Aloe, It’s Me

I have sensitive skin. It reacts to artificial ingredients, heavy fragrances, and product overload. My skin is not oily, nor is it teenaged, yet I've been battling breakouts for over twenty years! So when I saw the Body Shop's new Aloe line for sensitive skin, I decided to check it out.

First of all, before I discuss the products themselves, I have to clear the air about a mistake that I've noticed the Body Shop has made, on their website and signage in their shops. The Body Shop calls their lines of products "Regimes," i.e. the Aloe "Regime" for sensitive skin. It's become a habit among many skincare companies, not just the Body Shop, of referring to daily skincare routines as "regimes." It's REGIMEN, people, not regime – a skincare regimen! A regime is a dictatorial form of government, a regimen is a daily routine, be it skincare, exercise, etc. It's an all-too-common mistake made by cosmetics companies and professionals who really should know better. I particularly get a kick out of seeing home shopping hostesses referring to skin care "regimes" when they shill beauty products on tv! Maybe I should call in under the pretense of making a product testimonial, and point out this mistake to them live on national TV. Ah, I feel better now! Thanks for letting me vent. Now on to the products.

I took advantage of the Body Shop's special "Buy Two, Get One Free" skincare promotion. I purchased three products from their Aloe line for sensitive skin: The Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser ($12), the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator ($12), and the Aloe Soothing Day Cream ($14). I've come to the conclusion, through many years of trial and error, that I can't use any type of foaming or lathering cleansers. The Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser is a non-lathering, soap-free lotion cleanser that you can either rinse or tissue off. I prefer to rinse it off. I use it once a day, in the evening, and my face really does feel comfortable, and not tight and dry, when I rinse it off. It contains aloe vera gel and organic Babassu oil.

I don't usually use a cleanser in the morning, because too much cleansing can overstimulate the skin. So usually I just splash my face with tepid water, then use a moisturizer. But my pores do get clogged, so I like to use an exfoliator once or twice a week, in the morning in place of a cleanser. The Aloe Gentle Exfoliator contains jojoba micro beads for a very gentle exfoliation. Aloe vera gel and glycerin condition and moisturize the skin.

Although the Body Shop makes an Aloe Calming Toner, I don't like to use toners, so I didn't purchase it. I follow the Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser with the Aloe Soothing Day Cream. I like to use a generous amount, maybe a bit too generous, but my face feels soft and moisturized after I use it. The cream isn't too rich so I don't have to worry about it clogging my pores.

The Aloe Vera REGIMEN for sensitive skin also includes a night cream, a foaming facial wash, and a line of body products including a Comforting Bath Oil, Soothing Body Lotion, and Caring Body Balm. The Body Shop touts their new Aloe line as their best ever for sensitive skin. So far, I'm inclined to agree. You can purchase The Body Shop products online at www.thebodyshop.com or visit one of several Massachusetts locations, including Quincy Market, Washington Street, or the Prudential Center in Boston, and Harvard Square and the Cambridgeside Galleria in Cambridge.

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