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If you have dry, sensitive skin, you know your concerns don’t end from the neck down. That’s where the best shower oils come into the picture. Just like the hydrating skin-care routine you follow for your face, these nourishing, oil-based formulas wash sweat, oil, and daily grime down the drain while providing much-needed conditioning benefits. TL;DR: bring one of these washes into your shower routine for your softest, smoothest skin yet.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Kopari Beauty Hydrating Vitamin C Shower Oil, $29
- Best Luxury: Diptyque Do Son Shower Oil, $57
- Best Citrus Scent: Le Labo Shower Oil, $40
- Best Vanilla Scent: Sabon Patchouli Lavender Vanilla Shower Oil, $26
- Best Floral Scent: Aromatherapy Associates Rose Shower Oil, $48
- Best Solid Shower Oil: Kate McLeod The Pebble Bath & Body Oil, $38
- Best Value: Naturium The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash (2-Pack),
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What does a shower oil do?
- Is shower oil the same as body wash?
- How we test and review products
- Our staff and testers
Best Overall: Kopari Beauty Hydrating Vitamin C Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: Kopari Beauty’s Hydrating Vitamin C Shower Oil starts off as an oil before transforming into a bubbly lather to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Key ingredients include hibiscus seed and coconut oil — both of which are rich in vitamin E — along with antioxidant-packed, vitamin C-loaded passionfruit seed oil and moisture-boosting squalane. Glycerin and avocado oil round out the nourishing formula.
Editor Tip: According to Kopari, you can also use this silky shower oil as a shaving oil.
Key Ingredients: Hibiscus seed, coconut oil, passionfruit seed oil, squalane, glycerin, avocado oil
Best Luxury: Diptyque Do Son Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: As you can expect from anything Diptyque, the Do Son Shower Oil smells like a you’re showering amongst a bouquet of roses. But the true star of this conditioning oil is its formula, which turns into a milky emulsion once it contacts water. As you massage it onto your skin, you’ll notice its plumping and softening effects, which are all thanks to apricot seed oil.
Editor Tip: According to the brand, you can also use this as a fragrant, conditioning bath oil.
Key Ingredients: Apricot seed oil
Best Citrus Scent: Le Labo Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: Grab Le Labo’s Shower Oil if you want an energizing hit of citrus aromatherapy during your morning shower, or if you just want to smell like a delectable Mandarin orange all day long. Its fruity-floral scent fills your space while a blend of argan, coconut, and sunflower oil replenish much-needed moisture.
Editor Tip: Although it contains three heavy-hitting emollients, this decadent shower oil turns into a light, milky lather as you work it onto your skin.
Key Ingredients: Argan oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil
Best Vanilla Scent: Sabon Patchouli Lavender Vanilla Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: In case your FYP hasn’t informed you yet, vanilla scents are currently dominating everyone’s fragrance collections. If you want to smell like a freshly-baked good during all hours of the day, we recommend lathering up in Sabon’s Patchouli Lavender Vanilla Shower Oil. Its scent profile is a slightly more herbaceous take on the usually-sweet note, thanks to the inclusion of patchouli and lavender, but its scent is nevertheless still mouth-watering.
Key Ingredients: Jojoba oil, olive oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil
Best Floral Scent: Aromatherapy Associates Rose Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: As you can expect, fragrant products are kind of Aromatherapy Associates’ thing, but the Rose Shower Oil is more than just a pretty scent. Sure, its formula is spiked with an aromatic assortment of rose, geranium, and palmarosa, but it’s also a must for relieving dry skin. Its oil-to-milk formula intensively conditions skin with peach kernel and jojoba oils and rinses off without leaving any residue behind.
Editor Tip: Aromatherapy Associates also has a De-Stress Shower Oil, for those of you who want to zen-out with the calming scents of frankincense, petitgrain, and wild chamomile
Key Ingredients: Peach kernel oil, jojoba oil
Best Solid Shower Oil: Kate McLeod The Pebble Bath & Body Oil
Why It’s Worth It: We love lathering up with Kate McLeod’s The Pebble Bath & Body Oil so much that it won a 2023 Allure Best of Beauty Award for its skin-conditioning formula. Each kit comes with 20 single-use bath pebbles that coat your skin in a soothing, moisture-replenishing mix of cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and baobab oil. It’s also available in two scents, energizing eucalyptus and calming lavender.
Editor Tip: This solid shower oil also contains citric acid, a light chemical exfoliator that sloughs away dead skin.
Key Ingredients: Cocoa butter, citrid acid, jojoba oil, baobab oil
Best Value: Naturium The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash
Why It’s Worth It: The beauty of Naturium’s The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash formula is its texture. While many shower oils can feel as heavy as syrup, this particular cleanser has a light, almost gel-like feel that lathers instantly into a foamy lather. Its oil-to-gel-to-foam body wash is powered by two skin-softening ingredients, glycerin, and squalane.
Editor Tip: Use it like a hydrating mask for your body; let it sit for a minute or two for more noticeable results..
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, squalane
Best Dual-Phase Formula: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser
Why It’s Worth It: This foaming formula, which effuses notes of warm vanilla and decadent almond, gently cleans the skin with a cocktail of nourishing oils, including castor, grapeseed, avocado, coconut, and sunflower seed for a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids.
Editor Tip: Even dermatologists favor this skin-softening body cleanser. New York-based board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD credits this shower oil with leaving skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
Key Ingredients: Castor oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil
Best for Sensitive Skin: Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil
Why It’s Worth It: Following TikTok’s increasing obsession with French pharmacy skin care, Avéne is one brand that has — and continues to — make waves on #SkinTok, and derms also can’t seem to get enough of it. According to Dr. Camp, the Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil is an “excellent choice for atopic dermatitis-prone skin” thanks to its gentle formula, which can be used on the face and scalp as well as the body. Per the dermatologist, this shower oil “helps protect the balance of the skin microbiome and prevent the formation of dry skin.”
Key Ingredients: Thermal spring water, ceramides
Best Face and Body: Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: Dr. Camp says this formula is gentle enough for both children and adults — for all the parents hoping to cut down on bathroom clutter. The shower oil’s lightweight, non-greasy formula is packed with skin-care staples like moisturizing glycerin and niacinamide to improve skin texture.
Editor Tip: This shower oil is also safe for use on the face, so consider this your sign to ditch that expired cleanser sitting on your bathroom shelf once and for all.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, niacinamide, coconut esters, sunflower esters
Allure Editor-Approved: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
Why It’s Worth It: Featuring fatty acid-rich sweet almond oil and a pleasant almond scent, the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is an Allure-editor favorite. Senior beauty editor Paige Stables previously wrote, “By the time I step out of the shower and into my robe, my skin feels like satin.”
Editor Tip: This Allure staff-beloved shower oil can also be spotted in dermatologists’ body care routines. Divya Shokeen, MD a California-based, board-certified dermatologist, told Allure that she loves how the shower oil “transforms into a silky foam, leaving skin soft and supple.”
Key Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil
Best Foaming Cleanser: La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Anti-Irritation Cleansing Oil
Why It’s Worth It: La Roche-Posay is renowned for its innovative, gentle, and sensitive-skin-approved formulations, making the brand a favorite amongst derms across the country. Dr. Shokeen refers to this Lipikar pick as a “gentle, nourishing shower oil [that] is free from soap, sulfate[s], and parabens,” making it a great choice for sensitive skin. In addition to glycerin and niacinamide, this foaming shower oil also contains conditioning shea butter to combat dry skin.
Editor Tip: For ultra-smooth skin, slather on the Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Body Lotion after showering, which is also suitable for sensitive skin types.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, niacinamide, shea butter, thermal water, ceramides
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a shower oil do?
Before you even begin browsing the best shower oils, you may be wondering what they are or how they work — which is why we tapped California-based, board-certified dermatologist Divya Shokeen, MD. Per the dermatologist, shower oils are a “type of cleansing product used in place of traditional soap or shower gel.” She also tells Allure that the best shower oils are designed to cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils, “leaving it feeling nourished and hydrated.”
When narrowing down the best shower oils, consider your specific skin type. For example, Dr. Shokeen tells Allure that those with acne-prone skin should consider shower oils with jojoba or tea tree oils while steering clear of coconut oil, which is comedogenic (pore-clogging). Similarly, folks with sensitive or dry skin may opt for ones with argan or olive oil. Individuals with eczema-prone skin, on the other hand, may choose a shower oil that contains coconut oil. Also, according to New York-based board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, “The inclusion of other ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid can help calm and hydrate skin, respectively.”
Finally, Dr. Shokeen advises those with sensitive skin to “avoid shower oils that contain sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances, all of which can be harsh on the skin.” Ultimately, says the dermatologist, “I always recommend doing patch testing with oils on your skin prior to using them over your body to avoid irritations or allergic reactions.”
Is shower oil the same as body wash?
While shower oils can be used year-round, they are especially great for the warmer months. During this time, explains Dr. Shokeen, the “skin is more prone to dehydration,” Dr. Camp says that those with particularly dry skin can use shower oil daily; otherwise, “it can be used a few times a week as an alternative to traditional soaps or shower gels.” Put simply, he explains, shower oils pull double duty as an occlusive agent and emollient, which means they provide powerful hydration while also filling “cracks in dry or damaged skin, leaving it smooth and soft.”
How we test and review products
We always enlist a range of testers for any review, but skin-care products are another story. While some picks can be used across different skin types and concerns, many are created with specific consumers and their needs in mind. When reviewing skin care, we also take into account our testers’ experience. For instance, an innovative new retinol serum may be backed by notable dermatologists across the nation, but if our testers find its formula irritates their skin, we have to consider this when determining whether it is worthy of a recommendation.
For our review of the best shower oils, we enlisted the help of multiple editors, writers, contributors, and dermatologists interviewed for the piece — who all have different skin concerns and types, desired outcome (i.e., want a brighter complexion), and whether one product was tested and suitable across multiple skin types. Testers considered performance across three primary categories: efficacy, ingredients, value. For more on what’s involved in our reporting, check out our complete reviews process and methodology page.
Our staff and testers
A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors — in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon — is essential to reaching that goal.
Meet the Experts
Take the perfect “everything shower” with these Allure-approved picks:
- 15 Best Body Scrubs for Your Softest Skin Yet
- The 21 Best Body Washes for Head-to-Toe Moisture
- 13 Best Bath Oils to Elevate Your At-Home Spa Regimen
Now watch Chloe Bennett’s 10-minute makeup routine: