Got body issues? Who doesn’t? A majority of my friends, of various ages, sizes and nationalities, always have something about their body that doesn’t fit with the ideal they carry around in their head. So, we head to the gym, the ashram, or one of the latest aesthetic centers that has the newest so-and-so machine that promises to zap all the Cheetos you noshed on over the weekend (right). As we all sign up for the battle against the bulge, we often overlook the most important component of our corporeal vessel: the skin that keeps it all in. I’ve seen many a perfect silhouette ruined by flakey “bits” (i.e., dark and dry elbows and knees, or scale-y like heels and palms). Having just come from a trip that made me go through an onslaught of temperatures left me with a lot of sloughing off to do. My skin, although normally on the oily side, doesn’t react well to the dry air blown by air conditioners, and even a plane ride can make my skin shed so I always stash a hand moisturizer that doubles as a foot moisturizer in my hand-carry. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also noticed that my skin doesn’t retain moisture like it used to, in spite of the humidity, so I’ve had to resort to a few extra “steps” during and post-bath.
One important step is to exfoliate. I am quite active and my bathroom rituals are always done in a semi-rush so I do indulge myself in a once a week total scrub. If it’s been a particularly harrowing workweek, then I do it twice. This is probably more psychological on my part, feeling that I’m literally “scrubbing” off all the dramas from the day. Exfoliation, I’ve learned, is not only integral to having smoother and more radiant skin, but the action itself can improve blood circulation throughout your body. This ritual has led me to try several body scrubs on the market, but it wasn’t until I spent a couple of days at The Farm at San Benito that I fell in love with their Salus Per Aquam body polish. There are two variants — The Purifying Body Polish-Yin Yang Lemongrass and the Stimulating Body Polish Barako Coffee (P950/300g). I took home the Lemongrass, one, preferring the smell and also because I was told it was easier to wash off than the Barako. Made with Lahori Salt, San Benito’s ANH Coconut Oil, grapeseed oil, lemongrass essential oil and vitamin E (plus other natural goodies such as beeswax and various fruit extracts) this polish smells amazing and the salt component is “coarse” enough so that you truly believe it’s removing so many impurities from your body, without scratching your skin. Since the polish is already so enriched with some of Mother Nature’s finest, it’s recommended that you do not use soap to wash off any excess oils. Application should be done on damp skin and in a circular motion, doing this once a week (perhaps twice if your skin is extremely dry) removes dead skin cells, improves circulation, purifies the skin and stimulates the lymph system. Focus on areas that are more prone to sweat, like the underarms, inner thighs, and don’t forget your heels, elbows and knees!
What happens though when you find yourself in a situation where it’s “too late to exfoliate”? Then a body cream with skin-enriching properties is definitely something you should have on-hand. I’ve found the Bare it All Cream of V&M Naturals (P285/100g or P695/ 300g) is a dream cream come true. With V&M Naturals’ now-famous emu oil ingredient as the main component, combined with shea butter, jojoba oil, mango butter, papain and peppermint extracts giving your skin a tingle when you rub it in. I’ve actually gotten so attached to this cream that I bring it with me sometimes for a massage. One masseuse even commented that dark patches on my body seemed to lighten up almost immediately. Other users have experienced a reduction of chicken skin, and like me, lightening of dark areas-not to mention immediate relief for very dry and calloused skin. On another personal note, I actually had a zit forming on my chin one night and due to laziness I actually rubbed a bit of this cream on the almost-zit. By the morning, it was gone. Since the texture of the cream is slightly heavy, it’s preferable to use at night or when you travel and aren’t sure what weather conditions are waiting for you when you land. Because of the peppermint component it can also ease tired feet and legs after a long day of walking around in killer heels.
If you’re looking for something for everyday use then check out Biopha Organics’ Moisturizing Body Milk (P625/400ml). Made in France and certified organic by two international organic regulatory organizations (Ecocert and Cosmebio) this new player in the skin market is free from GMO’s, petrochemicals and chlorine derivatives, parabens as well as artificial scents and coloring. This lotion does contain organic aloe vera and organic argan oil, making it good for everyday skin hydration. Since it’s practically fragrance-free, it will not clash with your cologne or perfume and is safe for those with very sensitive skin. Coming in pump form, this is ideal if you’ve got to share your bathroom and don’t like the idea of someone double dipping their hands and fingers into any of your beauty finds.
Your body is your temple as the saying goes, so worship yours with products that contain ingredients that actually make it look and feel better the more you use them.
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For more information on The Farm at San Benito’s products call 884-8074 or 0918-8848078 or visit http://www.thefarm.com.ph. For Venus and Mars Naturals call 966-3719 or 0917-8232724 or visit http://vnmnaturals.com. For Biopha Organics Products call 421-5745 or 0910-5576955 or 59. Or visit http://www.thesouqorganics.com to order online.