Best Body Oils to Prep Your Skin for Summer

Whilst most of us find ourselves at-home a lot more at the moment, there's never been a better time for some skin-TLC and body prep for the summer. It's no wild guess that as soon as we're allowed to safely leave our homes, we'll be tearing out of the door to every social invite we receive and, of course, all in a big group of our much-missed nearest and dearest! After emerging from our chrysalis, we'll sure want to look and feel our best. And, for all the ever-important hand-washing we're doing at the moment, you may have noticed your skin is appearing drier than usual and perhaps even scaly (please don't tell me it's just me!)

Enter: Oils.

I can't remember how many times I've added 'moisturise more' to my resolutions each year, yet making it a new habit has certainly been a challenge in the past. It's funny that such a relaxing, nurturing act often gets neglected in favour of "just one more episode" on Netflix in the evenings. Summer holidays are a bit of an exception to the rule in that when I'm away, I seriously up my beauty regime. With days spent out in the sun and my pale complexion to contend with, I always make time to apply a rich body oil or body butter in the evenings. I think it's the escape to a new, much more relaxed pace of life that allows for it in my 'getting ready' routine (something that's more apparent in my current day-to-day life in lockdown). My go-to holiday oil has for many years been Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil. If you know, you know, that this precious petal-powered oil smells INCREDIBLE. Prepare to be transported to a Tahitian sun-drenched setting and meander through frangipani-filled gardens at sunset...(even when you're in Spain and not the Polynesia!) It is DIVINE. 

Snapping out of that summer haze and back to reality, finding out I was pregnant was like a wake-up call that now is the time to take care of my body and that goes for my skin too. I reached straight for all the lotions and potions in my bathroom cupboard to up my moisturising game. I'm lucky to have worked in the beauty industry so there's been a hefty backlog of these products to work my way through. Let me share with you the three top body oils I've been using (and will be repurchasing)...


Elemis Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend, £40
I can definitely attest to my skin feeling more dehydrated than ever as all my nutrients are directed to my womb so applying this treasured oil daily feels like such a nourishing act of kindness. Having worked at Elemis, I learned of this particular product's benefits for expanding bellies some years ago. Stretch marks seem to be most expectant mothers' main worry when it comes to their changing physique. I was recently told stretch marks are, more often than not, hereditary; if your mother had them, it's quite likely you will too or vice versa. 

I've taken to slathering this fragrance-free decadent oil onto my stomach daily. It's a lovely moment to take stock of your changing shape, growing bump and have a moment of connection at the start and end of each day with your baby. Being fragrance-free, it is perfect for that "super-smell" stage of the first trimester - this won't cause any offence! It's even good enough for Victoria Beckham to have used throughout each of her pregnancies so I've been sure to gift this to expectant friends and keep a little stash for when my time came. I'm two bottles down and onto my third... 

TOP TIP: Whilst your focus will be on your stomach and bump itself, don't neglect your back. A beauty therapist recently told me that the 'stretch' of your skin actually starts from your back and wraps around so you want to make sure that is as nourished as possible so it's up to the task! Plus, don't forget your bust which undergoes its own expansion journey! It's the least they deserve before becoming chew toys...


The Sanctuary 4 Day Long-Lasting Moisture Body Oil Spray, £7.50
This is at the affordable, mass-market end of the spectrum and can be picked up in your local Boots. I am a bit fan of The Sanctuary and even remember going to their Covent Garden Spa back in the day. Ever since I've been a little bit obsessed with the fragrance of their products and treated myself to the odd body product on occasion. I was a sucker for the '4 day long-lasting moisture' claim for my ever so scaly legs and this definitely does a great job. I can't advocate the four-day claim as I usually reapply more often (and generally feel the need to). However, if the thought of oils makes you think of gloopy, sticky and thick textures, this couldn't be further from that thought. It's a lightweight oil that can be sprayed for a mess-free application and feels more like a 'dry oil' so sinks in super quickly with minimal drying time.


Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Floral Multi-Purpose Body Oil, £29.50
I fell in love with Nuxe last year and bought their entire suncare range pre-holiday. The fragrance is to die for, plus I certainly rate their SPF products for protecting my fair skin. I had heard many good reports of Huile Prodigieuse - their hero product - and when I spotted the Floral edition I couldn't resist seeing what all the fuss was about. For the best part of £30, it works beautifully during the warmer months serving as a body moisturiser and perfume combined. That's why I've taken to applying it to my hands and arms during these warmer days as I waft around my house and garden. And the 100ml bottle certainly lasts a long time!
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Given the timing of this post also coming at an unprecedented era of hygiene, I think the earth's hand lotion consumption has just hit an exponential high and is out of stock in many places. I have a little hack up my sleeve that will leave hands feeling nourished and quenched and that's applying a spritz or a drop of oil to your hands each time you wash them. The difference to your skin texture is clear to see immediately and you can literally feel the tension in your dehydrated skin ease. It really is one of life's small luxuries right now. I keep a bottle in my bathroom and another on my desk next to a hand cream - strength in numbers!


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