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Whether you’re gearing up for shorts season or you prefer a sun-kissed glow all year round, it’s time to ditch your body lotion for its sexier, more adventurous cousin: shimmering body oil. Part protective barrier and part skin-smoother, these light-reflecting oils are made with nourishing, plant-derived oils like coconut, jojoba, and sweet almond, which serve as both occlusive and emollient agents. Unlike self-tanning oils that actually deposit color, the best shimmer body oils are typically translucent with a bronze or golden sheen, which allows them to work for all skin tones.
Most shimmery body oils will denote their pearlescent effect with words like “shimmer” or “glow” right in the name, but you can also identify shimmery products by looking for “mica” (also sometimes labeled as CI 77019) in the ingredients list. However, since mica is an ethically dubious ingredient that has been linked to child labor, you’ll want to look for mica that is either ethically sourced or synthetic (which all of the oils below are). If it’s not clear on the label, you can always inquire with the brand directly or check out the Responsible Mica Initiative's membership list.
No matter which oil you choose, you’ll want to give it a good shake first to thoroughly mix the shimmer. Body oil can be applied on both damp or dry skin, either on its own or on top of a lotion — just don't forget that most shimmering body oils are scented, so you may want to opt for an unscented lotion.
Whether you're actually headed to a tropical locale, or you just want to add some beachy vibes into your everyday routine, these five body oils, ahead, will give you glowy, radiant skin from neck to toe.
Vaseline calls this a co-creation, noting that their Illuminate Me Shimmering Body Oil was designed by Black women for dark skin tones. Mineral oil and sweet almond oil form the base of this product, while ethically sourced mica (in a darker, copper color) provides a nice, deep, shimmery effect. You can use the oil on its own, or layer it on top of Vaseline's Illuminate Me Whipped Body Butter when your skin is in need of some extra moisture.
This duo gives you some options when it comes to your shimmer. Sol De Janeiro’s GlowMotions Glow Body Oil in ‘Copacabana Bronze’ gives skin a warm, golden sheen, while ‘Rio Sunset’ is a softer, champagne color. Both of the oils combine sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and antioxidant-rich açaí oil with cupuaçu butter to give your skin a hearty dose of moisture. If you're already a fan of the brand's Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, you'll be happy to know that these oils are infused with the same sweet scent that contains notes of pistachio, vanilla, and salted caramel.
A few drops of this lightweight Moroccanoil Shimmering Body Oil are all you need to make your skin look silky smooth. Despite the intense bronze color of the oil in the bottle, once you blend it over your skin, the shimmer disperses into a softer finish. Like Moroccanoil's beloved Hair Treatment, this body oil contains antioxidant-rich argan oil as its key nourishing ingredient, while sesame seed oil offers more moisturizing and skin-protecting benefits. Best of all, this oil boasts the brand’s signature scent — a mix of warm and spicy-sweet notes like amber and exotic florals.
For a mess-free option, this body oil can be misted directly onto your skin to give it lightweight hydration and a champagne sheen. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Shimmering Body Oil uses a blend of jojoba seed oil and sweet almond oil to leave skin feeling soft sans any greasy residue. To match the tropical glow it gives to your skin, this oil mist is infused with a sweet coconut and vanilla fragrance.
In an effort to ensure all of the sparkle in their products is ethically sourced, Olio E Osso began incorporating a synthetic version of mica into their products, which is made in a lab. Their Lustero Glow Body Oil, which is cruelty-free and waterless, uses plant-based ingredients like grape seed oil, olive fruit oil, and essential oils to nourish skin while leaving behind a spicy, citrusy scent. In addition to sourcing and producing its products in the U.S., the brand hand makes its products in small batches in Portland, Oregon.