The best body oils and the mess-free trick that makes them a joy to use
Lashing them on in the shower makes them go much further than normal
Laura Kennedy: My body oil lives in the shower.
I could never get along with body oils. They simply didn’t appeal to my foundational characteristic as an enthusiastic beauty consumer – laziness.
In a life that is all about working toward things, and being sensible about things, beauty should really be a wonderful means of instant gratification. I have particular affection for a product that gives it all away up-front and requires little convincing to do so.
There is little as dispiriting, in my opinion, as standing in the bathroom in the nip, temperature dropping like a ham newly emerged from a steaming pot, and tearing oils across itchy skin. I haven’t the patience for it. Besides, it seems to take forever and half a bottle of oil to cover the whole body, after which I always feel like one of last Christmas’ lingering unwanted Quality Street, festering inside its plastic wrapper. Oil can feel cloying on the skin and stain your clothes. It gets on the floor. Comical, if dangerous, slippage can ensue.
So far, this doesn’t read much like a column championing body oils. Stick with me, however, because I have made them work for me by simply breaking all the rules and finding a lazy hack. My body oil lives in the shower. After washing, and while my conditioner is doing its work, I quickly turn off the water and apply the oil to wet skin.
It goes miles further that way; you’re not freezing as you apply it, and the shower washes away any inadvertent spillage. Just avoid the soles of feet for safety. The warmth of the shower helps the oil to work into the skin, and you will feel it supremely softened right away. When you towel-dry on exit, any excess is removed, leaving a lovely, moisturised feeling that is nothing like being bound in cling film. It won’t damage standard clothing – perhaps skip the oil if you’re wearing fabrics like silk, but who is, these days? If you do this routine before bed, you’ll be shocked by the improvement in your skin by morning.
There are countless oils to choose from. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (€33 at pharmacies nationwide) is widely beloved. I find its white flower fragrance slightly too intense, but if you want a product with a handy spritz nozzle and a lasting fragrance, you will love it.
Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Dry Body Oil (€47.50 at marksandspencer.com) is a classic, and also features a handy spray nozzle. The rose fragrance is lovely, but won’t leave you smelling like the lining of your granny’s handbag. The oil itself is rich and softening.
I have loved Moroccanoil’s holiday fragrance since my teens. Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil (€48 at beautyfeatures.ie) is an exquisite blend of argan, olive and avocado oils and lovely to use. I choose to ignore the c-word in the title of Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil (€28.50 at downtoearth.ie), largely because nothing will really diminish cellulite apart from exercise and expensive cosmetic treatments. I still like the oil for its deeply moisturising vegan formulation and invigorating herbaceous scent. The pump applicator is also ideal, as it won’t get clogged up.
Product of the Week
Crabtree and Evelyn Spiced Honey Bath Syrup (€35.50 at crabtree-evelyn.eu)