Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good For My Skin and My Peace of Mind

I've been cutting down on my impulse buys lately. But after trying The Body Shop body butter sample that Maayari sent me a few weeks ago, I felt compelled to get a bigger tub of that stuff ASAP.

I haven't cared for my skin the way I should since getting sick (read: cared for it at all) and that, combined with the bitter cold spell sweeping the nation, has resulted in me being dry and itchy all over. I tried the Mango body butter sample Maayari sent me by running a comparison test: post-shower, I put the body butter on one leg and on the other, a Bath and Body Works lotion that I've been relatively content with in the past.

There was no contest. The next day both my legs were softer than they'd been before application, but the body butter side was as smooth as when I put it on. It stayed that way through the afternoon (and when you want to touch your leg to feel its softness while at the office, well, I think that's a sign that a product is working).

The body butter is thicker than regular body lotion. It comes in a tub and you use your fingertips to scoop a little bit out, which will go a long way. I make sure my hands are clean enough that I feel comfortable rubbing anything onto my body before I put my fingers in the tub, so the hygiene aspect doesn't bother me too much of using the exposed tub versus lotion from a pump/tube. And it's thick enough that unless it melts, I don't think you'd have a problem with the content spilling all over.

A day or two after the comparison test I picked up body butter in Vanilla Spice. Normally the 6.7 oz tub costs $20, but this seasonal merchandise was on sale for $7. (Mmm smells good.)

So far I find it lives up to its tagline of being "indulgent, spicy and festive all-over creamy moisturisation." That's probably because its main ingredients include soy, sesame and babbasu oil and cocoa and shea butter.

In addition to nurturing my skin, I like the fact that The Body Shop has a social conscience. For example, the company is against animal testing. (There's some controversy over this, especially in light of the company being bought by L'Oreal, which does animal testing...but The Body Shop founder left all her money to charity when she died in April so I'd like to see some good and think that the company sale wasn't out of sheer greed.) Anyway, in the case of items like cosmetics, I'd rather buy products with minimal animal testing because these items are superfluous to my life. It's not always easy to get around testing all components of a product without animal testing, but science is making leaps and bounds on that front.

Another cause The Body Shop supports is community trade. This issue came on my radar after writing about fair trade a few months ago, and though I don't know first-hand whether The Body Shop lives up to all its goals (since I'm not auditing the company's actions), I think creating awareness of and setting goals for community trade is important. The mission of community trade is to work with laborers in underdeveloped locales to stimulate economic growth, provide livable and stable incomes for the workers, and promote environmental sustainability.

Even though my budget is tight as a young professional, I'm starting to think more and more about how I can do a little part to support causes I believe in with minor alterations to my life and my wallet.

No comments: