WRITERS, BLOGGERS, PROS AND PEEPS WHO KNOW THEIR BEAUTY STUFF
How A Good Body Cream Can Fix (Almost) Everything
Wed, 22 August 2012 11:21AM
Imagine my surprise, Primpers, when, last week, an innocent little tummy pain saw me wind up in the emergency department. Before I could blink, I was being rushed along hospital corridors toward impending surgery to remove a really-very-sore appendix. Just like that. One minute, I was all dressed up to go to work, the next, I was in a hospital gown, accessorized with a drip and stitches and feeling like death-warmed-up.
I dispatched my well-meaning – but typically male – boyfriend to pick up some pyjamas and a toothbrush from home. What he reappeared with, a few hours later, was a varied mix of wildly inappropriate things: a pair of tiny white shorts, a sexy, silky nightie I’d forgotten I even owned, a fitted wool vest. Needless to say, I stayed in the gown. He’d also braved my cosmetics cupboard. Did he bring toothpaste? Of course not. But he did pack some Biore face wipes (incidentally amazingly useful for a hospital stay), an SPF 30 face cream (not as handy when bed-bound) and a very special body moisturiser. La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Body Emulsion, $280, from selected David Jones, to be precise.
I know. $280 for a body cream sounds excessive, and I must admit, it was an extravagant gift from some months back, rather than something I’d picked up on my last visit to David Jones. In fact, I only ever keep it for “best”, and apply with restraint on special occasions. Being in hospital certainly didn’t fit the bill, and the elegant blue-glass bottle looked somewhat incongruous on the bedside table next to my oxygen dispenser. But he was so proud of bringing it to me that I felt compelled to use a little for encouragement.
And then something amazing happened. I felt a bit better. Despite the pain, the hospital horrors and my new lack of stomach muscles, I felt a bit more “me”. When I was allowed to have a shower, I slathered it liberally all over, and it felt like such a treat.
Which reminded me, Primpers, that it’s important to take a little time out and pamper yourself now and again. It doesn’t have to take ages, and it doesn’t have to be costly. Something as simple as mindfully applying a moisturiser as you appreciate your skin, your limbs, your functioning body (something I’d never questioned until my hospital stint) really is good for the soul.
The next day, I received a special delivery to my bedside: a zingy-smelling bottle of Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream, from $20.50, 1800 659 118 (oh-so much handier than flowers!). So I slathered that on, too, and even felt brave enough to slip on those little white shorts with my newly-hydrated legs.
All this moisturising got me thinking about how slack I often am with body care. It reminded me of a conversation I had with Unilever Research & Development’s Daniel Mullette a few weeks back. He’d reminded me that working in an air-conditioned office or spending lots of time outdoors means you should use a body cream at least daily, and straight after you shower. “Showering is one of the most drying events for your skin and can cause the most damage,” he said. “When you shower, the level of moisture in your skin goes right up, but after 15 to 30 minutes, it plummets, as the skin has lost the ability to retain moisture.” His solution was to pat skin dry and apply moisturiser immediately for best results.
I’ll admit I agreed with him at the time, but then lapsed into my old once-a-week ways. But no longer. Since my return from hospital, I emerge from the shower and liberally apply a body cream, every time. And, in the space of a week or so, my skin has completely changed. It’s more supple, less dull and feels more comfortable.
I’ve also been testing out products to find the formulas I like the most. Other than my favourites, above, I’ve had great success with these:
1. Vaseline Coco Butter Smoothing Body Butter, $11.57, from pharmacies
A rich balm that packs a punch. Great for scaly knees and elbows. Oh, and it smells delicious, too.
2. Palmer’s Coco Butter Formula Natural Bronze Body Lotion, from $8.95, from pharmacies
An easy-to-blend cream that slowly builds a believable-looking glow. Perfect for this time of year when you need a hint of colour.
3. Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil, $59.95, 02 9979 5672
Yes, so it’s an oil rather than a cream, but it’s heaven in a Tiffany-blue bottle. Enriched with skin-loving naturals, it’s a treat to apply and leaves skin looking super glowy.
Now, tell me, Primpers: which beauty buy makes you feel instantly better? As I’m still fighting my way back to full health, I’d love to give your ideas a go.
Until next week,
Posted by: Emily Taylor