To Cream or not to Cream…


In a recent discussion with one of my (black) teammates in the company of the White folk; I stumbled across some pretty hilarious material and home-truths concerning the art of skin hydration aka moisturising.

Now, for most people; this is a given and truth is, they likely moisturise in part (visible/exposed body parts) or the whole of their body so this will serve as a reflective observation and for some, who knows, perhaps an introduction to body cream may be necessary…

When you jump out of the shower/bath, even when using a bathing crème like Dove that has moisturising qualities, you are more than likely going to be un-moisturised. Like anybody who has air-dried before knows (don’t lie, you know you have!), after a while; you skin will start to dry then “crack”. The individual skin cells will become obvious and well, the darker you are, the “ash-ier” you look. Yes! I said ashy… Your elbows and knees will begin to resemble sandpaper – capable of starting a small forest fire with enough friction!

So… What to do?! Fear not!! Help is at hand… Look into a range of moisturising solutions. Yes… There are a few. The (popular) Afro-Caribbean (mostly African in my experience) option is “Cocoa Butter”. It is oil based and a small amount can go a long way which justifies its price. It also means that if you are power walking 10+mins to the station every morning; you may want to avoid it because it’s only a matter of time before you sweat it out. As it’s oil based, you’ll need to rub it in deeply to avoid it “layering” on the skin surface.

Other types include the water based moisturisers that are designed to work with your body’s natural hydration to create a seamless look/feel. They penetrate the layers easier and are less likely to “wash out” should you sweat.

Of course, living in a hot country or using them in summer creates a problem. If, like me,yo u have a hot shower regardless of season; chances are by the time you exit the shower; you’re not sure where the water ends and the sweat begins. Find a source of flowing air (like a fan) and get creamed in front of it – saves you having to contend with the natural hydration produced by the friction of creaming. It is (personally) recommended you use a water based cream if you have patches of dry skin – especially on your face.

For my Caucasian friends who thought they were exempt from criticism… You are not. Get your hands on the major skin care brands such as Neutrogena, Garnier, etc for reasons explained below – oh… It’s healthy too.

Now, of course, if your skincare requires a dermatologist then you may be recommended other products like E45 so please, continue to use as directed. For the others of you who are freestyling… Read on.

This section is for my brothers and sisters (yes, the black people) who believe it is ok to use Vaseline (the petroleum jelly) as a full body moisturising solution. NO! It’s not ok… It’s not a good idea! You lock your pores away by paving them over with a layer of thick sludge… Not to mention the “glow” you develop from the application/abuse. Either get the moisturising lotion made by Vaseline or stick to using it for your lips.

Now, as you’ve probably realised, this post is aimed at the black folk, HOWEVER; white people do not get a free pass – neither do the Asians (both near and far of east). Believe me, when u get on the train in the morning thinking nobody will notice your unmoisturised arms/legs/visible body parts… The moisturisers see. They know and they spot it with ease.

DON’T BE THAT GIRL/GUY!!

For the love of God… If you’re (especially) black… Cream the areas that go through the most wear and tear… That is your ELBOWS, ANKLES, KNEES & HANDS!! It is absolutely atrocious to see young black people dressed for work/outings with knees that look like they’d crumble or ankles that look like you walked 10+ kilometres in the blazing heat of the Sahara to catch the train.

In the same way some guys/girls have condoms/guns/Vaseline/lip balm/antibacterial gel (yes! I did just group them altogether) for those “in case of emergencies” situations… You need to hand a SIZEABLE hand lotion. Something that you can draw for when you notice that white patch between your thumb and index finger or above your heel peering through the trainer socks. Choose a size that will not cause undue attention to the affected area as you make moves to rectify the situation.

Basically… EMBRACE the moisturisers and body creams. They are your friend! Nothing but good things can happen when you are appropriately & sufficiently moisturised!