As a young girl, following my bath, my mother would oil my skin with cocoa butter and olive oil. She always felt that if you were not properly moisturised you looked ‘poor’ and didn’t come from a ‘good home’, (Go figure). Needless to say, by the time she finished, you could literally fry an egg on me. Oh yes, parents are so reasonable.
Nowadays, I still feel the same way about not wanting to be so greasy. At the same time, I would like a body moisturiser that is oily enough to really moisturise black skin. I have searched and searched and it’s actually quite difficult. Lots of black girls I know have reverted, in their frustration, to the old school classic - Palmers Cocoa Butter. This is deemed to be the original and the best and I do love it too but it can make me feel quite hot (not in a good way) and also after a while the sweet smell that I loved as a child starts to make me nauseous.
I’ve tried the Body Shop Body Butters which are pretty good but strangely not always heavy enough in the winter. So what to do? I’ve discovered the joys of Body Oils - they definitely bridge the gap.
Abahna’s version in Frangipani and Orange Blossom is the first one I discovered and it has been an absolute godsend. It smells delicious and comes in gorgeous packaging. Also with the spray format, you don’t end up with more oil than you actually need. I also love the Miller Harris body oil in Fleur Oriental and Ila Body Oil for Vital Energy. They are a fabulous way to wear a pretty fragrance in the summer. Korres’ Coriander Body Oil was also impressive – particularly since I thought I’d hate it – the African in me thought ‘Why would I put coriander on my skin?’ But hey what can I say, I can’t explain it but it just works.
Read the musings of an anonymous beauty writer who happens to be a black woman with a thing or two to say about the state of beauty for women of colour every week on Cult Beauty.