Should You Be Using Body Lotion or Body Oil?

Beauty oils are all the rage right now—whether you’ve completely replaced your serums or crèmes with face oils, or you’ve just worked them into your routine along with everything else, you know how powerful they are. But what about body oils? Are they effective enough to replace lotions for rough, dry skin?

According to Rodale’s Organic Life, using a body oil is more popular outside of the U.S, especially when it comes to hydrating the skin

“I believe oils and lotions have varying benefits and drawbacks, but both can be incorporated into a healthy beauty routine,” aesthetician Charmaine Leah told Organic Life.

“Oils protect the skin’s lipid barrier and are great at preventing moisture from evaporating from the skin. Some people believe applying oil, especially to acne-prone skin, will clog pores, cause breakouts, or leave a greasy film. The truth is, most natural oils are easily absorbed, not greasy, and noncomedogenic; that is, they have a low potential to clog pores, which makes oils perfect for all skin types.”

Oils tend to be pretty straightforward–even with blends, there’s little more added (if anything). But with lotions, it’s a different story altogether. For one, lotions can be water- or aloe-vera-based. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—it helps to penetrate the skin and provide moisture. You can also pack all kinds of botanicals into a lotion formula that wouldn’t necessarily bind in an oil. But because of the unstable nature of creating a crème or lotion, that can also mean it’s loaded with preservatives, binders, fillers, and ingredients you may not want in your skin care. (There are certainly many totally natural lotions out there, so don’t let that scare you off!)

Like we choose a variety of foods to eat, choosing a variety of skincare options may be the healthiest choice. You can easily rotate between body oils and lotions throughout the seasons (or the day) to meet your skin’s needs. While oils do a great job at moisturizing and hydrating, you may need a more targeted crème or lotion for skin conditions like acne or eczema, and may find a lotion more soothing to dry and cracked skin.

Whether you choose an oil or lotion, be sure to read the labels and avoid mineral oil or artificial ingredients (like fragrance) that can introduce chemicals into your skin and body.

Best oils for skin:

There are far too many oils to name them all, but some clear winners for the body are jojoba, baobab, argan, sunflower, and even olive oil!

Best natural crèmes:

These are basically oils that thicken and harden in their natural state. They can be melted down to an oil or used as a crème or salve as-is: cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and mango butter.

Product Picks

Passion Fruit Cacao Moisture Recovery Lotion

Rosehip and Black Seed Oil

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