Thursday, 26 May 2011

Confessions of a moisturiser junkie

I love moisturisers, I buy them religiously, I try all the new products, I'm sucked in by the claims of 'instant absorbtion' and 'ultimate moisturisation'.  I love the idea of slathering myself in cocoa butter or Shea - I confess i am a moisturiser junkie!

Since making my own soap, I have managed to cut back a little, my daily habit is now twice weekly, but hey I'm still tempted! For me its all about the smell and the feel. There is nothing better than the silky smooth feel of a great moisturiser after a long hot shower -so can I reproduce this feel in my own kitchen?

First things first - ingredients.  I've checked out the labels of my store brought moisturisers, and you know what?  I cant for the life of me figure out whats in them.  I'm not a chemist, I failed chemistry, and I'm not even going to attempt to reconstruct them.  So I guess the only alternative is - the natural approach.
Or should I say the more natural approach.  Lotions contain water (a large portion of water) any product that contains water MUST have a preservative.  Any 'natural' products that claim to have either no preservatives or natural preservatives ARE UNSAFE TO USE.  Bacterial and fungus will grow in water with a couple of hours, within a couple of days these lotions will be harmful - if I were to weigh up the dangers of bacteria against the dangers of a man made preservative - I would choose preservative any day.  So preservative it is!
So lets take a look at the 'natural' ingredients I have been researching, testing, trialing and applying:

*Resembles the natural sebum produced by our skin, so is readily absorbed
*Reduces wrinkles
*Reduces stretch marks and scars
*Great for acne sufferers - it 'tricks' the skin into thinking it has produced enough oil, thus balancing oil production

Apricot kernel oil:  
*rich in natural vitamins - A and E which are essential for our skin
*easily absorbed into the skin, leaving no oily residue
*hypoallergenic, can be used on sensitive skin, including babies
*soothing, anti-inflammatory and cooling

Olive oil:
*contains 'squalene', which has the ability to regulate sebum secretion (an oil that reduces oiliness!)
*contains 'chloropyll', which aids in heeling wounds and other scars (including acne scars)
*contains loads of natural antioxidants, vitamin A and E and poly phenols which are known for their ability to postpone aging

Rice Bran Oil:
*Is easily absorbed by the skin
*great for severely dry skin
*is said to relieve uncomfortable skin rashes, sunburn and other skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea and eczema
*has been used in Japan for centuries as a natural beauty whitener due to its natural sunscreen properties.
Shea butter (the butter of all butters)
*full of vitamin D which aids in skin renewal and rejuvenation
*loaded with vitamin A to assist in healing wounds
*benefits eczema and dermatitis suffers by enabling your skin to absorb moisture and stay moisturised for longer.
*Soothing due to it high vitamin A E and F levels

Cocoa butter (my fave)
*a main component of chocolate - so it has to be good for you!
*penetrates the outer layer of skin, giving ultimate moisturisation
*it softens the skin and is known for reducing stretch marks
*packed with antioxidants to destroy the free radicals that cause wrinkles and aging

I plan to use all of the above ingredients in my lotion blend.  I have a couple of great trials up my sleeve and I am happy with the results.  I can honestly say that some of my experiments are far more luxurious than ANY moisturiser I have tried.  The lotions are not greasy, they are instantly absorbed and they provide the ultimate moisturisation that seems to last all day (my partner was a guinea pig last night, he came home from work today still sniffing and stroking his arm lol). 

However alll this has got me to wondering - if natural plant based products are actually that much better, why do all the big companies keep producing synthetically enhanced body products? and most importantly, why do we keep buying them?

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