Nourish & Soothe Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion
Nourish & Soothe Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion doesn't contain much oatmeal or shea butter, but they're here along with a hefty dose of antioxidant-rich soybean oil. This non-fragrant plant oil and the supporting emollients are great for normal to dry skin—if only this body lotion didn't contain so much fragrance (see More Info to find out why applying fragrance head to toe isn't good for skin) and didn't cheat skin of a broader mix of beneficial ingredients.
Without the fragrance, this body lotion would be quite the value, at least if your expectations stopped at wanting a basic moisturizer instead of one rich with antioxidants and other state of the art ingredients. As is, this can't hold a candle to the superior fragrance-free picks from CeraVe and Gold Bond, both of whom offer skin more sophisticated formulas that contain a better mix of hydrating, repairing, and restorative ingredients.
- Makes skin feel smoother and softer.
- Inexpensive and generously sized.
- Soybean oil is a good source of antioxidants.
- Contains more fragrance than the called-out skin soothers oatmeal and shea butter.
- Fragranced body lotions pose a risk of irritating skin, day in and day out.
- Isn't as good as many body moisturizers from other drugstore brands.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin's barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin's surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
St. Ives At-A-Glance
Two things set this line apart in the minds of consumers familiar with the brand: the Swiss angle and their apricot face scrubs. This notoriety didn't translate to thoughtfully formulated products, though. Instead, most of the scrubs are too abrasive, and the apricot is simply there as an extract, never mind that in a scrub it doesn't have any significant benefit for skin. The same can be said of the selection of supposedly Swiss-based herbs. Most of them have soothing properties, but it doesn't matter to skin if the ingredients came from Switzerland or South Dakota. If anything, the whole Swiss angle is getting a bit tired. You can bet that there are no scientists working high in the Swiss alps to formulate these products. St. Ives is a line with very little worth considering, so feel free to breeze right by as you shop for skin-care products at your local drugstore.
For more information about St. Ives, owned by Unilever, visit www.stives.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.