I am ALWAYS on the search for the perfect body lotion or oil for my legs. Through trial, error, and educating myself about eczema, I know some things my ideal body moisturizer must NOT contain:
- Parabens (A preservative that is in a whole hella lot of toiletries. I had a very negative reaction to CeraVe lotion on my face, and my derm said parabens might be at fault.)
- Fragrance/color (I mean, really. If you have sensitive skin anyway, no need to subject it to irritating fragrance.)
- Certain ‘natural’ oils. (Thanks to Paula’s Choice and her site Beautypedia.com, I now know that ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean skin friendly. Things like orange oil, ylang-ylang, lavender… not things that should be going on the skin. More on that in another post).
- Shea butter:
I wanted to like Shea Butter. Really, I did. I bought a nice big tub a few months back after reading about all its wonders – moisturizing without clogging pores, mild wrinkle protectant, even a mild sunscreen effect. And I loved that it was 100% natural. Started using it on my legs and face, and for a few days, I had the most beautiful leg skin (for me, that is).
Then things started going south – I woke up with red, dry, irritated facial skin. 😦 It started making me itch when I put it on my legs. But why??? I thought this stuff would be my magic bullet! GUESS WHAT – If you have any sort of latex allergy (which I do – a mild one), you might react to shea butter because their chemistry is somehow related.
And there are SO MANY LOTIONS out there with Shea Butter. It is very hard to avoid.
Next, I turned to some different kinds of oils.
OLIVE OIL. This is a decent moisturizer for legs, but the problems are twofold. One, it takes forever to sink in, leaving you with extremely shiny legs that will rub off on anything they touch. Two, you wind up smelling like an Italian salad bar. I haven’t been using it on my legs for virtue of those facts. I WILL use a little bit on my face over any dry spots, and then rub moisturizer over that, and I have to say it does well at keeping skin moist.
COCONUT OIL. This isn’t too expensive and you can get it at Whole Foods or similar stores in the baking aisle. I also bought a coconut oil body lotion from Whole Foods that is completely natural, just having coconut oil and a few other ingredients. I can’t tell if this stuff is helping or hurting, to be honest. It smells great and has a fun consistency – just dig it out of the jar as a solid, and it melts right onto your skin, turning into a liquid. It WILL leave your legs very shiny and doesn’t absorb quickly, just like olive oil. I haven’t seen any radical improvements with using this, but my legs do often break out into little raised bumps here and there…kind of like little pimples but with no head. And I don’t remember this happening a few months ago, so maybe it is time to discontinue the coconut oil and see what happens.
Last but not least, Jojoba oil. This is my favorite of all three. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive. I’ve read that this oil has the chemical consistency that is most similar to skin. It’s a light oil that soaks in very well and I haven’t noticed any adverse effects. I also use this on my face with dry spots. There, I can’t tell if it is helping, but the dry spots are not getting any worse.
There are some other oils that I want to look into – grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and argan oil. Any thoughts on which oils I should try?