin can enjoy it, too. Also housed in a handy spray bottle, I love to store it in my beach bag to spray on after exposure to the sun and water. You can also use it on your hair.
3. Best Floral-Scented Body Oil
Weleda Pampering Body & Beauty Oil
If you love a rose scent, you’ll fall in love with this all-natural pick from green beauty brand Weleda. They’re one of the most sustainable brands around, and all of their products are NATRUE-certified, meaning they’re friendly to not only people and animals, but also the environment. This beauty oil can be used on both your hair and body to restore softness and shine, or you can mix some into your bath. The formula is made with organic roses, jojoba oil, and almond oil, so it’s rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, making it incredibly beneficial for dried-out hair and skin. Post-shower, spritz some on from head to toe — not only will you be super moisturized, but you’ll smell absolutely divine.
4. Best Sweet-Smelling Body Oil
Le Petit Marseillais Body Oil for Very Dry Skin
Sweet almond is possibly my favorite scent in the world. If you love it as much as I do, pick up this delicious-smelling oil from French brand Le Petit Marseillais. It was formulated with very dry skin in mind, but leaves skin silky instead of greasy. Besides sweet almond oil, the formula also contains sesame oil and argan oil, resulting in a sweet-smelling trio that will keep skin moisturized and soft.
5. Best Body Oil For Massages
ELEMIS De-Stress Massage Oil
If you’re looking for a luxurious body oil to add to your at-home spa regimen, ELEMIS’ De-Stressing Massage Oil is for you. It contains a tension-relieving blend of essential oils, like geranium, rosemary, lavender, and chamomile, that work to soothe skin, relax stiff muscles, and calm the mind. Use it post-workout, to relieve body pain and achy joints, or before bedtime to help lull you into a deep sleep. Many spas use it as their preferred massage oil, so go ahead and give yourself (or your partner) a DIY pampering session.
6. Best Prenatal Body Oil
Dr. Hauschka Blackthorn Toning Body Oil
Really, any of the body oils on this list are great for prenatal use, but this is one of the preferred formulas for expectant mothers because of firming and toning abilities. Using a fortifying blend of blackthorn blossom, sunflower oil, birch leaf, and St. John’s wort, this body oil from Dr. Hauschka works to promote elasticity and relieve pre- and post-pregnancy discomforts like dry, itchy bellies. It comes in a gorgeous gold bottle with a convenient pump dispenser and has a lovely, earthy smell. Because of its mild warming effects, it’s also one of the better oils to use during winter.
Dr. Hauschka, like Weleda, is one of the cleanest, safest brands out there, which is what makes it such a go-to for green beauty devotees and pregnant women. It’s NATRUE-certified, vegan, and never uses anything questionable ingredients like synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, as well as mineral oils, silicone, and polyethylene glycol. Pregnant or not, this luxe oil will kick dry, flaky skin to the curb in no time.
7. Best Body Oil Sampler Pack
Kneipp Body Oil Gift Set
For those who love to try different formulas before splurging on one, German brand Kneipp has you covered. For under $20, you can try their three most popular body oils, all of which are moisturizing but vary in terms of scent. Included are relaxing lavender, skin-softening almond blossom, and restoring safflower and olive. The almond blossom is perhaps the best choice if supple skin is what you’re after, while the safflower and olive blend contains oils that help skin regenerate itself, which can help with uneven tone and texture. The lavender would be best for nighttime use, since it has calming effects that might help you drift off to sleep faster. Rich in vitamins and fatty acids that are essential to restoring hydration in dry skin, all three formulas are vegan and free of paraffins, silicones, and mineral oils.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.