If you don’t suffer from dry skin, congratulations, and I hate you. Leave now. The following content is not for you.
If you do suffer from dry skin and eczema, you and I share the same affliction, and likely the same resentment toward winter, a season that not only shuts you inside and deprives you of sunshine and fresh air, but also mercilessly strips your skin of what little moisture it’s able to retain until your body looks like the Sahara Desert during a drought.
The only defense we withered folk have against this dermal dehydration is to moisturize, and moisturize a lot. The problem, for me personally: I hate lotion. Lotion is goopy, and it gets on your clothes and on your furniture. Sometimes it has a weird smell. Sometimes it’s too thick, and other times it’s too thin. It takes a lot of effort to rub it in. Sometimes, putting on lotion makes my body so itchy I literally have to make an Arthur fist to prevent myself from scratching. Like flossing, I lie to my mom and the dermatologist about doing it regularly. Worst of all, it makes your palms greasy for the foreseeable future, and the one part of my body that isn’t naturally dry just happens to be my palms.
The solution, however, is simple: lotion sticks. That is, lotion in twist-up stick form. Yes, like giant Chapstick.
I discovered CervaVe’s Heal & Protect Balm, one such lotion stick, on a recent trip to a suburban Target (a rare and sacred experience for those who live in cities), and I quite literally haven’t been able to put it down since. In fact, I wish I’d bought more of them. The stick now lives on my desk at work, but I want one to keep in my tote bag because unlike liquid lotion, there’s no risk of it bursting open. While we’re at it, I also want one to keep in my apartment, and then maybe one more just in case I lose the others. This particular balm looks a bit like deodorant, but it goes on clear and delivers a perfect layer of moisture in one swipe. I find myself dabbing it onto my hands and wrists, where the worst of my eczema is, all day long — something I could never do in an unobtrusive way with regular lotion. Meanwhile, my palms and fingertips are undisturbed and able to keep blogging, grease-free.
There are certainly other lotion sticks out there, though. This La Roche Posay Lipikar AP+ Stick is similar to the CeraVe balm in that it’s recommended for eczema-prone skin.
The CeraVe stick is scentless, but if smells seem like your thing, H2O+’s Body Butter Stick smells like roses and contains coconut oil, coconut seed butter, and sunflower seed oil.
This Yes To Coconuts stick also boats coconut oil, along with shea butter. Plus, it’s a great, cost-effective option.
Hempz’s Sensitive Skin Herbal Body Balm features hemp seed oil enriched with oatmeal complex. And for those who don’t know, oatmeal might make for a weird breakfast food, but it’s a seriously great skin soother.
Meanwhile, Mustela’s Nourising Stick is technically meant for babies’ faces. But hey, if it’s good enough for a baby’s face, it’s good enough for mine.
And while not a stick, if you really want to leave regular lotion behind for good, I recommend trying out this Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray. You do have to sort of rub it in once you spray it on, but it makes the process of moisturizing much quicker, and less gloppy.
So basically what I’m saying is, arm yourself with lotion sticks aplenty, stop lying to you mom and yourself, and moisturize your damn skin already. It will make you feel better, and maybe one day, if you’re lucky, you’ll be one of those people to whom this post does not apply.