Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shea the Day Away

Ah, your skin.  The largest organ in your body and probably the most abused and neglected.  From the top of your forehead to the bottom of your feet, each nook and cranny deserves moisture, love and protection.  Scented, shea butter, aloe, organic lotion?  There are so many choices when it comes to products but what really suits your needs?  Walking down the aisle designated toward these products of any store can be a bit daunting and grabbing a bottle solely on price can be problematic as well.  I have spent my fair share of time and money experimenting with products.  Also, when and where to apply for the maxim result.  Hand cream, facial lotion, foot lotion - where do you start?

What does your body need?  How dry does your skin get, if at all?  Not everyone has dry skin all year round.  My skin dries out from around November until it starts to warm up again closer to summer time in June.  I don't use too much, if any lotion in the summer since it's so hot and humid where I am.  I feel like it makes my skin almost slimy.  I also don't like to put on lotion before bedtime any time in the year.  I tend to wake up in the middle of the night overheated.  Weird, right?  Yes, it is best to apply lotion after a shower that way your skin will soak up all the goodness and help stay smooth and healthy.  Who always remembers though or wants to go through the hassle of putting on lotion?  It can be a real pain and then you have to wash it off your hands when you are finished.  I understand the drill; I think we all do. 

If you are using a good body wash, keep up the good work!  What about baby oil, or body oils?  I think they work well but I would recommend using them while taking a bath, not apply to skin after a bath.  The oil can be heavy and when you go out in the cold, it will make you feel colder.  If I do use a bath oil product, I only place a few drops in very warm water, to avoid the residue on the side of the tub once you are finished.  It does work well and leaves my skin feeling soft but since I am an oily creature, I don't do it often.  I always feel like swamp thing an hour later then want to take another shower to clean it off.

Well, which products should I invest in?  Yes, invest is the key word in this sentence.  I do love a good bargain but I would not recommend buying anything too cheap (unless it's on sale).  I don't advocate dollar store brands or any weird knock off, or some store brands actually.  Finding a good lotion means you will have to put on your detectives hat and read the labels.  A lot of cheaper stuff tends to have a lot of water, which will do nothing for your skin.  Try and locate the travel section first because they will have different brands you can test out for around a dollar  before you spend the money on the large bottle.  Different skin types may have allergies to different brands.  I am allergic to most organic products like Aveeno.  I found that out the hard way and never touched the stuff since.  If you are in a finer department store, they will let you try a sample for free.  You can get a good judgement from the free sample too.  For those with stubborn, dry skin, you might find your nirvana in shea butter products.  It is a very intensive moisturizer that sticks around for a while.  It's too heavy for my skin but I highly recommend it if you are looking for something to keep the dry, cracked skin at bay. 

If you like to go the scented route, I'd recommend only using it some of the time, not all of the time.  Your skin is absorbing the fragrance into your body, through your skin, and that can't be a good thing over time.  Keep it light, and keep it fresh.  These bottles do have a shelf life as well.  Some bottles do give you a time frame on the back, usually lasting about 1-2 years max.  If you have anything older than 3 years, toss it.  Like I have mentioned in another entry, I am not a fan of putting food products on your skin.  I prefer to eat an avocado than wear one.  I'll get the health benefits through delicious guacamole instead of a mask.

Also, for anyone out there that is brand loyal to the Avon or Mary-Kay like products; if it works for you then it works for you.  Plain and simple, but if you feel like your skin is lacking, shop around.  Don't give into a sale pitch and price just to save the cash. 

Treat yourself to something new, expand a horizon, ride the lightning.  Humans are creatures of comfort and habit - don't keep doing the old stuff simply because it's what you have always done.  Break the mold by creating a new one for yourself.  Talk to your friends, ask around and get samples.  Remember, you are beautiful and deserve it!

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