Don’t Sleep: Why You Should Ditch Your Shea Butters And Baby Oil For In-Shower Lotions

February 9, 2016  |  

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Everyone has their go-to form of skin conditioner.

For instance, my mom loves to keep a container of petroleum jelly by her bed and put baby oil on her feet after taking a bath.

One of my good friends swears by Shea butter because the greasier and shinier her skin can look, the better.

My boss, on the other hand, just throws on whatever lotion she can find, no matter how watery, and wonders why her skin is ashen an hour later.

Personally, I grew up a fan of Palmer’s cocoa butter. Then Palmer’s olive oil lotion. Then, I went through a baby oil gel phase (lavender or nothing at all). After tiring of being so greasy, I switched it up and mixed lotions with raw Shea butter. And most recently, I was put on to Nivea body lotions, my favorite being the essentially enriched lotion.

Since then, I’ve become obsessed with Nivea’s in-shower lotion collection, specifically, the almond oil concoction for “Very Dry Skin.” It took a while for me to get there, though, because I will admit that I assumed such quick-fast-and-in-a-hurry lotions were for White folks, and wouldn’t really penetrate my skin keeping it moisturized all day. Frankly, when some of us hear “lotion,” we immediately think “cheap and watery.” If it isn’t an oil or a butter, it can’t be right…

And before you act brand new and say all skin is the same, know that I call “lies!” Dermatologists have spoken in detail over the years about the differences in skin structure based on race. In an Allure piece from 2011 called “Do Different Races Have Different Skin-Care Needs?” these distinctions were thoroughly explained.

Fran Cook-Bolden of the Ethnic Skin Specialty Group in New York City said the pigment-creating cells found in Black skin work abundantly to protect the surface against premature wrinkling and skin cancer, but may also work a little too hard, which is the reason some of us end up with dark marks on our skin. Jeannette Graf, the dermatology professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, also in New York City, said the skin of White women is sensitive to sun damage, which can cause premature wrinkles, as well as parched skin. And clinical instructor of dermatology at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Jessica Wu, said Asian women have collagen-rich skin, which is a good thing, but can also be very sensitive.

So, in laymen’s terms, one woman’s Suave body lotion is not another woman’s saving grace for dry skin. We all need different moisturizers and exfoliators, and what might work for one person could be too harsh or too weak on the skin of another.

But knowing how much I loved Nivea’s almond oil lotion, I pushed myself to give the in-shower lotion a try. It wasn’t cheap (at Duane Reade here in New York City they’re about $9 with tax, but are on sale for $4.99 on Amazon…). Still, I was determined to see what all the hype over this form of lotion was about.

Well, I’m here to tell you to believe the hype. The almond oil in-shower lotion is quite thick. You slather it on your skin after scrubbing yourself good and clean, and when you’re finished, you rinse the moisturizer off before stepping out and drying off. I wouldn’t recommend going too hard with your use of the in-shower lotion at one time because too much rinsed-off cream could leave the floor of your tub a dangerous, slippery mess. I’ve almost had one of those Life Alert moments a few times when trying to step out too fast. Still, just enough not only saves you the time you would have wasted trying to get really into the cracks of your drying skin after stepping out of the shower, but it also leaves your skin feeling quite supple and soft.

If you’re trying to kill two birds with one stone, applying in-shower lotion after cleaning up and quickly rinsing it off will make your get-ready-for-work or get-ready-for-bed regimen much faster. Plus, it smells great and keeps you moisturized for 24 hours.

I can’t say that the results I had with Nivea’s almond oil in-shower lotion will be the results you have with it, or say, Olay or Eucerin’s in-shower options. But I hope that you’re encouraged to step out of the box (and the large clear tubs) to maximize your moisture. During the harsh winter season, your skin will thank you for it.

 

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