When your skin starts to feel dry, dehydrated or is simply in need of some TLC, it’s time to oil up. While often we’ll reach for a tub of rich body cream, this winter, it’s body oils that will be taking up space in our bathroom cabinet.
A good one will seal in moisture, leaving skin feeling soft, supple and often with a glowy finish. So, if you’re trying to combat dryness or dehydration, consider adding one to your routine ASAP. We’ve done all the hard work for you to help you choose the perfect one for your body care routine.
How we tested
Over the past two months, we’ve made it our mission to find the very best, and have narrowed our search down to the top ten.
During our research, we explored texture, amount of product, absorption rate and how they left our skin feeling after. An important factor was the applicator as there’s nothing worse than oil running down your pyjama sleeve or spilling onto the bathroom floor because its too runny, or poorly distributed onto the skin.
Our results span high-end luxury budgets to affordable finds you can get at your local Boots, whether you’re seeking olfactory decadence or something simple and fuss-free.
The best body oils for 2021 are:
- Best overall – L’Occitane almond supple skin oil: £36, Loccitane.com
- Best lightweight body oil – Keys Soulcare sacred body oil: £25, Cultbeauty.co.uk
- Best dry body oil – Moroccanoil dry body oil: £35, Feelunique.com
- Best budget body oil – Palmer’s cocoa butter formula moisturizing body oil: £4.04, Boots.com
- Best for stretch marks - Decléor cica body oil: £38, Decleor.co.uk
- Best multi-purpose body oil – Nuxe huile prodigieuse multipurpose oil: £29.50, Marksandspencer.com
- Best applicator – Molton Brown flora luminare glowing body oil: £40, Moltonbrown.co.uk
- Best shimmer body oil – Sol de Janeiro rio sunset glow oil: £35, Spacenk.com
- Best for dry skin – Embryolisse beauty oil: £24.99, Lookfantastic.com
- Best scented body oil – Maison Francis Kurkdjian baccarat rouge 540 body oil: £90, Johnlewis.com
L’Occitane almond supple skin oil, 100ml
Best: Overall and for dry skin
This body oil from L’Occitane has been in our testers body care routine for nearly five years and is one she consistently goes back to. As part of the brand’s almond range, it has a subtle, yet distinct scent that doesn’t overpower and the glass bottle is a lovely addition to a bathroom shelf.
We love how well it spritzes onto the skin when applying it to harder to reach areas, such as your back, as even when upside down it works just as well. It feels like a generous amount of product too, with a bottle typically lasting us eight months with almost daily use. As it’s a dry oil, it’s not runny, so won’t stick to a pyjama sleeve or take ages to absorb.
Keys Soulcare sacred body oil, 60ml
Best: Lightweight body oil
Alicia Keys is hardly the first celebrity to venture into skincare and bodycare, but her line, Keys Soulcare, is one of the better ones we’ve tried. Each product comes with a mantra written on it, this one reads – everything I do is an act of creation – to encourage you to incorporate spirituality, wellness and embrace your skincare routine as a ritual.
We highly rate the hand and body wash, but the body oil has fast become another impressive product from the songstress. It’s also the only dropper bottle we tried in our roundup, which worked well to allow us to customise how much we used. Made with marula, jojoba and baobab oils, It absorbs within seconds and has a subtle, clean scent that’s a joy to apply. The bottle feels sturdy and luxurious, which we think adequately reflects the price tag.
Moroccanoil dry body oil, 100ml
Best: Dry body oil
Moroccanoil is well known and loved for its argan oil, which is traditionally designed for the hair but is a multi-purpose oil too. We’ve previously tried using it on our body and while the classic scent is sumptuous, it’s a tad thick and does leave your skin feeling slippery. During our review process, we put its dedicated body oil to the test and were left impressed. As a dry body oil, it’s much more lightweight and fast-absorbing, with a pump spritz mechanism that delivers an even amount of oil. The 100ml bottle feels huge too, one that will last ages.
Palmer’s cocoa butter formula moisturizing body oil, 250ml
Best: Budget body oil
Palmer’s have long been loved for their coconut butter based products, and the body oil is a gem among its moisturising products. It’s a lovely budget-friendly product to keep skin free from dryness while still having the luxurious feel of the other more expensive oils on our list. It gives skin a slight glow too. Our only gripe is the pouring head, which means it can be very easy to overapply, and this isn’t one we’d use anywhere near carpet. Instead, massage it into skin in the bathroom straight after a shower for the speediest application that’s as fuss-free as possible.
Decléor cica body oil, 100ml
Best: For stretch marks
This smaller 100ml bottle is more convenient for travel than most of the body oils we tried and the click top lid meant there was never a worry about potential spillages. It has a formula rich in cica botanic oil and eight accompanying botanical oils which work to help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Over four weeks we saw only a slight difference but nonetheless it’s a lovely, lightweight oil that was instantly skin-softening, so if stretch marks aren’t a concern for you, it’s still a worthy bodycare buy.
Nuxe huile prodigieuse multipurpose oil, 100ml
Best: Multi-purpose body oil
Nuxe’ best known product is its original multi-purpose oil, designed for the body, skin and hair. It gives a lovely satin sheen to skin and makes skin feel instantly silky soft. We loved the compact design of the bottle that made it easier to transport in our gym bag than larger bottles on our list. Packed with botanical oils, it leaves skin soft with a light floral scent and doesn’t take up much room on our bathroom shelf. We enjoyed its versatility, often using it on the ends of hair when it was feeling dry and on our face when skin felt parched.
Molton Brown flora luminare glowing body oil, 100ml
Bath and body brand Molton Brown have a range of six luxury body oils, but our favourite is the flora lumiere. With notes of orange blossom, mandarin and ylang-ylang it’s citrusey and refreshingly lightweight which doesn’t overpower your perfume, should you choose to wear one after applying this.
Our favourite aspect, aside from the beautifully simple, but weighty glass bottle, is the dropper applicator, so you can never apply too much, if you knock it over (take it from experience) it doesn’t spill everywhere. It would make a lovely gift to someone too, and the 100ml size has barely gone down, despite using it regularly for two months.
Sol de janeiro rio sunset glow oil, 75ml
Best: Shimmer body oil
If you’re looking for a body oil that will add a radiant glow to skin, look no further than this one by Brazilian brand Sol de Janeiro. Famous for its bum bum moisturiser cream – which if you haven’t tried you should – and the rich, summary scent of its Cheirosa ‘62 fragrance, thanks to notes of pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla, the body oil smells just as luscious.
Think of this body oil as best for daytime or evening out, rather than just before bed, as it gives a glowy, “Champagne” shimmer to skin. The bottle is rose gold with a pump mechanism. Don’t be put off by the thick bronze liquid that comes out, it’s not sticky and you only need a few pumps for your whole body, which quickly rubs in and doesn’t leave any tint.
Embryolisse beauty oil, 100ml
Best: For dry skin
Another body oil we tried that’s also multi-purpose is from Embryolisse. Infused with vegetable oils, along with pomegranate, lemon, apricot and shea, it’s great for dehydrated skin in need of some TLC. We kept this in our bathroom and easily introduced it into our daily routine post-shower, with just a few spritzes necessary to keep skin feeling soft and smooth. It’s lightweight, fuss-free and boasts a subtle floral fragrance.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian baccarat rouge 540 body oil, 70ml
Best: Scented body oil
For fragrance fans, this decadently scented body oil is a gorgeous treat for the limbs after a bath. Scented with Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s signature scent, Baccarat Rouge 540, it looks almost identical to the perfume bottle, with a glass casing and gold lid.
The oil itself is skin-smoothing and softening, with a generous distribution of product with each spritz, and we loved applying it around the neck and collarbone, where you would typically wear a traditional fragrance. While undoubtedly expensive, it’s ultra-luxurious and can also be used to layer beneath the traditional perfume for a longer-lasting scent.
The verdict: Body oils
We can’t fault the L’Occitane almond supple skin oil, that’s luxuriously packaged and deliciously scented, but also effective and keeps skin feeling soft, smooth and supple. It’s fast-absorbing, easy to apply to harder to reach areas and will last you months. It’s worth every penny.
However you don’t have to spend a fortune to find one that works, the Palmer’s cocoa butter formula moisturizing body oil works a treat too, giving skin a radiant glow and instant hydration hit.
For the latest offers on skincare and other beauty buys, try the links below:
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