Beauty and body oils: What you need know

By: Alexandra Donaldson

Getty Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty


Beauty and body oils: What you need know

By: Alexandra Donaldson
You’ve probably noticed oils creeping into the skin-care aisles of your beauty boutique. Or perhaps coconut oil has made its way from your kitchen to your bathroom. There’s good reason for these rich, botanical concoctions to become part of your skin-care routine. We spoke to Kristina Tsiriotakis, head of learning and development for L’Occitane En Provence in Canada, to dish on beauty and body oils.

They’re super hydrating
“Body oils pack the most moisturizing power of any body treatment,” says Tsiriotakis, “Most lotions are 70 percent water, meaning your skin is receiving very little nourishing oil.” Although many favour creams because they are quick-absorbing, oils will always be more hydrating because they don’t break down as easily. The take-away? A couple of extra minutes in the morning applying an oil will keep you hydrated all day.

They’re full of good-for-you ingredients
Body oils are made from plant oils, all of which contain vitamins, proteins, mineral and essential fatty acids. Tailor your purchases to your needs by learning what different oils are good for. For example:
• Almond is high in omega-9.
• Vitamin E is great for healing.
• Shea is regenerating and is a must for those suffering from psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.
• Grape seed is good for strengthening and toning the skin.

They’re perfect for dewy, summer skin
“Body oils give the skin the most supple, dewy and lustrous look,” says Tsiriotakis, “which is perfect for when we start to show our skin more.” For that sun-kissed, just-from-the-beach glow, get a body oil.

We all know that winter tends to leave skin dry, but summer has its own dehydrating culprits too. Water, sun and air conditioning can all contribute to parched skin, so a body oil is ideal year round.

Almond shower oil, $24, .

They are multi-taskers
“The texture of body oils provides the right base for massages,” says Tsiriotakis. Also, “body oils offer the best delivery system for essential oils.” Derived from plants, essential oils require a carrier or base oil to be safely applied to the skin.

How to add body oils into your routine:

Get smooth: “Exfoliation is key as a first step,” says Tsiriotakis. Removing dead skin cells ensures the oil is able to penetrate the skin fully.

Get clean: If you don’t want to give up your body butter, try a shower oil. “Shower gels can sometimes strip the skin of its natural oils,” says Tsiriotakis, “shower oils will cleanse the skin, but also leave it more balanced.”

Get hydrated: “It’s important to use a body oil on damp skin,” says Tsiriotakis. “This will emulsify the oil and allow it to really sink into the skin.” Still nervous? Tsiriotakis recommends adding a pump or two of oil into your body wash or lotion. You get an added dose of hydration with quicker application of a pure oil.

Get dressed: It should only take a couple minutes for body oil to sink into your skin. To be safe, wait a full five minutes after application before getting dressed.

Read more:
Best beauty oils for hair, body and skin
5 affordable haircare brands for the whole family
Micellar water: Your all-in-one cleansing solution
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Beauty and body oils: What you need know