For all the care and attention I give to the skin on my face, I am completely neglectful of the skin on my body. I am ashamed of the state I let my legs get into, which are the worst offenders. My arms and decollage are alright, but that only because I rub in any excess face product on those areas, so it’s not through any care or effort that these areas are presentable. There have always been a couple of factors that have stood in the way (not really, but I’m choosing to shift blame) of my quest for skin so smooth a kitten would skip off, should one ever attempt to scale my (scaly) shins.
Firstly, I have eczema. Not badly, just an annoying and sporadic hangover from childhood. It pretty much only effects my lower legs and ankles now. Secondly, I *hate* the feeling of moisturiser on my hands. The mere thought of scooping a dollop of body butter from a tub and getting it all under my nails is enough to make me want to give up grooming for life, so I struggle not only to find body products that won’t irritate my skin, but also ones that are rich and hydrating enough to combat my neglectful ways and are not so thick or slimy that they’ll make me want to cry.
I’ve tried various creams, gels, lotions and oils in my time, and only three have remained as steadfast fixtures on my shelf. Firstly, E45. Boring but classic. Scent-free, rich (although I prefer to use the lotion rather than the thicker emollient cream), it absorbs easily, isn’t slimy on my hands and, crucially, comes in a pump-action bottle so any potential scooping/nail situations are neatly avoided. It leaves my legs hydrated and with a nice sheen, and also helps calm and reduce any eczema inflammations that might be occurring.
My second must-have body product is Bio-Oil. I actually think this is quite expensive seeing as it doesn’t last particularly long, but it is the best thing I’ve ever used for treating seriously dry, irritated skin. It doesn’t aggravate my eczema and it completely quenches dry skin, but isn’t at all ‘oily’ or greasy. It dries quickly and absorbs well leaving my skin glowing. I know a lot of people swear by this for minimising scars, but I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference to the albeit minor scars I have. Because I find it a bit expensive, I use it sparingly. I do have a bottle of standard Vitamin E oil as an experimental dupe, which was about £3 from a pharmacy, and it’s good at the skin hydrating , but it’s considerably greasier and takes longer to dry that Bio-Oil, so it’s not exactly a complete replacement.
My third and final body product love is the Vaseline Aloe Fresh Moisturizing Gel. I got this last summer, when my skin didn’t need as much hydrating, and I love it. It’s light, not at all sticky or greasy, quickly absorbs and does a decent job at keeping dry skin at bay. Not rich enough for winter, but perfect in warmer weather. As it has aloe vera in it, I’ll be taking this with me on holiday (8 weeks baby*) to keep in the fridge and use as an aftersun treatment. Smells lovely and fresh too.
*Sadly, I’m not going away for 8 weeks, I’m just going in 8 weeks. L