I have recently scored a few points in the on-going war between my husband (blogging is a waste of time, you spend more time with your computer than you do with me, blah-de-blah-de-blah) and me (blogging stops me going insane, my computer is nicer to me than you are, blah-de-blah-de-blah). My victory came in the form of a package from the lovely Aveeno ladies, and my returning commitment to review some products for them. Several other mummy bloggers have also taken up the challenge, and you can read a lovely review here from Tara and her daughter.
I am naturally pale, with the sensitive skin of a redhead and the scales of one who has never kept her New Year resolutions to drink more water. My skin, particularly on my legs, is frequently uncomfortably tight and itchy, so I am a life-long friend of lotions and potions. Hmm, I sound so attractive… Anyway, I was delighted to read in Aveeno’s blurb that “Colloidal Oatmeal is proven to protect even the driest skin by replenishing moisture and locking it in, improving the look and feel of dry skin”, and vowed to try it out immediately. The packaging didn’t float my boat; it’s earthy and oh-so-natural, and wouldn’t jump up and down on the shelves, crying “buy me, buy me!” But then, I’m not an eco-queen. In fact I’m a complete product whore and all too easily seduced by glitzy packaging and pseudo-technobabble.
As any mother of smalls will testify, finding the opportunity to test out a new cream – let alone a bath product – is easier said than done. With my husband home for the evening, and the children in bed, I decided to seize the moment and ran a hot steaming bath, liberally shaking the oatmeal powder into the steam. The products are ‘fragrance free’, which I guess is a selling point for some. Personally if my bathroom doesn’t smell like a tart’s boudoir after a pampering session, I never really feel I’ve had my money’s worth. I eased myself into my annual treat. Barely five minutes elapsed before I heard the familiar wails of a poo-scream from the girls’ bedroom. Ha ha – I had timed my bath well… Less than thirty seconds later I was to take back that statement, as Husband burst through into the bathroom with a semi-naked baby. “INCOMING!” he bellowed, as he dropped her poo-clad behind into my relaxing retreat. What on earth was wrong with using baby wipes?
The creams come in two different tubes, but with no application instructions. Before you snort at my apparent ineptitude, I do know how to put on lotion for heaven’s sake, just as long as I know which body part to aim for. I ruled out face cream and foot lotion, kept my fingers crossed it wasn’t haemorroid treatment, and began smearing it on my legs, bottom and poor beleagured stomach. In my twenties I would liberally apply all manner of body butters to myself, lying naked on the bed for half an hour afterwards, allowing it to soak in while I read Mills & Boon and had a servant feed me chocolate-coated marshmallows. Nowadays the need to speed-dress in ten seconds flat, whilst simultaneously fending off pygmies and applying mascara, leaves me disinclined to slap on too much gloop. Putting on jeans too soon afterwards leads one to that childhood feeling of pulling on a wet bathing suit on holiday beaches.
So I was delighted – no, enraptured – to see how my thirsty skin drank in the Aveeno cream, leaving just enough on the surface to keep my skin moisturised but not sticky. It was rich, smooth and didn’t have the musty smell that many ‘fragrance-free’ products carry. I liked it.
The packaging vowed 24 hour moisturisation and that evening, over twelve hours later, I wondered if the product was delivering on its promise so far. My skin still felt beautifully soft and smooth; I was impressed. Across the room I noticed Husband was looking at me with a lascivious glint in his eye, and I realised I was still stroking my legs seductively. Hastily, I pulled a hairy cat blanket over my lower half and decided I had better not use any more high-performance moisturisers – it’s hard enough trying to juggle a full-time job and three children, without having to be sexy as well.