The cold, harsh air of the winter months is more than just an inconvenience: it can also cause very dry skin that can be frustrating and even a little bit painful to deal with. When it's cold out, the humidity levels drop, leaving the air cold and dry. As this happens, the water in your skin evaporates faster, as protective oils and moisture escape. This can lead to that tight, dry feeling you get all over your face and body, leaving you feeling flakey as well. And you aren't just imagining it: your skin can lose more than 25 percent of its ability to hold moisture in the winter. That's why it's essential to protect your skin by keeping it shielded from the chilly air and treating it well to keep it hydrated — and that's where body oils come in.
Think of a body oil as a more luxurious version of a body lotion. Body oils are ultra-hydrating, leaving your skin much smoother and softer than it was before. Dry winter skin needs all of the extra moisture it can get, which is exactly why oils are a great option. Unfortunately, they also tend to get a bad rep. Many people assume body oils feel heavy and, well, oily, leaving stains on clothing and even potentially causing breakouts. But when you get the right kind of body oil, this couldn't be further from the truth. The perfect body oil will go on smoothly, feel extremely light, and leave skin much more hydrated than it was before. Below are a few options that will truly help your dry winter skin:
A dry body oil tends to be more lightweight than a more rich oil or a deeply moisturizing cream, yet just as hydrating. They absorb into your skin quickly, leaving it feeling moisturized rather than parched, which makes them great to use right before you're getting dressed. This Keihl's Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil ($34.00) is especially convenient because it comes in a spray bottle: step out of the shower (it's best to apply any type of body oil on damp skin if possible), spray it all over, rub it in a bit, and it absorbs quickly and easily. This one is made with squalane and grapeseed oil, two very hydrating ingredients.
What's great about this dry body spray is that it has a very light scent that is almost undetectable, in a good way. It can also get rid of that dull texture that comes with very dry skin, leaving you glowing, but never "oily."
Everything about Herbivore's Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil ($44.00) is absolutely lovely. It's a hydrating body oil that has the most perfect jasmine scent to it: it smells wonderful going on and leaves your skin smelling nice as well, but it's not overpowering or too floral. Jasmine oil is known for its hydrating properties, as well as its ability to help heal scars and conditions like dermatitis. This oil just feels super hydrating, but also very lightweight, and you'll notice the difference immediately.
As a bonus, this Herbivore product is vegan, cruelty-free, noncomedogenic, and made without silicone, fragrance, gluten, artificial ingredients, unnatural preservatives, and fillers, making it very clean.
If you love anything rose-scented, then you absolutely need to try the French Girl Organics Lumière Rose Body Oil ($42.00): it has the most incredible rose scent that doesn't disappear the second the oil absorbs into your skin. In fact, it's so fragrant that it can even be dropped onto pulse points and used as a light perfume.
Aside from the scent, it also makes your skin look and feel wonderful. Made with argan oil, camellia oil, sunflower oil, coconut and palm kernel oils, and natural plant essential oils, it's full of super hydrating ingredients that will leave you feeling less dry than ever before. While it doesn't feel quite as lightweight as some of the other body oils out there, it absorbs nicely and a little bit goes a long way. It also makes your skin glow in a beautiful way that gets rid of any visible trace of dryness.
A quick glance at the Kopari Coconut Body Glow ($42.00) might leave you feeling intimidated: it almost resembles a glittery self-tanner, which is probably not the look you're going for. But it's absolutely worth a try, because that is not the look it gives you at all. This one is made from coconut oil, which is known for being incredibly hydrating. While coconut oil can be too oily for some, this oil gets the balance exactly right: it never feels heavy or too oily, absorbs quickly, and leaves skin looking and feeling amazing.
The cool thing about this body oil is that it does have a touch of a bronzy-looking shimmer to it, but it's not overwhelming at all. It just makes your skin glow in the nicest way, and can almost be considered like a body highlighter (that sounds scary, but it's a good thing, trust me!). It also smells like a summer day at the beach, which is especially nice in the dead of winter, when that seems impossible. On top of that, it's vegan, phtalate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.
If you're looking for something cheaper, opt for Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Body Gel Oil ($6.49). It's at a great price point, but it still works wonderfully. This body oil is made with coca and shea butters (two extremely hydrating ingredients) and a bit of Vaseline Jelly, which makes it feel almost more gel-like than a regular oil. That blend also helps hydrate your skin and locks in moisture.
This oil is another one that almost smells like summer in a bottle, and it also gives your skin a really nice glow (if you don't want that glow, though, you can mix it with a bit of lotion to tone it down). Because of the mix with the Vaseline Jelly, it's a little easier to apply than some of the oils that come with droplets or pump bottles.