Why You Should Be Using A Body Oil While You're Still In The Shower

A good body oil is a game changer when it comes to maintaining soft arms and legs. Thanks to the thicker consistency, it acts as a barrier that locks moisture in, keeping skin hydrated for much longer than regular lotion. On top of that, some studies have shown certain botanical oils can help our skin's natural oil production process, further boosting overall skin health. It doesn't have to feel greasy, either. A good, dry oil absorbs into your skin quickly, leaving you feeling smooth rather than slippery.

But there's actually a key time to apply body oil to ensure its efficacy: right before a shower. This protects your precious skin from the steady stream of hot water, which can exacerbate dryness and other conditions like eczema. And although we know that cold showers come with all kinds of benefits, let's be honest. Most of us probably aren't going to give up our steamy shower anytime soon. And while it might feel like the to-do list in the shower gets longer and longer, adding body oil in the process is worth the effort.

Why putting body oil on in the shower is key

It's easy to think the correct time to apply body oil is after the shower, once the skin is dry, just like lotion. While this method still offers moisture, applying it during the shower when your skin is wet, or even right before, comes with greater benefits. Experts say this can help any drying that comes from using certain soaps or body washes, which is beneficial for those with sensitive skin.

"One of my favorite rituals to care for dry, wintry skin is to apply body oil, especially grapeseed oil, to my entire body prior to jumping in the shower," dermatological nurse Natalie Aguilar told Mind Body Green. "This oil barrier prevents excessive water loss and helps with any irritation." Hot water can strip your skin of the lipids and natural oils that are so necessary for healthy skin. The oil acts as a buffer and protects your skin while you get clean.

As Aguilar noted, grapeseed oil is a fan favorite for this. Heritage Store makes a grapeseed oil that you can even apply to your face. Glossier's Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist offers a body oil made of sunflower seed, grapeseed, and oat oils. Sweet almond oil is another excellent body oil, and Shea Moisture's body oil in Sweet Almond is another option.

Take advantage of damp skin after your shower

While a layer of body oil keeps your skin hydrated while you shower, it's inevitable that some will rub off as you soap up. Not to worry. Aguilar told Mind Body Green that you reapply the oil once you've turned the water off. Don't dry off with a towel yet, though. Re-apply the body oil to damp skin so that it acts as an occlusive, keeping that moisture in the skin. Once you've oiled up, you can towel dry off any excess water and oil. In fact, body oil tends to work better if there's some water there already. "The humectants in your products, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, will have an easier time holding on to moisture if you're providing it," dermatologist Dr. Angelo Landriscina told Mind Body Green. Plus, your skin is still warm from the shower, allowing it to absorb the body oil more readily.

A few tips. If you have long hair, clip it up when you're re-applying body oil after your shower to keep your hair from absorbing it. Also, be very mindful of stepping in and out of the shower, as the body oil can make your shower slippery!