You already know the benefits of a solid skin-care routine, but the truth is, body care is just as important. However, you don’t need to invest in a ton of products to keep your skin smooth, moisturized, and hydrated well beyond your daily bath or shower. That’s where the best shower oils come into the picture.

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.”

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,” New York-based board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, 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.”

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 Dr. Camp, “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.”

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