Body oil applications can be overwhelming for some. The thought of leaving the house in a greasy, runny, slippery mess, makes many of us reach for the bottle of body lotion instead.
The fact is lotions are formulated in some cases with the same oils we fear so much to apply. Lotions and creams are emulsions, which are nothing more than a mixture of oils and water bonded together with an emulsifier. Emulsifiers act like glue, sticking water molecules with oil molecules, which otherwise would naturally repel. The result? A creamy soothing mixture we cannot live without.
Most lotions and creams contain no more than 10-15% of oils in their formulation. The rest is water, some fragrances and preservatives. The nasty ones, contain no preservatives, or not all the preservatives they should contain, making them the perfect environment for bacteria and mold to freely grow.
Body lotions provide extra moisturizing for when our skin needs it the most, or for when our bodies can no longer produce what our skin needs, which happens to all of us due to aging. They soften, moisturize, hydrate and relieve us of dry itchy skin. We can drop a travel bottle in our purse for on the go, or have bottles scattered around the house and office for when we need them.
Body oils can perform the same tasks body lotions are known for, and do much more, and because they aren't diluted the benefits are greater and last longer.
- The results of body oil applications are long lasting, which translates in supple healthy skin that stays soft for longer even on cold and hot or dry climates.
- Body oils don't require preservatives. So you won't have to worry about mold and bacteria growing in them, or getting in contact with some potentially harmful chemicals. Although you do need to be careful not to introduce water in the bottle as this could potentially become a breading ground for some very nasty pathogens.
- Because body lotions in some cases contain minute amounts of oils, you'll be saving money buying the undiluted body oil while providing your skin with real nourishment.
But the reason why so many steer away from body oils is because they can be a bit tricky to apply. Contrary to using body lotions, there is a correct way, and an incorrect way to apply body oils The correct application of oils is what makes the huge difference! and once you try these tips I'm sure you'll say bye-bye to lotions, or at least incorporate oils into your beauty routine.
Apply on wet skin, never on dry skin.
Always apply body oils on wet skin, preferably after a morning or evening shower, massaging for a few seconds until all those water droplets on top of your skin dissipate. Tap dry and avoid any rubbing or scrubbing with the towel.
The massage allows both moisture (the water droplets from your shower) and the oils to penetrate the inner layers of the skin creating a moisture barrier, similar to the one lotions create, sealing moisture in an preventing skin dehydration. The result, supple skin that stays hydrated for longer.
But because you can now control the amount of oils your skin really needs, your skin remains softer for longer, so there is no need in most cases, for continuous applications throughout the day. If your hands require an extra application at mid day, simply wet your hands, apply a drop or two of oil and massage like you would your lotion. You will notice as days go by, the need for applications during the day is reduced to 1 or 2 with oils opposite to 5 or 6 with lotions.
Never, ever use body oils on dry skin. Dry skin oil applications, although wonderful for massage, take longer to absorb, leaving a greasy layer on the skin that won't penetrate the stratum corneum. Because the skin is already depleted of moisture, adding oils won't re-hydrate it if water isn't present.
Don't use too much!
Opposite to body lotions, a little oil goes a long, long way! Just a few drops might be all you'll need, but you can always add a few drops more if needed. The right amount of oil varies from individual to individual and will depend on the season, humidity/dryness, your skin type, and many other factors. Testing is the only way to know how much is too much so don't be afraid to experiment.