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Best body oil 2023: Relax your way to silky smooth skin with moisturising body oils

Stop sleeping on the benefits of body oils with these fragrant, nourishing choices

The underdog of the skincare world, body oils have an unfair reputation as greasy, messy alternatives to creams, lotions and gels. But those assumptions are largely undeserved, with body oils proving as varied as any beauty product. Using them correctly is entirely about finding the right fit for your skin and your routine.

Most oils are incredibly lightweight, meaning they don’t take much time to apply but have many of the same moisturising benefits as a lotion. Sinking into the top layers of your skin, body oils are known for significantly improving the look and feel of your body, evening out skin tone and lessening the appearance of scars, stretch marks and even signs of ageing. With lots of good, natural ingredients, they’re like food for the skin.

And one of the best things about body oils is their ability to double up as essential oils, with fragrant scents such as lavender or chamomile calming the mind and body after a long stressful day, or citrus and eucalyptus envigorating you inside while you’re taking care of your outside. Apply directly to your skin or sprinkle a little into the bath – however you choose to use them, body oils can revolutionise your beauty routine.

We have collected together some of the best body oils available, with examples to suit every budget and skin type.

READ NEXT: Best moisturiser to hydrate dry, oily and combination skin

How to choose the best body oil for you

Aren’t body oils messy?

The biggest misconception around body oils is that they’re difficult to apply and are easily transferred onto clothing. If used they’re correctly, this doesn’t have to be the case, as they are very easily absorbed into the skin, no greasy residue in sight. Applying straight after a shower or bath and waiting two to three minutes before getting dressed can also be key. 

And contrary to what you might think, if you have a history of problem skin, body oils can actually help to reduce issues such as acne and in-grown hairs. Ingredients such as virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, lavender and tea tree can all help to reduce acne and, in the long term, help to ease the appearance of the unsightly scarring it leaves behind.

How much should I use?

Unlike a lot of creams and lotions, a little goes a long way when it comes to body oils. That’s because of both the consistency and the way it’s absorbed by the skin, and something you’ll quickly notice when you switch is how long a single bottle with last. A few drops per area will do just fine, gently massaged into the skin straight after a shower or bath. 

Of course, that’s not the only way to use body oil – you can also make it part of a larger beauty routine. Sprinkle a few drops into a warm bath and let it gently moisturise your entire body with zero effort. You can also use many oils on your hair and face, but make sure to always check the ingredients before applying. For pregnant women, make sure you use oil without vitamin A.

How we test body oils

We personally test all of the body oils in the roundup below, following the directions on the packaging.

We first examine the main ingredients used in the body oil and, where applicable, the recommended skin type, and apply the product as stated. We note the immediate effects on the skin – in particular, skin softening and soothing, and any additional benefits such as calming itchy or sensitive skin. As well as considering how comfortable the skin feels after application, we also note how the product smells, the ease of use (including the package design), how much product is required for one typical application after a bath and the length of time for which the moisturising effects of one application last.

The best body oils you can buy in 2023

1. Moa Hello Sunshine Energising Body Oil: Best for daily use 

Price: £20 | Buy now from Cult Beauty 

The best kind of wakeup call, the Moa Hello Sunshine Energising Body Oil is full of vibrant citrusy smells and essential oils that will revive your senses. The lemongrass has antibacterial qualities, while marjoram helps with proper circulation and clearer skin. And while all of this and the fresh aroma of eucalyptus makes it a perfect morning formula, pine and yarrow are also great for soothing sore muscles after a workout. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for use during pregnancy. But otherwise apply whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Key Specs – Volume: 150ml

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil: Best for under £20

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon 

Used for years by pregnant women to both prevent and improve the appearance of stretch marks, Bio-Oil Skincare Oil is considered somewhat of a miracle worker when it comes to reducing the appearance of scarring and uneven skin tone. Whether you’re trying to prevent skin damage from pregnancy or weight gain, or want to fade scars and signs of ageing, then Bio-Oil’s formula of vitamin A and E, calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile works wonders to moisturise and even out skin. Apply twice a day and let it get to work.

Key Specs – Size: 200ml

3. Olverum Dry Body Oil: Best quick-drying body oil

Price: £42 | Buy now from FeelUnique 

This super fine spray from Olverum is luxurious without being overly rich. Simply spray the ultra light body oil onto cleansed, damp skin and massage it in to keep skin moisturised and supple, without feeling oily. The Dry Body Oil avoids the pitfalls of many competitors with its quick-drying properties; at no point are you left feeling slick like a seal pup. The formula comprises a whopping 30+ essential and botanical oils, and is completely vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. In fact, it’s gentle enough that recommended usage is twice a day – morning and evening for a dose of everyday luxury.

Key specs – Size: 100ml

Buy now from FeelUnique

4. REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil: Best for intense moisturising

Price: £28 | Buy now from All Beauty 

If normal products just don’t get it done, you should probably try the REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil, which is vegan and promises to restore elasticity in tired and dried-out skin as well as combat various signs of ageing. It does this by protecting against oxidative stress, which is the fight between free radicals and the body’s antioxidants, with ingredients such as carthame (or safflower) and macadamia oil, which combat skin inflammation and assist with heart health.

Key Specs – Volume: 100ml

Buy now from All Beauty

5. Elemis De-Stress Massage Oil: Best for relaxation

Price: £42 | Buy now from Amazon 

With our busy lives pushing us from one task to the next, sometimes we forget that our beauty routines should be a largely luxurious experience. The Elemis De-Stress Massage Oil pulls double duty in this regard. Its formula of rosewood, melissa, marjoram, geranium, rosemary, lavender and chamomile moisturises and nourishes the skin, whilst also relaxing the mind. Add it to your bath or apply before bed, taking time out to treat your whole body to some pamper time. 

Key Specs – Volume: 100ml

Buy now from Amazon

6. Tata Harper Revitalising Body Oil: Best for anti-ageing

Price: £107 | Buy now from Space NK 

Adding a touch of luxury to your beauty routine, the Tata Harper Revitalising Body Oil uses premium ingredients to nourish skin and help turn back the clock. The formula features fourteen active ingredients including rose, apricot kernel oil, frankincense and arnica, which serve to hydrate and tone skin as well as promote cellular renewal. It’s not cheap, but with 96.1% of organic ingredients, it’s perfect for particularly dry or sensitive skin or those who want a little extra help smoothing away the wear and tear.

Key Specs – Volume: 125ml

Buy now from Space NK

7. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Oil: Best for under £10

Price: £5.50 | Buy now from Boots 

Most of us have heard about the benefits of coconut oil, whether it’s in skincare or cooking, and Palmer’s Body Oil is one of the best ways to get those rewards into your daily beauty routine. The all-natural ingredients of coconut oil, Tahitian Monoï Oil and tiaré flower petals have been sustainably sourced, and the added sweet almond oil works to soothe the skin as the product performs its magic. The formula isn’t greasy, smells amazing and absorbs quickly into the area you want to moisturise – all for under £10.

Key Specs – Volume: 150ml

Buy now from Boots

8. Omorovicza Firming Body Oil: Best for toning up

Price: £55 | Buy now from Cult Beauty 

We’ve all wished at one point or another that there was a magic potion that could nip and tuck our wobbly bits and, although it’s not quite magical in the strictest sense, the Omorovicza Firming Body Oil has been formulated to tone and moisturise the skin like you’ve never seen. The body oil uses rosemary, chamomile and geranium to nourish and calm, while calendula, almond and apricot kernel oils are used to give skin back its elasticity. All of this combines to create an aromatic treat for your body, restoring your skin to its optimum radiance.

Key Specs – Volume: 100ml

Buy now from Cult Beauty

9. Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Body Oil: Best for body oil sceptics

Price: £18 | Buy now from Boots 

If you’re still not completely sold on the idea of body oils, either because of you think they’re too slimy or you’ve found they don’t absorb quickly enough, the Too Cool For School Egg Mousse could be the answer. The formula starts off as a mousse, which then transforms into a nourishing oil as it’s applied to the skin. The product’s name comes from the fact that it includes egg yolk extract and albumin from egg white extract, mixed in with gorgeous botanical oils, honey extract and milk proteins. A cute alternative for “battered” skin.

Key Specs – Volume: 150ml

Buy now from Boots

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