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07 February 2006


People who have been to my house can attest to the fact that I have a sign on the fridge that says Guide to Good Living:

1. Exercise daily
2. Take Supplements & Vitamins
3. Love my animals
4. Moisturize
5. Stretch
6. Compliment Someone
7. Stay in Touch
8. Learn Something New
9. Have a good meal

These were last 2005's NY Resolutions. You'll notice that #4 is a call to moisturize, and while I did a good job of remembering to slab on the lotion each night before bed in 2005, this year I've upped the anti.

Lately, I've been conducting a few experiments on myself when it comes to different products, trying to see if the claims on the packaging are true.

I've been doing this with lotion, specifically. I have a bottle of Vasline for Healthy Hands, and the bottle says that the product will
  • immediately hydrate skin
  • in 2 weeks, strengthen nails and cuticles
  • in 4 weeks, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    I'm 36, so I'm starting to get those lines, you know. It also says that for best results, "use regularly, several times per day."

    Vaseline Intensive Care Healthy Hands

    How many times is several? 4? 7? 18?

    Anyway, ask anyone who's been hanging out with me lately - I am constantly moisturizing my hands. Last night I went to the movies with my friend Bethany, and I moisturized at the restaurant before the movie and then again during the movie. I also had moisturized before I left the house, and then I did again when I came home, again after walking the dogs, and finally one last time before lights out. Each night, I put on little moisture-trapping gloves and sleep with them on all night.

    I've been doing this with pretty fierce intensity for about 3 weeks. No sign of little lines disappearing, either. Here's the other thing: I have a blister on my hand now (from the dog leash) that I didn't have BEFORE I started this process. Also, while I feel that the backs of my hands are definitely softer, the cuticles are drying out more quickly.

    I've been equally obsessive with my feet, which I decided were looking really gnarly in December. For my feet, I'm using Earth Therapeutics Foot Repair Balm. Its label claims that it "soothes, deodorizes, and repairs dry, damaged skin."

    Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm

    I don't have a stinky feet issue, so I'm not caring about the deodorizing claim, and as far as soothing goes, what does that mean? Of course it feels good to put lotion on my feet. Does that fulfill the claim? It also would feel good to stick my feet in a vat of jelly, probably. Anyway, I'm more concerned with the last part - I have some rough patches on the balls of the feet, to the side of the big toes, and of course, the heels. My heels are nasty.

    So I'm using the stuff after I shower and before bed (wearing special moisture-trapping socks to sleep and everything), and every time I change my socks, which happens on teaching days or during the rare times that I go out with friends. The results? Blisters. Blisters, blisters, blisters. Yes, the rough patches are softening. Yes, my feet are feeling babyish, but babies don't walk or wear shoes. I now have blisters on both heels and on the balls of each foot. What's up with that?

    Could it be that all of this moisturizing is actually a bad thing? That we need the protective hardening of the skin to get through daily life unscathed?

    To moisturize or not moisturize?

    It seems there's a choice: ugly and unflattering dry skin or ugly and unflattering soft skin that easily blisters.

    Which would you choose?

    Blogger JAK said...

    I moisturize when my skin cracks, whether I need it or not. :)

    10:03 pm  

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