What if your moisturizer was created for the sole purpose of helping you find literal comfort inside of your own skin? A new approach and outlook on personal care or "beauty" products.
I grew up in the 80s and 90s. If you did too, close your eyes for a moment and think about any body lotion campaign at all. Maybe it was on a bus or a billboard or in the glossy fold of a magazine. In my mind, I see a pair of outrageously flawless legs, crossed just so at the ankles, kissed by moisture so shiny that the light catches it. I have a brand in mind, but I won’t say who. I’m sure you can think of five or six.
Those moisturizing campaigns were, at their core, about aesthetic beauty. They were a rallying cry to our hearts and minds that we needed to make our bodies smooth and supple and soft for someone else’s eyes. They were about how a body, moisturized, looks. So, naturally, they were also about shame. Because whose legs could ever be so free from scrapes and scars? So hairless, so shiny? Not mine. Never mine.
Before working at Meow Meow Tweet and talking at length to Tara about beauty and skincare, I never put two things together in my mind. Itchy skin and dryness. It literally never occurred to me that my itchy, often uncomfortable, razor-scarred legs were uncomfortable because they were dry. That is kind of weird, right? That I didn’t think of that before? Maybe I am oblivious (possible), or maybe I have just been taken in by the imperialism of marketing (probable). If I ever remembered to moisturize, it was because someone else was going to see my legs and I wanted to look like that woman on the side of the bus. I usually only moisturized before a date.
But here’s a hot take on moisturizing your legs (or any part of your body at all):
What if your moisturizer was created for the sole purpose of helping you find literal comfort inside of your own skin? (I am not trying to write puns, this is actually what I want to say.) What if it was the skincare equivalent of wrapping your body in a cozy blanket? What if you put your lotion or body oil on because it made you and only you feel good to do so? What if…
It is that time of year when the radiators are on full blast, and I wake up in the morning feeling like the corrugated side of a piece of cardboard. Oh joy, winter! And because Tara loves me and has been my friend for about 20 years, they have made me a new Winter Body Oil that they describe in one way and one way only “cozy, cozy, warm.” (No, it is not only for me, but I like to pretend, because Tara knows a lot about my itchy legs.)
When I think about this body oil, I don’t actually think about how it will make me look (although I will probably motherf*&^ing GLOW). I think about how those five minutes of extra time making myself feel cozy will be worth it. How it will make me feel warm and soothed. It will give me a sense of care-taking. It is harder to make a billboard about that. But then again, no one has ever really tried.
Here’s What’s Inside The New Winter Body Oil
Chamomile — This is a comfort herb if there ever was one. It can be taken internally to calm frayed nerves and soothe anxiety (pre-bed tea), and applied topically to repair wounds and damaged skin and reduce swelling. Breathing in the sweetness of chamomile blossoms is aromatherapuetically calming, too, especially for little ones.
Neroli — Neroli is here for a few reasons, but the main one might be its gorgeous and uplifting scent. Meow Meow Tweet fans might remember the now discontinued Sweet Orange Neroli Body Oil (I still have some that I am hoarding). Neroli is the name attributed to the essential oil of bitter orange blossoms. It is honey-like and floral and otherworldly. I think it’s a little bit smokey and spicy. The essential oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Scent can’t be underrated in skin care though. It is warming and enlivening to breathe this in as you apply.
Bergamot — Earl Grey tea. Bergamot is the citrus associated with Earl Grey’s specific scent and flavor. Topically, bergamot is cleansing and healing. It contains naturally occurring polyphenols and other antioxidants that encourage skin cell turnover, which helps with scarring and overall skin comfort (think razor knicks and scratches from all that itching you’re doing).
Rose Geranium — This is one of my favorite plants. When I see it, I sneakily grab a leaf to rub between my fingers, so I can inhale the glorious scent all day. It has a rose-like aroma, but think old roses—it’s grassier and more complex than a bodega rose, with hints of woodiness, like rosemary. It comforts a stressed mind, and topically soothes skin by encouraging circulation, balancing natural oils, and encouraging new skin to grow.
The scent of this body oil is a macerated cocktail of smooth, honeyed florals with the slightest hint of sweet citrus.
Written By Vera Kachouh