Victoria Beckham’s Instagram highlight VB Beauty is a sacred place for anyone who identifies as one part beauty junkie, one part Posh Spice groupie. Even as a beauty editor who’s well-versed in the realm of skincare, I get so lost in her reel each night that I end up losing quite a bit of potential beauty sleep. Between her favorite of-the-moment skincare picks (like Augustinus Bader The Cream, $290) to exciting facials and supplement recommendations, I’m incessantly taking screenshots. Plus, as someone who tests and reviews the best beauty products daily as part of my job, I can attest to the 48-year-old businesswoman, mom, fashion designer, and former Spice Girl’s exquisite taste when it comes to her regimen. Not to mention when the female version of Benjamin Button likes the same skincare brands and products as you, it’s hard not to feel pretty damn validated.
Another thing I appreciate about VB is her loyalty to certain brands and products, which reads honest and trustworthy, not sponsored and phony. She could choose to advertise every single product she’s gifted with, but instead, she keeps a trim treasure trove of beauty highlights that feels completely authentic. You’ll never spot a #ad, and better yet, her tone and delivery won’t have you searching for one. Respect.
I’ve tried the majority of beauty items Posh Spice touts on her feed, but recently she’s raved more than once about a product that has sat atop my desk sadly neglected and untried for probably weeks—Osea Malibu Undaria Algae Oil ($84). It’s nothing against the brand. I happen to love the majority of Osea Malibu’s completely nontoxic seaweed-infused line. The problem is I absolutely can’t stand body oils. To be honest, body lotions feel annoying enough (I pretty much don’t apply them unless I start to look more reptilian than human) and the oily, hard-to-spread, cooking-oil-like texture of body oils just feels torturous—regardless of how much I may love the brand, smell, or packaging. Post-application, all I’ve ever experienced is A) regret and/or B) the urge to jump back into the shower I just exited.
However, when someone like Victoria Beckham, who has the firm, taut, gloriously glowing skin of a fantastical orb, says she loves a body oil, I immediately forget my unimpressed history with the stuff. Like me, Beckham seems to have an appreciation for nontoxic and natural skincare, so when she woefully posted she was almost out of Osea Malibu Undaria Algae Oil ($84), my ears pricked up. With so many pretty and expertly concocted elixirs to choose from on the market, I desperately want to like body oils. I just haven’t found a soulmate formula. So I decided to put VB’s body oil of choice to the test—for a week, monogamously. No other lotions, creams, or balms allowed (not that I really like or use them anyway). Would Beckham’s exotic, seaweed-infused oil convert me? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
Like the rest of Osea’s dreamy product line, its Undaria Algae oil is completely nontoxic, completely vegan, and completely rich in exotic botanicals meant to revive and reveal healthy, glowing skin. Organic seaweed is the brand’s signature hero ingredient, and this ultra-concentrated body oil is no different. While the elixir is anchored in delicious-smelling extras like cypress, açaí, babassu, passion fruit, citrus, and intensely hydrating sesame oil, the star of the show is a brown marine algae (aka undaria pinnatifida extract) that’s naturally rich in vitamins and minerals such as iodine, iron, potassium, calcium, and the entire kitchen sink of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12).
Collectively, the cast of ingredients is said to reduce stretch marks, redness, discoloration, and wrinkles, and—wait for it—even intensify the vibrancy and freshness of any ink you may have.
I’ll start by being blunt. Victoria Beckham’s favorite body oil didn’t convert me to the oily side of bodycare. While I didn’t absolutely love it, I definitely didn’t hate it. Hear me out. Even though I don’t plan on continuing to apply it each and every day à la VB, I vow to keep it atop my already crowded vanity (making room is a true sign of commitment from me) to use twice or thrice per week. In fact, the formula is actually so nourishing and hydrating, I don’t know if an everyday application would be warranted regardless.
Because I like to start with the positives, I’ll begin with what I loved most about the oil: its smell. Truly, it smells divine—not too botanical, not too earthy, but the perfect balance of fruity, fresh, and not at all cloying. I’m usually not a huge fan of overly botanical scents, so the fact I loved this one speaks volumes. To match the featherlight scent, the formula itself is also super lightweight, and even though it still felt greasy and a bit sticky on my skin, I found that the sticky-ish finish vanished into my dry terrain of skin surprisingly fast. Another qualm I have with the majority of oils I try is how fleeting their surge of moisture is, but this one had results that stuck for days—even through sweat and showers. My skin also looked more vibrant and glowy, a perk I’m not mad at in the midst of winter’s dry and cold apex.
Now, onto the less satisfactory. All in all, this is still a body oil and has the signature characteristics of all body oils. So yes, it was unlikely I would entirely change my tune on the genre. Since the formula is fast-absorbing (which I realize some people love), I find it annoying to have to pump what feels like cups full of oil all over my body just to ensure every inch of my skin is covered with the stuff. I also just don’t really like the trademark stickiness of body oils, and this experiment reaffirmed I do better with the slightly more slippery, spreadable feel of lotions. To each her own. That being said, and as I mentioned earlier, that signature stickiness so characteristic of oils felt significantly less cringe-worthy with this formula thanks to its rare lightweight texture.
Overall, I would say that for anyone who loves body oils, trying this one will be like discovering the holy grail. By body-oil standards, it’s freaking fantastic, and I’m not surprised Victoria Beckham absolutely adores it. However, you just don’t like body oils to begin with, it’s probably not magnificent enough to sway your stance. But who knows? As someone who notoriously avoids oils like the plague (that goes for facial ones too), I managed to appreciate this one enough to incorporate it into my weekly beauty regimen. Better yet, I’ll get to feel a bit like Victoria Beckham in the process—a win-win if I do say so myself.
Keep scrolling for the only other three formulas that make me hate body oils a little less.