As an unblemished and smooth-faced college student rummaging through my mother’s bathroom cabinet a decade ago, it didn’t mean much that Bio-Oil — a grapefruit-colored skin-care liquid hiding in the back — claimed to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and uneven skin tone. I was looking for a moisturizer, not a miracle.
At the time I didn’t give much thought to what I slapped on my face. My nightly routine consisted of Dove soap, but there was something intriguing and slightly medicinal about Bio-Oil’s perfume of lavender, rosemary, and chamomile. I slapped a palm-size layer on my face, and it felt like I had smeared a piece of pepperoni pizza on my pores. Once I got over the initial shock, I came to regard the feeling as “moisturized.”
Created in 2002 as a scar and stretch-mark remedy, Bio-Oil is now the No.1 selling product in the category. Though the oil has its skeptics (some scoff at its lengthy list of ingredients), it’s also earned celebrity adherents in Pamela Anderson, Mel B, and, ahem, Kim Kardashian.
Count me among the converted. While my bathroom cabinet now features a rotation of upmarket beauty products from Clé de Peau Beauté or SK-II, the one constant is Bio-Oil. It relieves dryness and makes my skin instantly smooth without clogging pores. When I’m sunburned or ravaged by the cold, I can apply several applications a day, letting my damaged and parched skin drink up the liquid. I’ve taken the bottle into the sauna with me at the gym so the vitamins A and E and plant extracts can commingle with the steam to do whatever they’re supposed to do to make my skin ageless. It’s so cheap I have no problem slathering my entire body in it.
Other Favorite Holiday Beauty Items
Celebrity hairstylist Wesley O’Meara told the Cut that “Harry Josh and T3 both make cute small dryers that are high-powered and totally worth the investment.”
As we first reported over on the Cut, Korean makeup artist E.J. Kim is a big supporter of the Beauty Blender, one of her favorite tools for creating a dewy complexion. Note the extra-large sponge. She likes to wet her sponge so much that it swells to almost three times its size. It’s slightly damp, but a gentle way to stipple on skin coverage, which is key to creating a shower-fresh radiant look. Additionally, their four-piece pro kit, which includes different sizes and variations on the sponge (including a blotting version), is now on sale.
The Strategist is a new site designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best notebook, black T-shirts, fashion-editor-approved jeans, toothbrush, and apartment décor. Note that all prices are subject to change.
If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.