Surprise: The skin is the largest organ of the entire body, so it’s understandable that it can also be the most revealing sign of aging. The best way to care for your skin and ensure it looks as young as possible is by keeping it well-hydrated. Although dry skin plagues many people all year round, it is often even worse during winter. There are many possible ways to improve your dry skin including drinking plenty of water, eating a diet containing nutrients proven to be good for your skin, cleaning your skin with a good quality cleanser, and using a good moisturizer each day. You might even consider a body oil if you want to add to or supplement your current skincare routine.
But what is the best body oil for your dry skin? Well, that depends on the overall goals in your routine. Each type of body oil has different benefits, though each supplies extra moisture to your dry skin. Studying the ingredients in each body oil and understanding what benefits can be derived from them will help you decide which body oil is suitable for your dry skin.
Importance of Skin to Your Health
Many people approach skincare, including the prevention or correction of dry skin, as “only skin deep,” meaning they view the skin as something to keep soft, clear, and beautiful and will think only of topical ways to maintain and improve skin quality. But your skin is a vitally important organ for your body. It requires a lot of maintenance inside and out, as detailed in the AgeDefying article “Aveeno Lotion Can Be Your Affordable Anti-Aging Weapon of Choice.”
The essential functions that your skin performs are temperature regulation, sharing environmental information with the rest of the body via nerve endings, providing a physical barrier from the environment by keeping your organs and tissues separated from foreign objects, and storing and retaining fat and water for use by the entire body.
The American Academy of Dermatology indicates that moisturizing your skin is one of the best ways to combat the visible signs of aging. Topical products, such as body oil, are essential aids in protecting your delicate skin from the environmental factors that impact it daily. Body oil can ensure your skin receives moisture and retains it, along with many other benefits. Choosing the right one will depend on your overall skincare needs and goals. Looking at some of the benefits of body oil in general and the types of oil commonly found in body oil products will help you narrow down your choices. A good body oil might be the ticket to younger-looking skin. Here are some body oil options in a reasonable price range for you to consider.
6 Body Oils for Dry Skin
1. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil is a sunflower oil-based deep skin moisturizer that you apply to your damp body after bathing. This body oil promises only one thing: deep hydration while being vegetarian (not vegan) and cruelty-free. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil’s ingredients are straightforward. The body oil contains sunflower oil, Aleurites moluccana (kukui nut or candlenut) oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, linseed oil, and sweet almond oil, in order of most to least amount in the product. In descending order of volume, the other ingredients are alkyl benzoate, tocopherol (vitamin E), tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), benzyl benzoate (preservative), coumarin (a fragrance), and fragrance.
Kukui nut oil is a native Hawaiian plant derivative that provides anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing benefits. It is sometimes used on chafed or chapped skin and can even aid in preventing skin infections. Kukui nut oil is an excellent ingredient in body oil for people with eczema or severely dry skin. It can also lighten skin in small amounts and over a long period.
Sweet almond oil is a powerhouse oil for skincare. This oil has vitamins A and E, monosaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium, and zinc. Vitamin A helps reduce acne, while vitamin E softens fine lines, smooths the skin, and helps protect the skin from UV damage.
Users of this body oil commonly proclaim the soft floral scent as a favorite feature; many note its subtleness, saying it is pleasant but not overpowering.
You won’t find much criticism for this body oil. Some people do not love the scent, which is a personal preference. Some think the body oil is too thin, which makes it harder to control the application. Finally, there are a handful of complaints that the oil doesn’t absorb as well into the skin as other body oils.
This body oil contains coumarin, a fragrance that has to be reported separately on labels. It can cause severe reactions in some people but is generally safe for those without an allergy. If you are sensitive to this ingredient, you should avoid this product.
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil is a solid contender in the body oil market. The fantastic price is around $10 for an 8.5 oz bottle, making it affordable for daily use. The ingredients included are great for moisturizing and protecting your skin.
2. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oil Mist
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oil Mist is a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer packed with skin-loving ingredients. This body oil contains soybean oil, oat kernel oil, jojoba seed oil, fragrance, lecithin, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), and tocopherol (vitamin E).
Jojoba oil is considered one of the best oils for use on the skin. It mimics sebum which is the skin’s naturally produced oil. When looking for quality body oil, jojoba oil is as good as it gets. It is one of the best-absorbed oils, excelling at moisture absorption and retention. Jojoba oil is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Jojoba oil is also an antioxidant because it is a natural source of vitamin E and antibacterial for certain strains such as salmonella.
Oat kernel oil contains vitamins A, E, and B, calcium, zinc, manganese, and iron. This oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, and very moisturizing. Oat kernel oil is one of the most recommended ways of treating eczema. It moisturizes and can soothe the itchiness that often accompanies the condition. If you have eczema or itchy skin, you’ll get extra benefits from this product.
The most common complaint about this body oil is the packaging. It doesn’t travel well, being prone to leakage. The pump can also get stuck and become hard to use, which is a big deal for a spray. “Fragrance” is listed very high on the ingredient list for Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oil Mist. This is a catch-all phrase that can mean any number of ingredients. Those with extremely sensitive skin risk irritation, even if all the other ingredients are safe for you.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oil Mist costs roughly $8 for a 6.7 oz spray bottle. That is an excellent price point for a daily-use product, although it is not much less expensive than Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil, and you get almost 2 oz less. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Oil Mist has a much simpler and natural ingredients list, nearly all of which are heavy hitters in moisturizing and anti-aging. This body oil should help you treat dry skin, which will help you prevent signs of aging on your skin.
3. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil
Palmer’s has been a trusted name in products for pregnant and post-natal women for many years. Their product line is not limited to just those items, though; their Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil is a popular choice for women who want to stave off the march of time across their bodies. This body oil contains (in order of concentration) canola oil, isopropyl myristate, Cetearyl ethyl hexanoate, sesame seed oil, cocoa seed butter, argania Spinosa kernel oil, tocopherol, sunflower seed oil, dimethicone, rosa canina fruit oil (rosehip oil), and fragrance.
Palmer’s makes some bold claims about what this body oil delivers. Moisturization is the primary purpose, but the company also claims that consistent use of this body oil can reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines, and stretch marks. They also claim that the ingredients promote the reversal of dry skin, uneven skin tone, and diminish wrinkles and fine lines.
Cocoa butter is a time-honored ingredient in beauty products to improve moisture retention and has been known through its antioxidant abilities to reduce the impact of free radicals on the skin. Cocoa butter can prevent signs of aging, such as fine lines, dark patches, and rough skin, and even improve elasticity. Cocoa butter has a negligible impact on UV protection, and though it has nowhere near the effect of a good sunscreen, using it can improve the performance of your sunscreen. Cocoa butter is considered very gentle on the skin, with few sensitivities noted.
Cetearyl ethyl hexanoate is an ester of Cetearyl alcohol and 2-ethyl hexanoic acid. An ester is essentially the combination of an acid and alcohol that creates an emollient. Emollients provide two benefits in moisturizers. They help the skin retain the moisture it absorbs and add slipperiness to products, improving the ability to spread the product out for full coverage. It can also simply make the product feel better on your skin.
Sesame oil is a non-comedogenic oil that provides antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties to beauty products. It also contains many phenols, such as tocopherol mentioned before, and thus brings all the benefits of that class of ingredients. It also contains fatty acids such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, proven moisturizers for dry skin.
Rosehip oil contains fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the skin and help moisturize. It has vitamin A which aids in cell regeneration and helps with collagen production. Collagen is what keeps the skin supple and smooth. Though it has not been confirmed via independent study that it works the same when applied topically, there is a 2015 study that indicates ingesting rosehip oil had a noticeable improvement on skin elasticity.
The scent of cocoa butter is a love-it-or-hate-it type of smell. If you dislike the scent of cocoa butter in other products, you will probably not enjoy using this body oil. But the scent is not purely cocoa butter. Rosehips have a strong scent, and the two scents combined can be an annoyance for you if you prefer a milder or unscented moisturizer.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy oil contains the right ingredients to make good on claims about their product. All of the oils included and the other added ingredients promote moisturization via absorption and retention. You can expect this product to cost about $9-$12 for 5.1 oz. There are few cons to the product, so it should make a great moisturizer to prevent aging.
4. Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula
Neutrogena makes fairly conservative claims about Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula‘s benefits. According to their website, the product will moisturize your skin while leaving it dry and soft to the touch. They also claim it absorbs quickly. The ingredients are isopropyl myristate, sesame seed oil, PEG-40 sorbitan peroleate, fragrance, propylparaben, and BHT.
Sesame oil, as covered above, is an excellent source of moisture for the skin, with the added benefits of the ingredient’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant characteristics. Non-comedogenic and packed with phenols and fatty acids make sesame oil a good moisturizer for dry skin.
Propylparaben goes in both the pro and con lists. The benefits of this preservative are that your body oil will last longer and have little risk of bacterial or mold growth. This gives you a longer period to use the product fully before it becomes unsafe to apply to your skin. Cons will be covered below.
PEG-40 sorbitan peroleate is both an emulsifier and a surfactant. This breaks down the surface tension of the other ingredients in the product, allowing it to be better and more quickly absorbed.
Propylparaben is a preservative. Preservatives do not add any benefit to the product’s performance and are considered a moderate risk because they cause allergens, affect reproductive health, and are restricted in use for skincare.
“Fragrance” is higher on the list of ingredients with this body oil, and you, as a consumer, have no idea what that includes. This can be risky as there are little to no regulations on the items that can be included as fragrances in beauty products.
This body oil requires you to be mindful in using the right amount. If sesame oil is over-applied, it can build up on your skin and be difficult to clean. You must use it sparingly, either in the shower, which can be a slip hazard, or immediately after showering, and then towel it off, which will require more frequent towel changes.
Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula costs about $15 for a 16 oz container. The ingredients in the product indicate it should help with your skin’s moisture level. It contains more “fragrance” than other body oils and uses a preservative. So if you like a more natural ingredient list for your beauty products, this might not be your best bet.
5. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil has the longest list of purported benefits of all the body oils discussed. Bio-Oil claims that it improves the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks, improves moisturization, smooths skin texture, and evens out skin tone. It also claims to be non-comedogenic and therefore great for the face and body. This body oil comes in two formulas, the original and a “natural ingredients” version. Their website does not give full ingredient lists, so bear in mind that this list is from a third party, albeit trustworthy. The ingredients are listed as paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), triisononanoin, Cetearyl ethyl hexanoate, isopropyl myristate, retinyl palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, anthemis Nobilis (chamomile) flower oil, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, Calendula Officinalis extract, glycine soja oil, bisabolol, tocopherol, parfum, alpha-isomethyl ionone, amyl cinnamal, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, coumarin, eugenol (clove oil), farnesol, geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, limonene, linalool, CI 26100.
Lavender oil is a known antibacterial essential oil. You often find it in products aimed at healing acne-related issues. It is also proven to help with the inflammation and itch associated with eczema and psoriasis. Finally, lavender oil helps with evening out the skin’s color and is used to help treat dark spots.
Sunflower seed oil is an emollient, considered to be one of the best ingredients for anti-aging benefits and hydration. The linoleic fatty acid helps the skin process its own fats, which results in a better barrier against the environment and thus smoother and healthier-looking skin.
Chamomile flower oil reduces irritation and inflammation in the skin. It is helpful when treating acne because it is also antibacterial. Additionally, it contains minerals that help replenish the skin cells to help you appear more youthful.
Eugenol has some benefits, such as antiseptic qualities and the ability to help heal wounds, dull pain, and can help treat acne, but it scores extremely high for allergic reaction risks. It is often used for the scent and not in quantities high enough to give any beneficial qualities.
Farnesol and hydroxycitronellal are additional ingredients used for fragrance, but due to European labeling restrictions, they must be listed separately from other fragrances. The risks are also high for these compounds to trigger allergic reactions.
This body oil contains numerous compounds proven to moisturize skin and help with scar treatment and acne treatment, among other things. However, it has a lot of ingredients that could potentially cause allergic reactions. This product will successfully moisturize your skin but it comes with many risks. It is also fairly expensive, running at least $25 for 6.7 oz of product. If you have sensitive skin but love all the healthy moisturizing ingredients and want to try this body oil out, you can spend about $37 for 6.7 oz of the “natural” version which doesn’t have the fragrance ingredients, including the ones listed in the con list above.
6. Solimo Cocoa Butter Body Oil Gel
Amazon’s house brand of body gel, Solimo Cocoa Butter Body Gel, makes only one claim: that the product will help keep your skin smooth and moist if used daily as instructed. As with most body oils, the instructions are to apply to damp skin and massage it in fully before drying or getting dressed. The surprisingly simple list of ingredients are mineral oil, hydrogenated styrene/isoprene copolymer, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, and fragrance.
Mineral oil, as covered before, is a safe and excellent moisturizing oil for your skin. And cocoa butter, also covered before, is clinically tested to improve the skin’s moisture content.
The scent of this product appears to be the most common issue. Some people love it, some don’t, but it is a mild scent that fades over time after application.
Of all the body oils covered, this one appears to be the best value at around $6 for 6.8 oz. It also has a clean list of ingredients, aside from the fact that you can’t tell what is included for “fragrance.” If your goal is to improve the look of your skin to reduce signs of aging, this body oil will be a great addition to your skincare routine.
According to Alok Vij, MD, a dermatologist with Cleveland Clinic, “The loss of sweat and oil glands as we age may worsen dry skin. Anything that further dries the skin — such as overuse of soaps, antiperspirants, perfumes, or hot baths — will make the problem worse.” If you are trying to prevent or reverse dry skin, particularly to prevent your skin from aging, a good moisturizer in combination with other steps such as taking less frequent and cooler showers will help.
Many moisturizing products on the market can help you keep your skin better moisturized to prevent or improve dry skin. Adding a body oil to your skin regimen will improve the appearance of your skin and make it look more youthful. Keep in mind that body oils, or any over-the-counter cosmetic product, will not work alone, and they will not make vast improvements in your skin’s condition. If you have severely dry skin and are doing all of the recommended things to improve it with little progress, make an appointment with a dermatologist as there could be a more serious underlying condition. But for most people, adding deep moisturizers like the body oils we’ve covered here can be just the ticket to healthier and more youthful skin.