I used to have severely dry skin, but especially parched, cracked, hurting hands. To make things worse, their condition was often exacerbated by frequent hand washing and then particularly strained further during the winter months. Fortunately, I finally found a wonderful solution to my extremely dry skin woes last year. And it’s really a solution, not just yet another product that’s somewhat better than other products. It is so effective I don’t even need any kinds of lotions, creams or moisturizers any longer at all!
To be honest, it was Lush where I first found my dry skin solution. It seemed the perfect product for me: truly moisturizing, exfoliating (for the rough parts such as heels and elbows), and for use in the shower, so that once I’m done with it the greasiness gets all rinsed off and away. Because: how much I detest having greasy hands after moisturizing!
So what am I talking about?
Body butter bars, of course!
I’d used a couple of Lush’s Buffy exfoliating body butter bars before I finally switched to DIYing them myself. The recipe is mind-bafflingly simple:
- Use equal parts Shea and cocoa butter,
- melt and mix them in a water bath, and
- let them cool in the fridge in (silicone) muffin tins.
- Often I also add granulated sugar to the mix to get the exfoliating effect.
As I said, you use them under the shower, and they’re super rich. But once you’re out of the shower and toweled off, none of the greasiness remains. Instead, skin is soft, well moisturized, and – most importantly – repaired!
I can definitely say repaired, because sometimes I forget to use the bars when I shower next, and still my skin is fine. I need no other kind of moisturizer on my skin either, not for days and days and days.
Why does it work?
Well, if you’ve read my post on what skin needs, you’ll know that dry skin, like oily skin, is actually caused by a damaged moisture barrier. And the bottomline is that that barrier can be repaired. Products rich with lipids and fatty acids, among other things, are ideal for this, and Shea as well as cocoa butter both have lots of those. They’re not too great for the face as they could clog your pores and are rich in oleic acid, which could spell trouble for sensitive skin types. But for the body they’re absolutely perfect!
Apart from that, it also makes so much sense to moisturize under the shower. Because that’s where our skin is just soaked with water, and by trapping in that water with those occlusives we can make good use of that. The oils will not only repair our skin’s natural skin barrier, which keeps moisture within our skin. It will prevent trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL for short, even further and more effectively, even if your skin can’t do it by itself yet.
At this point I should emphasize how much the right soap has also helped me, especially with my hands! Because if you don’t let them dry out in the first place, much has already been won. Besides, if you wash them as often as I do, it is just inevitable they dry out otherwise, body butter bars or not.
I’d never been able to find a soap that was truly moisturizing despite its product claims. But then I found the solid soap bars from, again, Lush and now won’t use any other.
(Except occasionally this one. It’s a German drugstore product available at Rossmann, and is the most gentle liquid soap that barely dries out skin I’ve ever come across.)
I like Lush’s last Christmas limited edition soap Snow Castle the very most of all, which foams, cleanses and leaves my hands well moisturized like no other. In fact, I bought a whole kg of it when it went on sale at 50% off. Lucky! ♥ But barring that, Figs & Leaves, Sultana of Soap or Parsley Porridge are some other soaps from Lush I liked as well.
So there you have it! The right soap can make a world of difference on your hands, and body massage bars made from natural plant oils can transform even the most callused of heels into soft and smooth skin. Best of all, however, is that you won’t need to moisturize time and again any longer. No, with these you can really cure your skin!