moisturizerI had an interesting run-in while grocery shopping the other day. I was walking by one of those sample give-away booth setups and saw that the featured product was Jergen’s lotion. My hands were dry, so I stopped and was hijacked into a long uncomfortable conversation with the woman running the thing. I don’t know if she was manic or bipolar or just very, very lonely, but I couldn’t break away without being rude. Thankfully, I stayed to listen because she gave me some great skin care advice.

What she said was that women in their forties start noticing lines and wrinkles and have skin that is prone to breaking out like they’re in their teens again. We start babying our skin and using specialty (expensive) moisturizers unnecessarily. I’m one of those people. I’ve noticed lines, wrinkles and dry patches that didn’t used to be there, and yet I’m more and more sensitive and prone to blemishes. In an effort to find a good soap and moisturizer that doesn’t break me out I’ve spent a good deal of money.

Her advice was this – Use regular soap on your face, Dial, Irish Spring, Ivory, whatever you use on your body, as long as your face gets clean. Then use a regular moisturizer on it, the brand doesn’t matter, as long as it moisturizes well. The reason for this, supposedly, is that when you wash your face your body sends signals for your sebaceous glands to produce oil. If you don’t use a harsher soap to get your face clean you never get rid of that old oil, and then when you add a light moisturizer you’re just applying more clore-plogging compound that isn’t heavy enough to make a difference anyway. If you use a heavy moisturizer right away it interrupts your body’s signal to produce more blemish-causing oil.

She suggested Jergens Intensive Moisture or some such and I thought “no way am I putting that heavy stuff on my face”. But a few days later I was about to use my semi-expensive moisturizer/toner products and found myself reaching for my body lotion instead. I rubbed it in and it felt so good! And I noticed an immediate and dramatic difference.

The product I used was Queen Helene’s Cocoa-Butter Cream hand and body lotion. It costs around $3.99 for about a half-gallon. I use it on my FEET. But that cheap lotion moisturized my face much better than my previous products and had the added benefit of not making me sweat like other facial products do.

I’ve been using this regimen for a couple of weeks now and my skin hasn’t looked this good in years. Furthermore, she was right about the blemishes. I’ve had no new breakouts, and the small ones I did have are almost completely gone. Another benefit is that you only have to use one product. My expensive moisturizer can’t be used around my eyes, so I was using soap, toner, moisturizer and eye serum. The cheap lotion is OK for use around your eyes and doesn’t require a toner.

I’m so grateful I stopped to talk to the lotion saleslady. She made a real difference in my life and will never know. Does anyone else know about this technique? Would you be willing to try it?