Anyone else's skin dry as hell right now? Of course. It's winter. Pretty much everyone is dealing with skin that looks as if it could do with a passing over by a Swiffer duster. Unfortunately for me, I've got the added bonus of dealing with super itchy shins and random rough spots on my upper arms. It's not pretty.
But that's what moisturizer is for. And there are some damn good options I enjoy using like the Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream or the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream (which I can't recommend enough). But no matter what I use — whether it's raw shea butter straight from West Africa, or a super-rich, fancy lotion that costs as much as a new set of gel extensions — there is only one product that seems to work for me every time. And that's the humble Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula.
If there's a drugstore, you'll be able to find Palmer's. It's solid Cocoa Butter Formula is a bonafide classic, a moisturizer that contains a mixture of oils like cocoa seed and sunflower, which are mixed together to form the balm-like product. It's been around for decades and I've been using it since I was a child. My mother used to slather it all over me as I was getting ready for school, being sure to pay special attention to my elbows and heels; the parts of the body that always seems to get ashy faster than the rest. I loved it as a kid because it smelled like chocolate — that was really big for me — but as an adult, I continue to stan because of what it actually does for my skin.
The stuff is housed in a jar, coming, as mentioned, in solid form. The texture is the happy medium between solid coconut oil (which tends to melt into your skin quickly when you rub it in) and shea butter (which takes little more work). It is far softer than solid shea butter and doesn't turn into a liquid once it gets above 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
There's a reason for it: formulation, baby. "Most lotions and creams are emulsions made mostly of water," says Cincinnati, Ohio-based cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos. "Palmer's is primarily a blend of oils, cocoa butter, and wax, which help soften the skin and lock in hydration." The oils are combined with a wax to keep their consistency stable and not subject to changes in the temperature. Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson pinpoints the inclusion of microcrystalline wax, specifically, as the reason it holds up so well in the jar. Its high melting point means you don't have a liquidy mess when you go to open it.