I stopped using water-based lotions and creams a while ago because I discovered that all of these years, they’ve been drying out my skin.  Even the natural ones with the “safer” preservatives make your skin feel moisturized for a while, until the 60 – 90% water content (surprised me, too) evaporates and you’re left with very little product to protect your skin.

I was wondering why I was using so much lotion, and why my skin would dry out toward the end of the day.  Now I know.  Never again.  Plus, preservatives tend to irritate my skin like something crazy.  I once used a product with a (non-paraben) preservative in it, and it had my skin tingling, swollen, and feeling all weird.  I thought I had some internal problem, until I realized it was that lotion, and the scary tingling stopped once I stopped using that product.  A word to the wise.

So now I exclusively use body oils, and body butters or balms made purely from oils and butters.  No water or preservatives are allowed.  My skin has transformed to silky smooth, even-toned, and glowing all over.  I didn’t think it was possible.  But once I stopped tricking my skin into thinking that it was moisturized with lotion, ceased tainting it with emulsifying chemicals (“safe” ones), and eliminated those controversial (are they really safe?) preservatives, my skin has been elevated.

The best body oils I have ever used vary by what you define as best.  In the winter, I tend toward body butters anyway, but when I’m drier, a body oil with a greater viscosity is not necessarily better if it doesn’t sink in and way deep down.  So, for me, a thicker body oil does not equal more moisturized skin.

Recently I used up a body oil that I’d been hoarding for about a year.  It was extremely light, made by Eleneetha’s Chant, and had argan, marula, and avocado oils.  Divine.  My skin wants more, but sadly, the bottle is now empty.  That exact oil combination and scent may never be reproduced.  Plus it aged for a year with vetiver.  I swooned when I used it each evening after my shower, but I did not hold back.

I’m on a quest to make the best body oil.  I already use my own herb- and flower-infused organic oils as body oils, but I’m a stickler for perfection and need to get the oil ratios right.  But what’s right for me might not be right for someone else, which is why I need testers.

What are your favorite body oils and oil combinations?  For a simple blend, olive and coconut are syngerstic buddies.  I recently bought a divine sicilian olive oil that is the best olive oil I’ve ever used.   It is now out of stock, and sadly I have to wait a few weeks for it to be restocked (I bought the last bottle). This oil made me understand the power of olive oil, which is currently being overshadowed by the popular Moroccan argan, Chilean rosehip, Russian sea buckthorn, and other exotic “miracle” oils (which I also love, I just don’t love the hype).

In my quest for making the best body oil (for me for now at least, and perhaps for others in the future), I’ve found that a lot of the beauty of a recipe depends on the quality of ingredients, which goes almost without saying, but it’s a detail that I’m reminded of every now and again.  Suddenly, an olive oil/organic extra virgin coconut oil blend for my hair is divine and perfect because both the olive and coconut oils shine.   Similarly, a true and perfect neroli hydrosol has made me fall in love with hydrosols again.  But,with suppliers constantly changing their suppliers to get organic certification, the best price, and/or a superior product, it seems that you can never be sure that you’ve made the best body oil, perfume, or other product if the source ingredients change.

This is why we can never truly replicate what we make, but this is the beauty of nature and also a frustration of the perfectionist.   In one case we may think we have arrived at perfection because of an ingredient combination, and because we’ve only used high quality, cold-pressed, organic, unrefined, fresh oils in the case of a body oil recipe.  But then we find that perfection is relative, and that there is truly no one miracle recipe or product, though there are amazing, divine, and inspired creations out there.

And that is why we must continue to hone our craft, and also infuse everything we create with positivity — love, happiness, genuine kindness, gentleness — from start to finish.  While ingredients shift and change in color, quality, and other conditions, we can always ensure that our positivity is strong, pure, vital, and unconditional.  (Others really do sense this — its presence, or absence.)  Despite changing ingredients and sources, always ensure this as you strive to find better, do better, stretch and elevate your creations to the next level of excellence.  Never get complacent with good enough.  That is the recipe for success in any area of life.