Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Baby Soft Skin

The lovely Ani Difranco has given birth (I hate that expression, it makes her sound like a dock) to a baby girl called Petah Lucia. I know that Ani is probably not hugely interested in beauty products or make-up but this was very nearly a music blog so I feel that today's post should be dedicated to her and her righteous baby. So this time we're going to be tackling dry skin, something I've had to put up with for years, and I'll try and give you some tips that will get you on your way to making it baby soft.

I find this time of year particularly difficult. The cold weather seems to aggravate my skin more then anything - I think I've got through about a ton of hand cream since November (my favourite is L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream). A great bathroom constant in our house is Oilatum Bath Formula. This is great if you suffer from excessive dry skin or eczema, containing light liquid parafin it prevents the top layer of skin from drying out, its best to pat yourself dry and throw on some talcom powder after using this rather than towelling properly as this removes the Oilatum goodness. With regard to talc its really a personal preference as to which brand you choose. We'd all love to be able to afford the one that corresponds to our scent but most of us can't afford to be that luxurious so to be honest they are all much of a muchness. I use Johnsons Baby Powder or Boots own brand (which smells a bit less like you've waded through a creche). Nivea also do a great talc (Nivea Talc). Be warned though, too much talc is bad for you. It can suffocate the skin so sprinkle sparingly you really don't need too much.

I don't really know where to start as there's so much skin to cover! So I'm going to go from top to bottom as usual starting with a great facial moisturiser. Unfortunately Hammersmith does not really cater for the lover of Clarins so I decided to break the habit of a life time and try out a new moisturiser. Now, don't get me wrong, I love trying different creams but will only spend over £25 on my favourites. But Estee Lauder's DayWear Plus for Dry Skin is really great and worth its reasonable £28. Personally, I like my moisturisers to smell (lightly) of scent, Origins is an exception as I love the smell of everything in their range, and I have to say I was slightly put off the Estee Lauder by the smell of cucumber. But I got over that almost immediately and I'm actually a complete convert. The Estee Lauder is great for a morning cream (as the name suggests) it is quite thick without being too much and contains sun factor 15 which really protects your skin no matter what time of year. Its super long lasting and really light. Highly recommended.

For years I have been put off showing the tops of my arms and thighs because of terrible dry skin bumps. They are bad enough for people who touch these areas to enquire as to whether I would like a coat or jumper. This is not a pleasant experience. My mother always told me that I would grow out of it, and I suppose I have to a certain extent. My eczema now only rears its ugly head when I'm really stressed and the areas of bumps are now smaller. But they are still there. I've tried all sorts of exfoliators, I've even tried mild application of a brillo pad but nothing really worked. Until now.

Now once again I think part of the cure is to find the right moisturiser. I love Nivea Soft Intensive Cream. Its amazing of all the body moisturisers I have tried this is the best. It doesn't irritate sensitive skin at all and when applied to an irritated area it immediately soothes. This even beats the dermatological creams I was prescribed by the doctor. I use this on my arms, legs and back everyday. But what about the bumps? Mr J and I managed to track down one of the toughest naturally made exfoliators in the form of Korres Grape Seed Scrub which i have to say is one of the few exfoliators I have found that actually works properly. I find that you can spend so much money on these kinds of products which do work a little but usually not enough to match their prices, I'd definitely say that Korres have earned their £15. I use this three times a week on the back of my arms and the top of my thighs and it really softens the skin, removing dead skin cells without irritating or aggravating. But this wasn't sufficient. As I am weary of over-using products I really didn't want to use this too excess and make the problem worse.

It was then I tracked down Botanics Sisal Buffer. I've heard a lot about the benefits of brushing your skin to tone it and get rid of cellulite and dry skin but I was never really convinced. But this has almost eliminated my dry skin bumps. I alternate it with the Korres exfoliator and make sure I moisturise properly afterwards and for the firs time I can really feel the difference. It's really worth it and amazingly priced at around £4. After exfoliating or buffing your skin apply some toner over the dry skin bumps as recommended by Miss L - we both swear by Simple's Soothing Toner.

For those whose lower legs have a tendancy to look more like they are covered in scales rather than skin a saviour is at hand. If like me you have scrubbed and rubbed til you are literally blue in the face and still suffer from dry pins look no further than This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil. As will all of This Works products it does exactly what it says on the bottle so beware, it is an oil so it is best to do this on the edge of the bath in your dressing gown rather than in your new Gharani Strok over your bedroom carpet.

So even though we no longer qualify for having baby soft skin I hope that these will help you cheat time and be as smooth and soft as a baby's bottom! xx

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