Don’t leave me dry
This weekend I’ve been browsing oils, creams and butters on the web. No, it’s nothing to do with cooking but moisturising. Body moisturising to be precise. I had a moment of horror on Saturday morning after I was out of the shower and getting ready for the day. I was sat at my vanity piling on the war paint when I thought I’d better slap on some body lotion, which I hadn’t been doing for the past few days. During the week I’m trying to rush out the door with make-up and dry hair in the mornings, and don’t think about the skin under my clothes. However my arms and legs had started to feel dry and itchy.
I rubbed on my body lotion, paying attention to the skin on my arms. I watched aghast, as the skin started to flake off in dry patches: Big dry pieces of skin fluttered to floor looking like Katsuobushi (dried flakes of tuna fish used in Japanese cooking, often on top of Okonomiyaki). As the lotion dried, my skin took on a scaly patchy ashy appearance. Yuck.
This has never happenned to me before. I generally have quite oily/combo skin and the only time I’ve had dry skin on my face was when I was using 10% Benzyl Peroxide for acne. My body skin’s always been soft and smooth. I exfoliate in the shower and use body creams and lotions but sporadically. Alas, the Korean winter strikes again and sporadic must become twice daily.
I’ve been piling on the body lotion since then and it’s got rid of the worst of it, but I shall be stocking up and testing out richer creams over the next few weeks. I’ve got a couple of reviews for body lotions coming up this week but my old tried and tested dry skin potions are the following big guns:
Unrefined cocoa butter and shea butter – Hunks of unrefined raw butters are for slathering on liberally and getting down and greasy with it. They will feel heavy and oily at first but I find sink in suprisingly quickly. (Start with a small piece first.) Cocoa butter has the added benefit of smelling chocolately and yummy. These are more of a pain to store and apply than formulated body creams but there’s a great tactile primal feeling from applying them that you can’t replicate with a neat jar of cream. You can also get great big slabs and bricks of the stuff from ingredients suppliers. To store, I usually keep the spare stash refrigerated in vacuum sealed or airtight containers, well away from sunlight and a current small supply in a clean glass jar. It does go bad or rancid (shelf life 12-18 months) so don’t stock-up more than you can use.
Kiehls Creme de Corps Body Cream – My Holy Grail body moisturiser. I’m going out to get a 1 litre bottle of this ASAP. My flaking skin is my body literally crying out for this. It’s thick, but not waxy and I find it incredibly comforting, nourishing and effective. The soft yellow creamy colour reminds me of creme anglaise (pouring custard) but it’s unscented so won’t interfere with any fragrance you put on top. The lower picture shows the current Christmas special edition illustrated packaging but I prefer the original plain bottle.