I watched a TikTok recently that harangued those who don’t moisturise their entire bodies after a shower, and immediately felt that unique combination of guilt and desire to go out and buy a bunch of hydrating products. Ah, the beauty myth! It’s simply evolved from unattainable imagery and advertisements in magazines to Gen Z judging via a social media app.
I have always had pretty clear skin, and so I have always had a pretty low-key skincare routine. And, having been a beauty and magazine editor in a former life, I have also been lucky to be able to test plenty of face and cleansing oils over the years - but in terms of body care, I’ve always been more of a traditional moisturiser from the supermarket type of girl (that is, when I remember to use it). So, I was intrigued to trial some more ‘luxurious’ body oils from three well-known brands - a timely reminder to regularly take care of the skin beyond my face, and, thank you TikTok, moisturise my entire body after a shower.
I actually began trialling these a while ago, over the summer break, including a week when I accidentally got very sunburnt (I wasn’t wearing sunscreen; I’m sorry!) and the skin on my legs turned into a flaky mess. The ultimate soothing and hydrating test.
All of these antioxidant-rich products did a great job in moisturising and leaving my skin feeling smooth and hydrated - the essential and literal job of an oil. So I focused my thoughts below on the other important details that make each unique, like scent, packaging and er, oiliness.
A classic of the genre, and one of those oils that I feel most people have tried at some point. It does what it says it will, and is accessible in terms of price and being readily available at places like Farmers and neighbourhood chemists. I like that! I have no time for snobbism in beauty (although I do also love a cult product that’s only available online and via a stressful YouShop experience).
This features Trilogy’s signature cult - and effective - rosehip oil, as well as sweet almond and apricot oils; it is also fragrance-free which I know is important for those with sensitive skin (I personally prefer an oil with a subtle scent as it makes the process of moisturising and massaging it in feel a little more indulgent). But for that reason, I did end up reaching for this as an emergency intensive face oil after I got seriously sunburnt at Polyfest (I wasn’t wearing sunscreen; I’m sorry!).
This felt a little ‘oilier’ than the others I tried and I could tell that I had oil on for a short while after. But the bottle lasted for what seemed like ages. Because of that, and its price point, this is one I’d recommend for more regular use, or for families.
I found this one a little difficult to use at first. It comes in a very chic weighty glass bottle with screw-on lid - a pump-free design with a big hole that meant I often ended up pouring out way too much. It takes some getting used to without wasting product but I do like that it reduces the number of ‘bits’ i.e. beauty packaging waste.
Dermalogica’s branding and packaging can sometimes look quite…clinical (I know that’s the point), but I’d happily leave this out on display. Its focus is to calm and nourish skin, with lots of vitamin E and a blend of French Plum Seed, Avocado and Sunflower Seed oils, and fermented red ginseng. It smells faintly citrusy, from a blend of orange blossom, bergamot and neroli; it also has notes of patchouli and sandalwood - so while the idea is to calm, the scent is actually quite zingy. It absorbed into my skin really quickly and didn’t leave any stickiness at all - you just have to be really careful not to pour out and use too much, or you’ll be slipping and sliding all over the place.
I loved this. It’s by a cult French brand known for its haircare, and has a variety of uses: for body, after sun, after hair removal and as a face cleanser. I have to admit that I kept gravitating back to this as it was the simplest to use, with an easy pump that gives more control over how much product you’re using. (Although I did have to press it what felt like a million times at first use; at one point I thought it was broken.)
It almost felt like a dry oil (it’s not) because it massaged into my skin so quickly and didn’t leave any sticky residue. But it’s rich enough to actually do something and leave skin smooth and hydrated.
According to the marketing spin, its secret is in the blend of oils (like hazel seed, sunflower seed, coconut) and lots of pro-vitamin A. It positions itself as multi-purpose - use it as a moisturiser after showering, to soothe after hair removal, as after sun care or as a cleanser/makeup remover.
Aesthetically? Gorgeous. The deep golden oil is housed in a square glass bottle that almost emits a glow in certain lights. But the best thing is the delicate scent of magnolia blossom that is somehow both intense and subtle; I received a number of comments. It reminded me of late afternoons in the spring sunshine. I also noticed, via the lingering fragrance, that my sister and my husband sneakily used it a few times too. A crowd pleaser!
The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know.