Nourishing Body Oils

By Mary Bemis / September 7, 2011

Whether you choose to disperse a few drops in your bath water or apply post-shower when your skin is moist, you’ll enjoy the silky smooth results of these nourishing body oils.

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1. Elemis—Japanese Camellia Oil

For centuries, Japanese women have relied upon camellia oil for hair, scalp, and nail beauty. It’s the star ingredient in this lovely, lightweight blend. Used in Elemis spas in the Nurturing Mother-to-Be pregnancy massage, the oil, rich in plant collagen to help keep skin supple, absorbs easily. Ingredients include sweet almond oil and camellia seed oil. $41,

2. Equavie—Hair and Body Silk
Organic oils of sesame, virgin safflower, and virgin sunflower combined with organic honey oil extract make this new product a winner. It absorbs nicely, and I enjoyed its silky texture and light scent. $45, 3.38 ounces,

3. Absolutely Natural Tranquility—Arnica Muscle Relief Organic Bath & Body Oil
Made with wild-crafted arnica, this spicy (in a good way, maybe from the addition of basil and bay laurel) blend is formulated to “ease congestion and relieve aches and pains.” Touting itself as a “superb rub for fatigued muscles,” I must admit it delivered. I applied it to a painful, aching joint and less than three minutes later, it went to work, leaving me feeling 90 percent better. While it is therapeutic, it also serves as a soothing bath oil. Among its ingredients: virgin coconut oil and organic oils of olive, grapeseed, jojoba and cranberry seed, as well as green tea and vitamins C and E. $20,

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4. Marie Veronique Organics—Anti-Aging Body Oil
I forgot to shake this bottle first (per the instructions) before I squirted a small amount into my palm. Its color and consistency reminded me of a high-quality cooking oil. I rubbed my palms together and inhaled deeply—heaven! This blend of rose and neroli oil was nothing short of uplifting. My skin ate it up when I applied it to my moist, post-bath skin. I just wish it came in bigger bottles! A beautiful blend of  apricot kernel, jojoba, avocado, and watermelon seed oils, plus squalene from olive oil. $36, 2 ounces; $63, 4 ounces,

5. Auromere Massage Oil—Ayurvedic Formula
There are 25 Ayurvedic oils, extracts, and herbs in this no-nonsense formulation that’s prepared according to traditional methods. Ingredients include a base of pure, cold-pressed sesame oil, as well as  Indian Nightshade, fennel, sandalwood, and cardamom, to name a few. At first dispense, I wasn’t sure I liked it—but it grew on me in seconds. Its scent and feel is as authentic as they come and it’s wonderfully rejuvenating. $8.95, 4 ounces; $50, 32 ounces,

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6. JAMU—Asian Spa Rituals

Four gorgeous massage oils in equally beautiful packaging make up this collection from founder Kim Collier. My favorite is Jasmine Frangipani, the Javanese Lulur oil. Crafted with delicious organic ingredients, all with high oleic safflower oil, cold-pressed grapeseed oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil, among others. May be applied pre- or post-bath as a body moisturizer. $14.50, 8 ounces,

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7. HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury—Hair and Body Silk
This subtly scented USDA-certified organic hair and body oil is handmade in artisanal batches of 40 pieces each by founder HollyBeth Anderson in her Atlanta, Georgia studio. High in antioxidants, it includes camellia, argan, vetiver, rosemary leaf, and chocolate peppermint oils. It’s a luxurious elixir that leaves hair hydrated and glistening and skin smooth and supple. For hair, simply apply two to three drops between hands and smooth over hair to tame flyaways. $54,

8. Plantlife—Stress Relief Aromatherapy Massage Oil
A few reasons why I love this oil: It’s light and non-greasy, for starters—and it really is stress relieving. It’s a combination of grapeseed, sweet almond, and olive oils, and contains a proprietary blend of 100 percent pure essential oil. I love the aroma and found it to be truly calming. I thought for certain it contained lavender, but the ingredients list organic calendula flower extract and organic chamomile flower extract. Whatever the magical blend—it works! $8.15, 4 ounces; $13.45, 8 ounces,

9. Amrit Organic—Golden Nutrient Serum Organic Signature Blend
I’ve long been a fan of Bonnie Canavino’s organic oils from Red Cherry Certified Organic Labs. This serum is an intoxicating mix of organic sunflower, jojoba, and olive oils. Apply a few tablespoons to your bath water, or to your damp skin post-bath. Although upon application it leaves a shine, it absorbs quickly into the skin. $25, 4.7 ounces,

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10. Simply Peninsula—Relaxing Body Oil
I’m on my third bottle of this luxurious and nourishing oil from the The Peninsula hotel group. Blended with pure essential and botanical oils, this one softens the skin with a combination of avocado, coconut, sunflower, and sweet almond oils. It has a soothing scent, thanks to the addition of cedarwood, frankincense, rose—and of course, lavender. I use this at night before going to sleep and massage it into my skin with upward strokes. The company also makes a nice Refreshing Body Oil. $28,

11. Charym—Luscious Lakshmi
This is a lovely product made from wildcrafted essential oils that’s packaged in an attractive bottle from Charym, a day spa in Litchfield, Connecticut. Intended to “soothe, relax, and enhance pure joy,” it contains more than 88 therapeutic Ayurvedic herbs, including Shatavari, nutmeg, and amber and includes these organic oils: safflower, sunflower, jojoba, sesame,almond, and rosehip seed oil. I applied the contents religiously until there was no more. My body thanked me. $37, 4 ounces,

12. Asclepion—Luxury Body Oil
A combination of 11 soothing essential oils, this USDA-certified organic product is also certified organic by CCOF, California Certified Organic Farmers. Jojoba oil serves as the base, and neroli, tiare, and geranium lend a lovely scent.

Mary Bemis
Mary Bemis

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