Lily Talakoub, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Board of Dermatology, says that shower oil is a soap-free cleanser made without surfactants and acts like an emulsifier. Most contain an ingredient that allows the oil to turn into a milky texture once it comes into contact with water. You can use it instead of soap or shower gel. While they may seem indulgent (and some may be), they’re also a handy tool for preventing dry, itchy skin before it starts, which is especially important during the colder fall and winter months.
Esthetician based in Los Angeles Cynthia Franco says they help build a layer of moisture on your skin and preserve its natural oils. (Hello, skin barrier.) For these reasons, many of these are great for people with eczema or other dry skin conditions. Dr. Talakoub agrees, saying that people with sensitive skin would also benefit, although she recommends avoiding shower oils if you have acne on your body or back. Instead, it’s best to use body washes with salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid, which are specifically designed to combat breakouts.