I am blessed/cursed with oily skin … but only on my face and scalp. The rest of me can easily get dry enough to be itchy, even in a humid Gulf South summer (wtf?). Pretty much any moisturizer can address that, but I have ADDITIONAL CRITERIA because of course I do. 1) I can’t stand things that are made of grease and are greasy and feel greasified even like an hour (or two, or four) after you’ve put them on. Ew, ick, no. And, 2) I apparently have sensitive leg skin, because so many lotions will result in a swarm of itchy red dots that last hours if I apply them immediately after showering and shaving my legs. Not just a couple of specks — more like “have you just suffered a catastrophic lower-body chigger assault?” Oh, and 3) which by now should go without saying : I’m real, real particular about scents.
“But there’re so many lotions, even at the drugstore, have you tried _____?” PROBABLY. And yeah, many of them are serviceable, but hardly a delight. Lubriderm, Keri, Suave, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Nivea, Jergens, Crabtree & Evelyn, a million. The other criteria is that I’m a Moderately Fancy Bitch and I will happily pay a little bit more for something that’s genuinely pleasing, rather than just Good Enough. SO. Here’re three things I’ve been using and liking consistently that’re fairly easy to get one’s hands on, and meet all my Moderately Fancy Bitch needs :
PRETTY GOOD : Dr. Bronners Organic Patchouli Lime ($9.99/8oz on Amazon, also probably at your local Whole Foods or hippie-leaning health food store)
Okay this one has apparently changed their packaging since the last time I bought it — it’s now a lighter green bottle with tightly-packed white writing, like their castile soaps and such. Still the same stuff tho! Which…I like this at very specific times and for specific purposes. It’s thinner and more watery-feeling than my other faves, so it’s not as “potent” for super dry skin, so while it is moisturizing, it’s got a much lighter feel. It’s also the most strongly scented of the three — and “patchouli lime” is not low key. It’s PATCHOULI LIME, heavy on the lime. I happen to love that, because it reads as an Old-Skool Men’s Cologne for me (maybe Royall Lime?), but if it’s not your scene, they’ve also got lavender coconut, orange lavender, and peppermint. Anyway, those aspects combined make this a favorite for warm-weather days when I don’t want something super heavy annnnd am also too lazy to put on perfume.
Ingredients : Aqua, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Ethyl Alcohol*, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Organic Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol. *Certified Fair Trade ingredients.
RILL GOOD : The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Butter ($21/6.7oz at Ulta, currently buy-two-get-one) (And I’m sure you know TBS frequently has BOGOs and such, right?)
Cute package! But points off for being in a slick round jar, ugh. (The same scent is also available in a thinner lotion formula in a bottle, which I’m not crazy about, as well as in their usual range of shower gels and such.) Nice texture! Pleasantly dense, but still definitely a cream, and not like their older version which so thick and firm you practically had to dig it out of the tub (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Body Butter). Great scent! It’s definitely green tea, with the tiniest bit of tart fruit, but it’s a creamy-smelling green tea — if you want to go all synaesthesia with it, it smells like green tea frozen yogurt tastes. (Does that count as synaesthesia?) The fragrance is, for me, just enough to be interesting (and detectable for a while if you put your nose right up against your arm), but it’s not shouty enough to fight with your perfume. Also, it’s hardcore enough to be aces on dry winter skin, but it still doesn’t feel heavy or oily. However, if you slather on too much during hot humid weather? Keeping your legs crossed will be like trying to slice a canned peach with the side of a spoon. *squip*
Ingredients : Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Glycine Soja Oil/Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Linalool, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Geraniol, Citral, Coumarin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 42090/Blue 1.
Okay so back in the 90s when getting a Bliss catalog in the mail was inescapable, I regularly scoffed at this stuff. “$25 [at the time] for a tube of lotion, WTH.” And then on a lark I bought some, and holy crap. I think I’ve never been without at least one tube for the entirety of the last … 15 years? 20? It’s AMAZING. It’s SO rich and SO moisturizing, but it never feels heavy or greasy (although the same caveat applies as with the Body Shop stuff: hot/humid = *squip*). It’s potent as hell and a gob the size of a smallish gumball will easily do for an entire leg. And for feet? Absolutely unbeatable. Scrub them down in the shower with a Swedish Clover as noted here, rub in a bean-sized amount of this stuff, put on socks, and your feet will always, always be nice. The scent, for me, is just about perfect — it’s definitely lemon and sage, but it’s clean and soft and very light. A pleasure while applying, but not strong enough to linger. (They’ve also got unscented “Naked” and a variety of other scents — vanilla, blood orange, and the occasional seasonal offering.) Holy damn grail for sure.
Ingredients : water (aqua/eau), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, ethylhexyl palmitate, glycine soja (soybean) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, glyceryl stearate, dimethicone, stearic acid, isopropyl myristate, cetyl alcohol, PEG-40 stearate, trimethylolpropane triisostearate, sorbitan tristearate, phenoxyethanol, retinyl palmitate, tocopherol, butylene glycol, triethanolamine, caprylyl glycol, algae extract, tetrasodium EDTA, carbomer, ethyl acetate, cyclohexane, arnica montana flower extract, calluna vulgaris extract, propylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, citral, limonene.
Got a long-time fave moisturizer? Enjoy trying to slice a canned peach with the side of a spoon? TELL US.