Obsessed

This $22 Viral Body Oil Moisturizes, Has SPF, & Smells Amazing

I’ll take two please.

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Had To Share
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It’s 1999. I’m a young teenager and my BFF and I are laying out on colorful beach towels by her pool, surrounded by a collection of new magazines. We’re glistening — practically reflective — from the generous amount of tanning oil we slathered on in attempts to achieve the darkest, quickest tan possible.

Spending time by the pool these days looks vastly different — having a toddler and 6-year-old running around a body of water is far from relaxing, and I’m all too conscientious of the ramifications of UV exposure. But when I’m preparing for a beach or pool outing, something in my brain just insists that I hide out for 30 to 60 seconds to swipe on a layer of one of my “special” sunscreens — the ones that the kids are not allowed near, cost more than the average drugstore brand, and are purely for me. I can’t really explain why having a nice sunscreen is one of my “things,” but it just is. I don’t even bring the bottle with me, reapplying throughout the day with whatever I bring for the kids. But that first sunscreen application of the day is completely hedonistic, and I make it count with a product I love.

For the past two years, my go-to summer sunscreen for my body has been Vacation’s Chardonnay Oil. You may have heard of Vacation, a modern brand embracing old-school luxury, vacation vibes in their branding. Their M.O.: To make sunscreen fun, and indeed they have with such items as the Classic Whip SPF 30 sunscreen (also an A+ product and my second favorite sunscreen) that looks, feels and squirts out of an aerosol can like whipped cream, but is actually the fluffiest sun protection product you’ll ever meet. Vacation’s Chardonnay Oil I isn’t as eyebrow-raising, but boy oh boy does it hit the spot.

Stats:

  • Price: $22
  • Sizes: One carry-on-friendly size: a 3.4 oz. bottle
  • Colors: Just one, clear
  • Scent: Grand Cru ‘86, a sophisticated custom fragrance that carries notes of ginger, peach, cardamom, vanilla, amber, cocoa, and musk.
  • The formula: Transparent, lightweight, absorbs quickly — it doesn’t feel like you have to set a timer before you can sit down, put clothes on, or touch anything.
  • Strength: Broad spectrum SPF 30, protecting you against UVA and UVB rays, and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  • Who it’s for: Adults (and anyone over 9 months old) who like a little bit of glow and shine with their SPF and are into sophisticated scents. It’s not been tested for safety during pregnancy, so check in with your doctor if you’re expecting and hoping to use this product

The packaging

The Vacation Chardonnary Oil comes in a 3.4-oz. size, which means it’s just big enough to pack in your carry-on, in a can’t-miss orange bottle with sky blue lid. I have traveled with this bottle both in my carry-on and checked luggage, and as an extra precaution I always throw it in a leak-proof Ziploc bag before tucking it into my dopp kit, but the bottle itself has never leaked. Unlike other modern brands that seem to favor minimalist branding, theirs feels more kitschy and classic in the best way. And the bottle is made from recyclable materials — what’s not to love about that?

The smell

It’s amazing. It’s crispy and perfumy, but has this sophisticated undertone that makes it feel very luxurious. You ever wander around a high end hotel and wonder what they pump into the air to make it smell so incredible and fancy? It’s got that same vibe. The fragrance is distinct, but not overpowering. No matter how much product you use, you won’t go around smelling like a prepubescent teen who has yet to learn the art of applying cologne without becoming a fire hazard.

Says Vacation co-founder Lach Hall, “The Grand Cru ‘86 scent featured in our Chardonnay Oil SPF 30 is a custom fragrance made in collaboration with the award-winning ARQUISTE Parfumeur. It’s inspired by chardonnay-sipping luxury aboard a teakwood deck yacht at sunset with notes of ginger, peach, cardamom, vanilla, amber, cocoa, and musk.”

Yeah, that’s pretty spot on.

The ingredients

For those who like a product with quality ingredients, know that the Chardonnay Oil is cruelty-free, vegan, dermatologist tested, made in the USA. The product gets its name from chardonnay grapeseed oil (which is lightweight and non-greasy). The formula also includes marula and passionfruit seed oils for extra skin protection, jojoba and shea oils to moisturize, vitamin E to help replenish sunkissed skin, and bisabolol to minimize sun irritation.

The texture

I’ve tried my fair share of body oils. I’ll admit, growing up in the ‘90s in southern California, slathering on a healthy layer of SPF-free Banana Boat tanning oil and laying out by a body of water was a pretty regular occurrence. As an adult, I’ve been using body oil religiously for the past 7 years and have cycled through a few different brands. I can honestly say Vacation’s Chardonnay Body Oil is hands down my favorite when it comes to scent, texture, and absorbency factor. And because it’s not my everyday, post-shower product, using it feels like a real treat.

The shine

You know how some oils are just too much oil for what you’re cooking? Smoke point and flavor and all that... The same goes for oils for your skin. Some feel like they just sit on the surface of your skin forever and ever. Some feel more watery. Some smell great when you put them on but are off-putting after smelling them for a while. This one truly absorbs more quickly than any other oil I’ve tried so far, making getting dressed that much easier. And I haven’t seen it stain or ruin any of my swimsuits, coverups, or chaise lounge cushions.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • A little bit goes a long way.
  • It smells so, so good.
  • It’s not expensive.
  • It’s not too much in any way(too much lacquer, too much scent, too much grease).
  • It absorbs quickly.

Cons

  • It doesn’t last forever. Vacation recommends applying it 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying at least every two hours, or sooner if you’re spending a lot of time in the water (it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes).
  • Scent really is such a personal preference (and a big deciding factor), so if you’re into fruity scents, this is probably not the product for you.

Final verdict: Is the Vacation Chardonnary Oil worth it?

It’s not as affordable as an XL bottle of body oil you can grab at Costco, but not unreachable for most with a $22 price point. I don’t wear this every single day, but on the days that I do, it’s the only product I use (no additional moisturizers, sunscreens, or perfume necessary because this product checks all those boxes).

Unlike some oils, this one is uniquely lightweight and absorbs almost immediately. Yes, you look greased up afterwards, but not like, too oiled up — less Magic Mike highlight reel or firemen calendar, more just-put-on-moisturizer. Yes, it is a sunscreen (SPF 30), so it will protect you from UVA and UVB rays, and like all other sunscreens, you have to reapply it. Good thing applying it is nothing like applying your standard sunscreen — it smells divine, glides on, and is transparent, so it doesn’t leave any kind of tinted or chalky streak, and won’t leave your hands feeling greasy for what feels like an eternity.

The TL;DR

It smells divine, absorbs quickly, makes my skin look hydrated and glowy, and makes me feel a little fancy.

Had To Share highlights the products and finds that Romper editors and contributors love so much, we just had to share in the group chat.

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