Saturday, February 01, 2014

The twelve greatest hits of 2013: body lotion

For the record, I've linked below to Amazon and/or, for which I receive not one brass centime.

I've recently been experimenting with lots of body lotions--I haven't even finished trying all the new ones I got for Christmas--but I've settled on my winners for 2013. Mind you, these are not lotions that provide a huge degree of sensual delight; they aren't wonderfully scented; the bottles are plain Jane; they don't feel luxurious. These lotions get the job done. There are three winners because these lotions serve slightly different needs, so I really need to have all three handy.

And the three winners:

Johnson's Baby Naturals Nourishing Lotion ($8.47/9 oz) isn't greasy at all, but it has more body than the average baby lotion, which I've always found rather thin and runny. It's paraben-free, with 99 percent natural ingredients. The fragrance is fresh--sort of a combination of cucumbers and lettuce--and it dissipates quickly, so it doesn't argue with my perfume. The bottle comes with a pump top, which makes it just that little bit faster and easier to apply when you get out of the shower. I use about six pumps to cover my entire body, so a bottle only lasts me about three weeks. I wouldn't say that it sinks in immediately, but it doesn't take long, and it doesn't feel greasy. I used it every day, sometimes twice on the days when I worked out in the afternoon, and it has kept my skin soft and comfortable even through Chicago's patented Polar Vortices™.

Vaseline Spray & Go moisturizer ($7.79/6.5 oz) is a thin, not particularly moisturizing lotion whose selling point is that it's fast to apply and fast to sink in. Frankly, this sounds to me like a problem  cosmetics manufacturers invented to sell us a cool new toy. Unless I'm using the original Nivea cream or Eucerin or bear grease, I haven't noticed that it takes my body lotion a long time to be absorbed--obviously, your mileage may vary.

I bought this lotion for one reason: the nozzle works from every angle, which means that it's possible to spray it upside down over my own shoulders and apply lotion to my back. I'm sure if I were using this stuff all over my body, it wouldn't be cost effective, but for that square foot of back, the bottle seems to be lasting a good while.

Amlactin Ultra ($14.99/4.9 oz) is the bomb if you've let things go and gotten chapped. Of course, we grown-up ladies are too smart to let that happen, but I can't say the same for the husbands and teenagers in my life, whose hands and legs get so red and chapped that it's painful to look at. I don't advocate using Amlactin all over because even this new and improved version of the classic cream smells ... OK, I can't think of a way to say this tactfully. But the humectant in this cream is derived from urea, which is urine, and so to me, this cream smells vaguely of pee.

And I can't say that the odor dissipates. When I've used it, I tend to find myself reaching for my more bang! pow! fragrances; big hitters like Hermès 24 Faubourg, Surrender by Killian, or Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.

But if your skin is chapped, chafed, or red, this stuff will clear things up right away, without being intolerably greasy. And if you're using it on your hands or feet, you can always goop it on and then wear cotton gloves and socks to bed. Because that will really jump start your love life.

So when you use it, make sure the room is properly ventilated. And check to see whether any nearby cats start to try to bury you.

(Can you believe it? I hardly ever get feelers from cosmetics companies looking to partner with my blog.)


  1. So that's what that smell is. ugh. I've been using amlactin ever since you told me it would help with those little white bumps on the backs of my arms. You were spot on. They went away with regular use. Guess I need a nice scented lotion now.

  2. @Wendy--I know, right? But I slathered it on eldest's hands over Christmas break because his knuckles were positively chapped.
    And my mother says Amlactin is fantastic for getting rid of raised sunspots. I guess it's really best thought of as medicine.

  3. I'm not buying pump lotions because I can never finish ALL of the product.

  4. @blackbird--I know what you mean. I get ridiculously cheap sometimes. I mean, the stuff costs $1 an ounce, and it drives me crazy that there's an inch at the bottom of the bottle that I can't get out without standing upside or some such.

    On the other hand, I discovered when I was taking off my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes today that both my skirt and boots were sticking to me. Which means that even though the pump irritates me, I'm still better off using the Johnson's baby lotion, because the stuff I substituted today (Aveeno Lavender and Vanilla baby lotion) didn't absorb enough. Either that, or it was made of Elmer's Glue and fly traps. And just when I was claiming that lotion not absorbing enough was a manufactured problem!


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xxx, Poppy.