You know that saying, ‘Out of sight, out of mind?’ Well, that’s how an awful lot of women of our acquaintance regard the skin under their clothing, during the cold months. We pile on the vests, socks, gilets, gloves, scarves, tights – often all at once, resembling some kind of Michelin woman, when the weather’s bad enough. And unless we heat our houses to tropical levels (which at Beauty Bible we definitely don’t), there’s definitely no temptation to dance around naked, or even near-naked, at home. Read More…
When it comes to investing in our skin most of us splash the cash from the next up. Over the past couple of years, the body care category has seen a noticeable spike in popularity though. Last September, the NPD Group revealed that annual sales had hit $275.8 million in the US. Experts are pinpointing our growing interest in wellness and exercise as the reason behind this rise.
Gone are the days when a body oil or lotion would claim to simply nourish your skin, now they promise to take away your stresses before you drift off into a peaceful slumber or they’ll recharge your energy levels for the day ahead. Denise Leicester’s latest brand, ilapothecary goes one step further and aims to rebalance you on a physical and spiritual level with an expert blend of herbs, aromatherapy and gemstones.
Even unproblematic skins can become horribly dry in winter. Sore shins, flaky arms and greyish knees and elbows are, for many, as part and parcel of January as an extra 5lbs and persistent, low-level ennui. The latter makes me want to wallow nightly in a hot bath that, though temporarily comforting, exacerbates the dryness, and so we continue..
For many years, I’ve treated myself to the occasional oat soak. I scoop porridge oats into a muslin cloth, then tie it around the tap, so the bath water runs through it (some use supermarket powdered milk, but that works nowhere near as well and the smell makes me gag). It’s extremely cheap, and certainly softens and comforts dry, rough skin, as well as soothing eczema, ichthyosis and psoriasis, but it can be more faff than one can necessarily face. Worse still, natural spillage leaves the bottom of the bath seemingly coated in Ready Brek and in need of an unrelaxing session with the Cillit Bang.
‘Look, I’ve got goose bumps!’ we cry when something slightly freaky happens, sticking out an arm. But we are less itching to show off about this chickeny skin when it’s permanent, when the back of our arms or our thighs or – occasionally – our bottom sports a constant rough rash. Who wants to crow about a buttock like an emery board?
It’s a condition called keratosis pilaris and although it’s tremendously unsinister, it’s not something we’re thankful for a wedding dress or evening gown or tank top comes a-calling. And men get it, too – a muscled tricep emerging from a T-shirt, its glistening contours sadly dulled by this poultry problem. ‘There is no cure,’ intones the doom-laden NHS website. Ah, but there are ways.
There is a new body lotion that’s positively laced with lactic acid to encourage the skin’s natural exfoliation system. Allantoin has keratolytic properties that work to shed clinging dead skin cells and encourage renewal. A milk protein complex does for skin what conditioner does for hair. Even the name is soothing: Ameliorate. Sounds like a self-care verb: ‘I find that if I forgot to meditate and ameliorate, I go a bit mad.’
If you don’t have chicken arms, you might have reptilian legs. Or dried-out claws. Or roughened feet. Or any manner of parched parts that you feel a little disheartened by. No need. Just Ameliorate. Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion, £27.50
The rough bumpy dry skin condition keratosis pilaris (often called ‘chicken skin’) affects nearly 40 per cent of people. Harmless but unsightly, the red bumps are caused by keratin and dead skin cells blocking the opening of hair follicles. Used twice daily, a new body lotion called Ameliorate, which contains potent moisturisers and exfoliating compounds, can help to re-texturise skin. £27.50, from victoriahealth.com.
As a long-term sufferer of Keratosis Pilaris, what was the inspiration to create your own product?
Having grown up with KP, and reaching adulthood unable to find a satisfactory answer, I became frustrated with the lack of products on the market to address the problem. Given that 40% of the population have KP, I found it incredible that there was no readily available solution. The more research I did, the more I realised that this was a really common and neglected problem, and many people were desperate for anything that would help. Visits to Dermatologists always ended in disappointment when I was told other than scrubbing and moisturising there was nothing that could be done. When my children developed it, that was the final straw, and I became more and more determined to create a high quality product that would be of real benefit to KP sufferers.
What was the first step you took to formulate AMELIORATE?
I am very lucky as a very good friend of mine owns a skincare manufacturing business that has a global reputation for innovation and a passion for new product development, and we sat down with their team and had a chat! From the outset, they were tremendously enthusiastic and supportive and quickly realised that we had an opportunity to make a ground breaking product that would be the first of its kind in the UK specifically targeted for the management of KP. Read More…