Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lotion -Potion!

I am not a lotion person . I never remember to apply moisturizer soon after a shower[ usually i don't have the time]. I remember and apply moisturizer only in winters when my skin is dry and stretchy[ in winters stretchy skin is hard to ignore and therefore applying a moisturiser is a requirement].

However, i love pampering myself and i find a simple oil-sugar scrub both relaxing and moisturizing ! I have been applying oil long before i knew anything about abhyanga or anything about ayurveda. My mom used to ask us to apply coconut oil after bath if skin felt dry and stretchy when we were kids and she used to do the same. Coconut oil is ubiquitous in india and lightest of most oils.

I came to know about 'winter care lotions ' when - you guessed it- Lakme introduced it in the markets ! So , for Pune's winters [ almost 16-17 years] we bought our first winter care lotion that everyone in the house used.

I didn't know about OCM except till now. I never knew that i was 'OCMming' when i applied coconut/sesame oil on my face and washed it off with face wash or soap. For years i applied oil to my face and body before bath atleast once a week..... .just plain oil , sesame, coconut and recently olive oil sometimes.

Now ,of course, OCM [oil cleansing method] and abhyanga is all over the internet and TV and the hype around ayurveda and the interest is tremendous!

You don't have to moisturize.In India, some cities are humid and hot and others are dry and hot. We are being sold huge on moisturizers and body lotions ! But everyone doesn't need it all the time and in every season. And believe me in winter months, the commonly available lotions are just not enough.

Most people break out because they use fragrant rich lotion on wrong skin type and in wrong season ! We definitely don't need 'body butters'. For most people a water based emollient or a light coating of mineral oil or petroleum jelly would be just enough.Anyways, that is what is there in all those lotions out there ! ---Paraffin liquidum[ Paraffin oil], Mineral oil and emollients like cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol etc.

For the longest time, I use to mix petroleum jelly in my normal light lotion for winters when i was college going girl always short on pocket money because i had read it in some hindi magazine and it worked ! And i still do that in a pinch. You'll always find petroleum jelly in my house !

Moreover, all of us have 'dry spots'. Like some people do lot of housework or hard work with hands for them heavy moisturizer for arms and hands is a must in any season ! I have dry facial skin and dry areas on arms and legs so i moisturize only those areas.

For some years now, i do oil massage only once in 2-3 months because of laziness, and lack of interest ! So i do the next best thing, I mix kokum butter in my regular moisturiser and a bit of glycerin and make my regular moisturiser 'heavy'. Sometimes i do add a bit of fresh coconut oil and i mix up small batches and use it in winters. I find it works just as well !

I usually buy big bottles of Nivea or recently i am using ayur's moisturiser because it is light and not greasy perfect for summers and rains !

In past i have worked with ,Nivea, garnier Body coccoon ,Khadi .I find this way i don't need to buy separate moisturizers for different seasons and there is no clutter.

I use Kokum butter. It has established antiaging properties and is excellent for skin. I buy 250g-500g of kokum butter whenever i go to my Mom's native .I melt kokum butter and use it straight as night cream too. I use it on my feet and elbows and from last 4years it has worked well for me. If you can get raw unrefined/ refined cocoa butter or shea butter you can use it the same way.

In a waterbath, take a clean dry cup and melt your kokum butter[or any other nut butter] once melted just add your lotion and a bit of glycerin. Make small portions and store it in fridge if you want to . There you have your rich lotion. Kokum butter will thicken up the lotion and if used in more quantity will make smooth lotion into a cream. So use little and increase quantity as required. I use 10-20 gm in 50 ml of lotion.

There is no need to add fragrance. I don't recommend any fragrant plant oils in skin care especially lotions. For people who have dry skin and extremely dry skin.I recommend Cetaphil.

However, for normal maintenance of skin and for lazy people like me, oil massage once a week would do wonders ! I prefer plain coconut or sesame oil but then again peanut, light vegetable oil would work just fine !


  1. i totally agree with u.. using lotions as a regular regime, i dont feel the need... my skin, specially my hands are okay with a lil bit johnson baby lotion or ayur lotion, which i keep alterating..
    the kokam butter thing, i need to check out. i never knew its available in raw form.. where can i get it??

    1. i get kokum butter from amravati.I searched high and low in pune but haven't found any as yet !

  2. i have also stopped lotions potions etc.. except some sunscreen on legs n hands if i remember... i mix up glycerine with rosewater n use that if i want to... money saved.. and no chemicals yay.... sometimes i do apply virgin coc oil too...

  3. You seem to have forgotten that not all Indian cities are hot. I have lived all my life in cities (in India) that have the craziest teeth-chattering winters, and are sometimes without even a hint of heat in summers. Even in Delhi, I think the time from November-March is a definite body butter season. Also, not everyone has oily, sticky skin which can survive harsh winters without looking like a shrivelled apricot.

  4. so in winters and in such cities, Cetaphil [ or something similar] which is extremely moisturising does wonders. i have used body butter from Body shop in extreme winter in a town where it was cold and dry. it didn't help. Also what i meant to say is not everyone in every season requires body butters. People with unusually very dry skin all year require extreme moisturisation but those ppl are rare.


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