Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside: Response

I've been wanting to do a full-on Lotion post for quite a while, and then Jennie posted about dry skin first. There is just not enough room in the comments for what I need to say on the subject. My dry skin merits its own post, and maybe even its own post label. So, it begins.

I have had a dermatologist since I was eight years old. My skin is crazy-dry everywhere -- flaking off like snow from delicate places like my face and arms, and cracking big ugly caverns in rough parts like my heels and hands. And my lips! With the constant splitting and flaking at the same time! It's not fun.

Anyway, as a result of being dermatologically challenged, I have always been freakishly careful about my skin and its moisture content. I aim to drink twice the recommended eight glasses of water per day (hydrate from the inside!), and I am still constantly dehydrated. I have four bottles of lotion on the back of my toilet (above) -- and more in the medicine cabinet, the cabinet in the other bathroom, a bottle next to my bed, a bottle next to the couch in the den, one in my purse, one at work, one next to the kitchen sink, and more in various other locations throughout the house. These lotions are of various brands, thicknesses, and moisture levels, but they all have two things in common: (a) the a main ingredient is Dimethicone, because that's what the derm said I need, and (b) they are all unscented (I've told you that before).

I also have a little pot of Burt's Bees Hand Salve in my knitting bag, and a tube of store-brand Vitamin A&D Ointment for the really harsh days. You can find "A&D" (as we lovingly called it in my parents' household) in the diaper aisle, because its primary use is for diaper rash. I mostly just put it on my cuticles, but it also comes in handy for minor cuts and scrapes. And one tube of this stuff (approx $3?) lasted my mom twenty years. (And I inherited my skin from her. Thanks a lot, Mom.)

The other product recommendation I picked up as a result of inheriting my mom's dry skin issues is mineral oil. Slather it everywhere you can reach. It doesn't sound very glamorous, but it works better than anything else. Unfortunately, I've been living in the South for five years and have not been able to find mineral oil in the stores anywhere. I've looked. I've made special trips. I've searched various unexpected sections, like the baby section, and the automotive section, and the do-it-yourself-plumbing section, all to no avail. Apparently they don't believe in mineral oil down here.

One thing that has been nice about living in the South is that winters aren't nearly as harsh as where I come from (the Midwest) or where I'm moving next week (Vermont). It mostly just rains here in the winter, and "winter" doesn't even start until mid-January anyway. But my skin freaks out every mid-November anyway, because somehow my body just knows that it's time. I am such a Midwestern gal at heart.

This morning was the first time I'd showered in at least three days (hot water is drying! and I always smell like roses anyway). I took extra-special care to pay attention to my skin routine, so I could share it with all of you. So here you go:

Normally, I use a washcloth to exfoliate, but I forgot to grab one before I got in the shower. That's okay, because I'm trying to use up my Store Brand Apricot Scrub before I move anyway, so I scrubbed lightly with that (careful with this stuff, walnut shells can be really harsh on skin if you rub too much). After I rinsed off, I turned off the water and put on my Aveeno Shower and Bath Oil. I took the opportunity to clean the shower a little bit, then rinsed and patted dry, just like the directions say to do. I put about a fingerful of Pond's Dry Skin Cream on my face.

Then came the real moisturizing. I always begin by lotioning up my hands thoroughly, so the skin on my hands doesn't absorb all the lotion I want to put elsewhere. This time, I used Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Lotion. Again with the using up products before moving. I like this stuff probably better than any other moisturizer I have right now, and the ginormous bottle is so close to empty that I've taken off the pump and have to whack it against my hand to get anything out. I'm committed to this stuff.

Today I started the moisturizing process with my legs (I usually do, but not always). I squeezed a generous dollop (about the size of a Pocahontas Dollar, maybe a little bigger) of Jergens natural glow Daily Moisturizer (for Fair Skin) into my hand, and slathered it all over my right leg. Then I took another generous dollop of lotion for my left leg. By the time I finished my left leg, my right was completely dry again. So I repeated the process, right leg, left leg, generous dollops for each one.

Then it was time for arms and torso. Four full pumps of Jergens Skin Smoothing Cellular Renewal Moisturizer each. About four more pumps for my front torso. Three for my back (since I can't reach the whole thing anyway). Two more for each arm, and a extra one just for my shoulders and neck... and by then my legs were bone-dry again, so two more full pumps for each leg. And three more for my front torso again; two more for my lower back.

I'm not kidding. I am that dry.

I put about one and a half pumps of Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 all over my face, ears, and neck.

I sat down on the bed and did my feet: one nickel-sized blob of Curel Fragrance Free Moisture Lotion for each foot, twice (because by the time I finished my left foot, my right foot was dry again, of course).

Finally, I washed my hands (they'd been footified) and relotioned them, using Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. And drank a glass of water (hydrate from the inside!).

I'd say the entire process took about 40 minutes. And people wonder why I'm late to everything. They don't believe me when I say "I was putting on lotion." So yeah, I get my own label for that.


wonder woman said...

Sweet jebus! That's a lot of products. I shudder to think what you might have to add, or how much longer it will take, when you get to Vermont.
And now I've got that song stuck in my head.

Anonymous said...

.................... nice ^_^v ................