I've had a couple weeks to ponder it, and I think I finally figured out the main reason Kim Kardashian supposedly broke the Internet with her increasingly naked PAPER magazine photo spread: all that freakin' body oil seeped into the motherboard.
Those photos served to further body oil's salacious reputation as something intrinsically sexy, a tool for greasing up the skin to make it look glossy and wet and reflective and... slippery? I'm not personally a subscriber to the shinier-is-sexier mindset, but, it would seem, many are; and many a retailer stocks body oil for implicitly or blatantly erotic purposes.
Well, sometimes body oil doesn't feel like it, OK? Sometimes body oil wants to be appreciated for its deeper qualities, respected for its nonsexual, practical attributes. (Nope, I'm not projecting or anything. This is totally just about body oil.)
There are a number of awesome body oils that have a higher calling than burnishing your ass, and I've rounded up a few of the best right here.
Valentina's Home-Brewed Habit Breaker Hydrating Body & Massage Oil
Created by a woman who's been mixing up "spells" since she was a kid -- I did that, too, but it was just me pouring Chloraseptic and castor oil into the sink and "sending" it to the "people" who lived on the "other side" of the drain -- this coconut-oil-based formula relies on the aromatherapeutic influence of lavender, cedarwood and sweet orange essential oils to coax you into, as the name implies, breaking bad habits.
Sure, something indicated as a "massage oil" may seem to be sensual by default, but I don't know if the line, "Help me quit smoking, baby," has ever gotten anyone laid.
Aura Cacia Clearing Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Body Oil
Even though this body oil is touted as another aromatherapy formula -- and rightfully so, since eucalyptus is known to ease fatigue -- it also has antibacterial and irritation-fighting benefits, so it's a great choice for those prone to their fair share of body acne. (But is any share of body acne really fair?)
Avene Body Oil
Avene is known putting their famous super-soothing thermal spring water into all of their products, and their Body Oil is no exception. I kind of don't understand how that works, because, like, wouldn't that little bit of water separate or something? Whatever -- regardless of the science-magic, this formula is awesome for comforting and hydrating sensitive skin, especially if yours tends to feel suffocated by heavy body lotions and creams.
Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil
Listen, I don't have a problem with your stretch marks, but I also don't have a problem with you having a problem with your stretch marks. So if you're not in love with the reddish lines that weight gain or pregnancy have caused you recently, this body oil is a great option, thanks to its avocado and sunflower seed oils, as well as something called lupeol, an anti-inflammatory botanical extract. It's made for pregnant ladies and new moms, but you don't have to show proof of your fertility when you buy it or anything.
Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray SPF 30
If you're going on sunny vacation this winter, well, I hate you a little, but that doesn't affect my recommendation to bring along this water-resistant body (and hair!) oil.
In addition to having an SPF rating of 30 -- not all sun-related oils are made just for tanning anymore -- it also protects against the icky effects of chlorine and salt water. I haven't been in a pool in years, so someone please try this and tell me if it works... and also tell me what being in a pool feels like, because I forgot.
What are your favorite not-so-sexy body oils?