Monday, March 15, 2010

For Your Belly

I was asked about the difference between belly products. I make a wonderful belly butter, but there are belly balms, creams, oils, etc and it can be confusing as to what each is. So, I decided to explain.
  • Butter-made with oils and butters. These will have a harder texture that usually melts on contact with your skin. The color and texture will depend on the butters used. For example, a product with a high amount of cocoa butter will be quite hard, but will leave you skin so soft and smooth. Oils are sometimes added to give additional benefits to the product and to soften it for spreadability (think real butter vs margarine). Butters are great for lubricating the skin and relieving that tight feeling you get as your belly expands, but some feel they are too greasy. I think these are great for night time or just out of the shower and a little goes a long way.
  • Balms-made with oils, butters, and wax. Beeswax is the most common wax used for balms, but there are vegan alternatives. Think about a lip balm (a good one, not carmex) and that is essentially what a belly balm will be like. The will usually be a little softer than the butters and do not tend to melt on your skin the same way. However, the ingredients used are generally chosen for the skin benefits they provide and the wax helps to create a barrier so your skin retains moisture. Again, great for lubricating your stretching skin, but some feel they are too greasy. I think these are great for night time or just out of the shower and a little goes a long way.
  • Oils-similar characteristics to a butter, but these will be liquid. The oils are chosen for the skin care benefits and these will also be good lubrication for the skin. These might also seem too greasy. Go easy when dispensing, a little goes further than you think.
  • Creams/lotions-made by blending oils, butters, or waxes with water. This is done through the use of an emulsifier. The more water used the thinner and lighter the lotion will be. Heavier creams usually have the minimum amount of water needed to emulsify the product. Water is helpful because it will hydrate your skin and the oils will lubricate it. Keep in mind all products made with water MUST have a preservative or be stored in the fridge. Lotions and creams do not generally leave an oily feel (heavy creams might) and I like to use these during the day when you need a little more moisture.
Experiment with different product and find what you like and what suits you best. You may also find that you like to use a combination of products to meet your skin specific needs. For example, when I'm done showering, I pat dry and use a body butter all over to seal in precious moisture and then when if I feel a little dry throughout the day, I'll apply a light lotion. This also changes based on where I am and the humidity. Butters and balms can be too heavy during very hot, humid weather.

What is important is that you find a system that works for you and stick to it. Don't let someone else that doesn't have YOUR skin tell you what you are doing wrong.

What kinds of products do you prefer: butters, balms, oils, or lotions?

No comments:

Post a Comment