Dry skin.....yuck....cracked, bleeding, painful dry skin. You know the feeling...at least some of you really know! But between washing dishes, obsessively sanitizing our hands, using chlorinated water and just simply living in our environment, our skin takes a brutal beating.
I had always struggled with dry, cracked and even bleeding knuckles. Years ago, I went shopping at Old Navy. I was holding a few items that were in the "maybe pile" in my arms. I'm not an impulse shopper - it's actually rather painful to shop with me.... I'll choose "this" or "that" and a little more of "this" or a little extra of "that".....after walking around for forever I'll end up putting "this" and "that" back on the racks and head out the door empty handed......I know, I need help.
Well, on this particular day during the winter, I had a load of tops in my arms - it was in the "this or that" pile. As I kept browsing hoping to find the mother of all sales I happened to glance down and to my horror there was blood on one the tops I was holding. A crack in one of my knuckles had opened up while I was shopping and decided to bleed......right on a "this"! Well, "this" was mine now.....blood and all. I bought it, brought it home and never wore "this" again.
Soon after that annoying experience is when I started formulating and manufacturing my own hard lotion bars and I haven't had dry skin like that since.
So what made all the difference? Body lotion is body lotion, right? I used hand lotion regularly, but it never helped. Why did concentrated hard lotion bars solve my problem?
Natural oils and butters are RICH in nutrients! We use Coconut Oil combined with either Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter in our formulas. There are good reasons why they're so popular.
Coconut Oil is fast becoming the "Queen" of oils these days. It's rich in Vitamin E which protects against premature aging and free radical damage. It contains protein which is good for wound healing and tissue repair and it's laden with saturated fats keeping your skin soft to the touch.
But you want to be careful with putting it on your face. It has a high comedogenic rating, meaning it can clog pores. So I wouldn't chance it.
And then there's Shea Butter. It's one amazing ingredient! The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for the skin. In a 2010 study shea butter was found to "reduce inflammation due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties." It even has the potential to help avoid skin mutations! That's a big deal these days. Shea Butter also aids in the skin's natural collagen production. With long term use, many people report softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.
Cocoa Butter. We have one lotion bar that uses cocoa butter instead of shea butter and ooooohhhhh the aroma! Expeller pressed from Certified Organic cocoa beans it still contains amazing nourishment along with the most natural "chocolate" scent! I know the smell isn't for everyone, but believe me those who love the smell of cocoa butter aren't disappointed. Cocoa Butter also contains amazing skin regenerating properties from burns, rashes and infections along with healing chapped lips and preventing skin dryness and peeling.
Next up - Beeswax. Beeswax forms a barrier, protecting your skin. It does this in two ways - by keeping the elements out and by keeping the moisture in. This leaves your hands free to heal while you work, sleep or play!
Try this test after rubbing your hands with a lotion bar - run water over top and watch the water bead up! The water isn't penetrating the skin which keeps all the nutrition in your skin and not down the drain!
Beeswax also holds properties you might not realize. It's an anti-inflammatory, heals dry, cracked skin, might reduce stretch marks, and helps clears acne while moisturizing skin....did you get that? BEESWAX does this! Who knew! So combine the powerful activity of beeswax with equally powerful coconut oil and shea butter or cocoa butter and you have a fantastic team! So many bonuses in this combination!
But that's not all. There are few more holistic reasons why hard lotion bars are in my good books!
They contain no water. Now, water in cosmetics isn't the unforgivable sin, but it does dilute the final product considerably. I understand that some water can be beneficial at hydrating the skin, but not in the same way as concentrated oils and butters. Also the amount of water used in traditional lotions is usually very high.....often the first ingredient on the ingredient list - up to 80%, so I'd rather not pay for water especially if I have a skin problem that I want to address ASAP.
Also, water breeds bacteria. If water is present in a formula a preservative of some form must be added or nasty stuff will start to fill up your cute little bottle. Hard lotions don't contain water so they don't need a preservative - that's a big win for me!
And when water is left out of the formula it reduces the need for an emulsifier. Try mixing oil and water.....hmmmm. In cosmetic formulas, to mix water and any kind of oil, you'll need something that will keep it all stable so you're not having to shake the bottle every time you use it - enter, emulsifiers. So if I leave out the water in my formula altogether there's no need for this additional ingredient and more room for soothing relief. Another win for me!
Hard body lotion is a great way to moisturize hands, feet, heels, elbows, arms...anywhere quickly and effectively.
But moisturizing isn't all these amazing ingredients might do for you!
We had a customer tell us that she had bumps on her arms after having her twins and nothing got rid of them - until she used our lotion bars. Within two weeks the bumps were gone for good!
I also received a fantastic testimonial from a customer about her daughter. She had used our lotion bars to heal her eczema - which it did:). So this woman's daughter contracted contact dermatitis on her neck which seemed to show up out of nowhere. She tried prescription cortisone cream and it just made the rash redder and very itchy. Her mother, the customer, told her daughter to wash off all of the cream and apply the unscented lotion bar. Within a half an hour the redness had diminished and it was no longer itchy. By the next day there was absolutely no indication that she ever had this reaction! She's been using the bar faithfully ever since and no recurrence of the rash!
I just love reviews like this! God's medicine cabinet!
And there are other uses. Me and my family have had sunburns disappear by the next day when applied on pink skin! We've all woken up the next day and the redness is gone! Also, if you apply it liberally for a few days after a serious sunburn, it might keep your skin from peeling! It worked for someone I'll keep nameless after blueberry picking in the hot southern sun.....ahem...me.
Another use for it is light sun protection. OK, I'm not saying don't wear sunscreen if you plan on hanging out at the beach all day or blueberry picking........but moisturizing the skin prior to being out in the sun can greatly slow down the burn time. Moisturized skin doesn't burn as easily. And another plug for hydration....an herbalist told me years ago that if you know you're heading to the beach, drink lots of water a couple of days in advance. Hydrating heavily might greatly reduce the skin from burning quickly. Of course...apply sunscreen.....wear a hat....and a shirt...and pants....lol...
So the way you use them is to just rub the bar anywhere you need it. Your body heat will start to soften the oils, butters and wax making you able to rub the nourishing ingredients freely on your skin.
And because they're hard bars it makes them the perfect lotion to travel with. TSA won't make you throw this lotion in the trash! A word of caution - don't leave them in a hot Louisiana car.....Ahhh!
One last thing - they're gluten free - and gluten free cosmetics are hard to find these days.
Hopefully now you know a little more about what a solid lotion is and why you need on, two or even three different formulas in your life!