What Are ‘Dry’ and ‘Wet’ Body Oils

If you’re confused by this term, don’t worry so was I when I first heard it. Oils are definitely not dry? So how can they possibly be termed ‘dry’? And what are wet oils? How do I use them?

Dry body oils are those that are absorbed into the skin almost immediately leave almost no or very little residue. So it has very little to do with the oil itself but everything to do with the finish it leaves on the skin.

These oils are lightweight and fast absorbing. Oils like avocado, sesame, safflower, camellia, grapeseed, and rosehip oils or combinations of these oils are all categorized as dry oils.

The opposite of this are the ‘wet’ oils which are heavier, generally more viscose/thicker (but not always) and leave a residue or sheen on the skin long after it’s been applied. These oils are great for those with dry, dehydrated skin as it not only moisturizes but also keeps the water from evaporating from the top layer of skin, which is what causes dehydration. Wet oils are also best applied at night which gives the oil time to penetrate the skin. Wet oils include castor, apricot, sweet almond, coconut, jojoba, and neem oils.

Wet and Dry oils can be combined to get the benefits of both oils. Generally a 2:1 Dry oil to Wet oil combination works extremely well as a starting point. The dry oil will absorb quickly whereas the wet oil will help to seal everything in. Other fats like body butters and pure lanolin also seal moisture in exceptionally well but don’t mix as easily dry oils without manipulation. Lanolin mixes really well with cream after some shaking but it takes a bit more shaking/ stirring for me to mix lanolin in with thinner oils.

If you like controlling the scent of your body oil with essential oil or want to use their properties most of the oils I listened are fragrance free or are mild in scent, which could be masked by essential oils.

DIY Nighttime Body Oil Recipe

1 part apricot oil
1 part sweet almond oil
1 part avocado oil

DIY Anytime Body Oil for Extra Dry Skin

2 parts Camellia oil
1 part Avocado oil
1/2 part lanolin

There are hundreds of dry oil recipes available on the internet and wet oil only recipes as well. I find it best to put wet oils on my skin after I’ve showered, dried off before leaving the humid environment of my bathroom. Since I shower at night, this traps the moisture in my skin and those oils work their magic all night long.

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