Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Been There, Done That: Fancy Body Products

Before I started getting really serious about budgeting and cutting down my beauty and skincare spending, I used to go a little crazy at Sephora, buying things I didn't need to get to the minimum for free shipping. Many of those impulse purchases were fancy body care products. At the time I tried to justify it: I have very dry skin that gets bad in winter, even with a humidifier running all day and night. If I could find a "miracle product," the experimenting would be worth it.

I'm realizing now that, for my skin at least, there is no miracle product: I'll always need to apply body moisturizer daily. Even then, my skin will almost inevitably get dry again well before the next 24 hours are up. I've sworn off the fancy things, none of which were ever that much better than your average drugstore body lotion, though they did smell nicer as a general rule.

These days I'll stick to Lubriderm (I grew up using Costco-sized bottles of it and it is my usual preference, though I find many other brands to be about the same). I've tried out jojoba and coconut oil too (both are cheapest at Trader Joe's). While both have some extra moisturizing "oomph" that drugstore body lotion lacks, I never stuck to either habit because I was worried that some of it could stain my sheets or towels if I didn't give it enough time to absorb.

Coconut oil has a lovely scent, and I might consider going back to it as a supplement to the body lotion, but I'd need to figure out a better way to store it: I briefly kept half a jar of it on my dresser for body and hair usage, and it got moldy and gross within two months. The culprit was my constantly sticking in my damp-from-the-shower hands to apply it. In hindsight, I should have been more careful, and if I went back to it, I'd have to find a smaller container for it, so that I won't lose too much of it in another mishap.

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Without further ado, these are the fancy body care products that were definitely not miracle products for my persistently dry skin: 
  • Korres Body Butter in Jasmine: I've tried a few scents of this, and the Jasmine is my favorite. Korres is a drugstore product in Greece (~5€/bottle) , but a very expensive one in the US ($19/bottle). They really do make lovely products, and I also love the shower gels, which I bought in Greece. I just can't get over the American pricing when I know that it's very much a drugstore product in its home country. As for the body butter, it's nice and thick but absorbs easily and it is a bit more moisturizing than the Body Shop or Soap & Glory kind. It's probably most similar to Bliss body butter
  • Caudalie Divine Oil: I had a phase of thinking that dry oils might do a better job of keeping my skin moisturized than body lotion, which turned out to be an erroneous assumption. I might not have applied these products with a generous enough hand because of concerns about how expensive they were, but either way, they're definitely far less moisturizing than the same quantity of coconut or jojoba oil. The Caudalie is probably my least favorite of the three I tried: the floral scent is a little strange. 
  • L'Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Supple Skin Oil: I do love the way this one smells, but it suffers from the same lack of value for money problem as other dry oils I've tried in that it just doesn't moisturize very well for such a pricey product. This one doesn't absorb quite into the skin quite as quickly ro easily as the other two. 
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: I bought this in Taiwan when there was a nice promotional price. The scent on this one is probably my favorite out of the three dry oils because it is a little lighter and more subtle. 

I wouldn't say that the money I spent over a period of about a year and a half to try these products was a waste: Even if these products didn't work that much better for me than something from the drugstore, there is some value to something that feels fancy and smells nice. Still, when it comes to my personal budget, I'd rather put the funds towards my facial skincare routine. 

Do you have any favorite body products? Any suggestions for particularly awesome moisturizers? 

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