9 Body Oil Myths That May Have Crossed Your Mind
Body oils as a commercial skincare product have existed for over thousands of years - from the ancient Indians to Egyptians kings and queens, including Cleopatra - and yet a number of myths and apprehensions surround the use of body oils today.
Without further ado, let's take a look at nine myths associated with even the best body oils, some of which you may relate to. Read on to understand the ground reality of body oils.
“They’re greasy, and don’t get absorbed into my skin”
This is the most common misconception surrounding bath oils. It’s easy to see why, as grease and oil are synonymous with each other as a number of traditional oils are known to be thick in consistency. But, in reality, not all oils are sticky or block skin pores. A handful of oils do feel light on the skin and are known as non-comedogenic oils. In other words, they do not clog pores and get easily absorbed by the skin. Infact, each oil has a comedogenic rating as well! These ratings were assigned on a scale of 1 to 5 after careful study in 1989 by dermatologist James Fulton. Great examples of non-comedogenic oils are rosehip oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower oil; to name a few which have a comedogenic rating of 1, 0, and 0 respectively. A good skincare oil brand also understands the art of combining specific oils to make them less comedogenic. Kanya’s body oils use some of these low comedogenic oils making it light and non-greasy . Furthermore, if oils are applied when the skin is amply hydrated post a shower, the oil seeps into the skin.
“It’ll stain my clothes and sheets”
Nobody wants to deal with oil stains for sure and some oils do cause tough stains that take some intense washing. But, a good quality body oil which seeps into the skin leaves little room for staining. One of the main advantages of applying body oils after a shower is that the skin drinks up this concoction. Having said that, it’s best to wait for a couple of minutes before slipping your clothes on, to reduce any chances of staining.
“Oils have such a peculiar stink!”
Cooking oils may have a peculiar smell, but body oils infused with other fragrant oils are anything but stinky. The aroma is not just an attractive additive, but fragrances of specific herbs and flowers have been proven to reduce stress levels and aid overall physiological well-being. A handful of institutes in Thailand in 2010 studied the effect of jasmine oil on the human psyche. In Thailand, jasmine oil is preferred during aromatherapy. The study showed that inhaling jasmine oil altered the brain activity and mood positively of the participants. Scented body oils have aromatherapy benefits which end up providing holistic skincare.
“I use lotions...my body will not tolerate any oils”
Of course it can! Good quality oils are in fact lotions minus the preservatives, chemicals and the fillers. There are some who even prefer to mix a few drops of oil in their moisturizer for hydrating an extremely dry skin and swear by it! The base ingredient of most moisturizers is oil. But one has to tread caution as it also depends a lot on your skin type.
“I don’t have time for using body oils”
Oiling your body doesn't require any elaborate process apart from the use of your hands and the oil itself. Whether you moisturise or oil, it’s all about just taking a couple of minutes out for some much-needed tender, loving care for your skin.
"Essential oils… Body oils… they're all the same":
Body oils and Essential oils are as different as Tom and Jerry can be! Essential oils are as the extracts from plants, their leaves, flowers, stems, or their barks. Since each of these essences have different properties, some essential oils are stronger than others. Such oils are used for aromatic purposes that can be used in diffusers. They SHOULD NOT be used on the skin directly, unless otherwise mentioned. Meanwhile, body oils are safe to use on the skin as they are generally mixed with carrier oils or other secondary oils which means that essential oils have been mixed with other skin nourishing oils to give you a safe nourishing experience.
"Body oils are only for spas and salons":
Turn your house into a spa of sorts. Oils and massages go hand-in-hand and are known to give amazing results not just for your skin but your mind as well. Infact, the practice of a self oil massage on yourself before a bath is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual called Abhayanga. Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami says self-massage is as effective as one given by a therapist.
"I am too macho for body oils":
"What's the point...I cannot use body oils on my face! "
Body oils can be used all over the human skin, including the face. However, make sure to wash your face thoroughly and pat dry your skin before applying the oils.
Oils are a lot like us, each one has their own unique property and characteristics. If you manage to match the right oil with your skin type… it's no less than a match made in heaven! We hope you find yours, if you haven't already.
What were some of your initial thoughts about body oils? Let us know in the comments below.
Hongratanaworakit T. Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil. Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Jan;5(1):157-62. PMID: 20184043.