Ever ask someone about a classic moisturizer and get this answer? "Oh! I use ________ for EVERYTHING! Face, hands, cuticles, lips, eczema, elbows, feet, bug bites, windburn, sunburn, steam burns, even flyaway hairs!" The list of uses seems to go on and on, doesn't it?
Well, maybe they're on to something. And these five classic formulations seem to be the most popular answers. For the record, my go-to is Nivea. What's yours?
1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Created in 1930, this apricot-colored balm is a combo of petrolatum, beta hydroxy acid, and vitamin E. It was quite innovative at the time thanks to the beta-hydroxy, and it works just as well today. Check it out in the limited-edition 60's inspired jar, too.
2. Vaseline. Possibly the most unglamorous of the bunch, but that certainly doesn't make it any less worthy. Check out Tia Williams' "Vaseline is the New Black" post at Shake Your Beauty for some interesting Vaseline anecdotes. Apparently, a Real Housewives grandma owes her still-gorgeous complexion to the stuff, and now Tia's been using it as eye makeup remover.
3. Original Nivea Creme is the poor man's Creme de la Mer, though it's been around far longer. I remember my mom dabbing some on my face to protect it from windburn when we went skiing, and I loved how it felt. Like La Mer, it may be too thick for everyday use on your face, unless you have severely dry skin, but there are so many other ways to use it, who cares?
4. Creme de la Mer. Wait, if Nivea was around first, does that make Creme de la Mer the rich man's Nivea? Hmmm. Anyhow, I vaguely recall a supermodel famously saying that she uses CDLM for everything, even pimples. Of course, this was in the days before the bubble burst and conspicuous consumption became a no-no. But hey, if you can afford it, why not? I'm still not sure I buy into all the "Miracle Broth" hype, but it's a damn good moisturizer. (NB for mineral oil haters: get the scientific facts at The Beauty Brains. Or search on PubMed. If mineral oil bothers your skin, fine, but cosmetic grade mineral oil is NOT GASOLINE, or poison, nor is it the "#2 cause of death in the elderly".)
5. Aquaphor Healing Ointment, the choice of the sensitive-skinned worldwide (not to mention fragrance-haters, lip-biters, cuticle-pickers, and men). I had a friend in college who used gallons of it; to her, there was nothing Aquaphor couldn't cure. I bet she thought if she sent a few cases overseas, she could bring about peace in the Middle East. Now that's a miracle cream!