Every year I make the same New Year's resolutions:
Eat more fish
Some years I throw in a couple of extra goals, usually "hydrate" (ie drink after exercising) and "exfoliate" (scrub before moisturising). You would think I would have no problem actioning resolutions with such a high degree of assonance - hmm...I should maybe change the "fish" one to "skate" next year - but clearly not, or they wouldn't be brought forward with such weary familiarity every January.
But the selection of Diane Kruger to front the recent CK Beauty advertising campaign - with its subliminal suggestion that women over 40, to whom the scent is allegedly targeted, should make every effort to look her age, ie 34 - has fired a bit of a warning shot over my bow, and I am starting to moisturise more. Just a bit, you understand, because I come from the generation to whom moisturising was not a top of mind activity. Make up removal with Pond's Cold Cream, chapstick in winter, and very occasionally a dab of my friend's Nivea - the one in the little blue tub - or was it even an actual tin back then? I'd use Nivea if my shins felt itchy after swimming, say. And that was pretty much the extent of my skin care measures for several decades.
The other thing to mention is that I vividly remember eye creams in particular being quite painful to wear until I was well into my thirties. They would migrate into your eyes during the night and wake you up with a start, stinging like billy-oh! My vegan lodger tried to put me off these creams by claiming that the active ingredient was made from minced up female deer's privates, an image which continued to haunt me until I was at least 40 and began an eye area moisturing régime in semi-earnest.
But the rest of my body tends to take its chances, and is dry more often than it is silken or smooth. Part of me thinks - as I may have said in a comment somewhere - that to start intensively moisturising at this late stage in life would be a case of closing the stable door after the collagen has bolted, but then again - to take an exercise analogy - if I believed that I wouldn't have bothered to take up Pilates...
So I am now moisturising a few times a week - on the fronts of my legs - and the backs when I can remember. My "décolleté" too if it looks particularly quilted in the morning.
And as a preliminary to this I am regularly using Love Me Naked - Rose Body Wash in the bath. This slippery, rose-scented gel is like molten Fry's Turkish Delight - there is no other way to describe it. You know those magazine tips about spicing up your love life by fashioning scanty underwear out of slices of kiwi fruit and strawberries, then accessorising the whole outfit with drizzles of chocolate paint and mounds of whippped cream? Well, it feels slithery and decidedly unsoaplike and just a little bit naughty, as if it were erotic confectionery rather than a cleansing product.
The rose scent is very pretty - just like rose petals / rose water - well, I keep coming back to Turkish delight. The manufacturer, Naked, boasts that its product is 97% natural, as opposed to conventional body washes which use things like parabens, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and petrochemicals. Their slogan is:
"97% natural, 100% transparent".
And they go on to explain the reasons why they included the 3% of less palatable ingredients:
"You may also ask why only 97% natural? Well, the remaining 3% is made up of things like the preservative system (stops the product going bad after opening ) plus things like emulsifying agents which are necessary to stop ingredients from separating ( we don’t like divorce ). However some of our products are actually 99.5% natural as they didn’t need as much help to behave."
To be honest, I am not sooo bothered about the natural aspect - it is a nice bonus, but not a feature of toiletry products which I seek out. I tend to follow my mother's advice on such matters: "You eat a peck of dirt before you die." (Related post here.) Ah well, you might argue, but the proverb makes no reference to WHEN you die. If you drop down dead at 40 from ingesting all this dirt in various guises, it might be time to question your attitudes to green products.
So I mention the natural aspect to Love Me Naked for anyone for whom that would be an important feature. Meanwhile I just slather it on and smell like Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum and a Fry's chocolate bar.
And this all inevitably begs the $64,000 question...does Mr Bonkers Love Me Naked? Well, the short answer is that he would find the naked me a lot more endearing if I didn't smell of roses, 97% natural or otherwise.
Thanks are due to my friend Louise - Boots the Chemist's No 1 fan in Sweden! - for introducing me to this product.
Photo of Love Me Naked from the Naked website, photo of Nivea from Express Chemist's website, photo of a chapstick from Wikimedia Commons, photos of Fry's Turkish Delight from cherishedtelevision.co.uk and chocolatemission.net, photo of rahat loukoum from sportswise.org.uk