I have always been a lotion girl – so here I am, admitting outright in public, all the while swearing to honor the sacred traditions of the Oompa-Loompas, that I have always scoffed at body butters. What with the sweltering heat and the non-existence of winters where I live, I have never really felt the need to buy and use one. However, I decided to expand my horizons a bit and try one recently. Okay, I’ll admit it, I lied. I still wasn’t quite convinced of my need for a body butter when I entered Marks and Spencer. I was still wary of them, but then, even my iron resolution to not buy something I don’t absolutely-completely-totally need just squeaked and died in the face of the fragrances that these little tubs exuded. I just had to sniff all of them, rub tiny amounts from all the variants on my hands, buy this, and leave the store smelling like a mocktail.
The variants I tried were:
- Lemon (smelled like typical air freshener to me, liked it, but not as much).
- Vanilla sugar (heavenly warm smell, but I wanted something less scented, so I could wear it out and not have it assault sensitive noses).
- Cocoa butter (not as chocolaty as I would have liked it to be, but still chocolaty).
- Passion fruit (dee-licious smelling!)
- Rosehip (average, but pretty decent).
They also carry cherry, pomegranate, mango and coconut, but they weren’t available at the store. So, it was down to the passion fruit and shea butter. I put a little bit of each on each arm, and continued going through the rest of the store. Once I finished the rest of my shopping (took about an hour), I looked at both my hands, and found the arm with the shea body butter was smoother looking, and I felt that the fragrance blended better with my skin that that of the passion fruit. So, I decided upon this one and I’m glad I did indeed!
Shea butter extracted from the nut of the African shea tree has been long used for its skin softening properties. Fairtrade provides farmers and workers in developing countries opportunities to improve their lives, their communities and protect their environment. Contains 5.8% ingredients traded to Fairtrade Standards.
Rs. 699 for 200 ml. Once opened, use before 24 months.
London, United Kingdom.
How To Use:
Massage into your skin with fingertips to hydrate and moisturize.
Not recommended for facial use. This is not a food. Don’t swallow.
My Take on Marks and Spencer African Shea Body Butter:
I have heard a lot about shea butter from various sources. I have heard it is a great moisturizer, a great sealant for hair, a good product to get rid of scaly and itchy skin patches, a savior to rid hapless people of unwanted stretch marks, and makes a wonderful deterrent to vampires when encased in an ornate amulet.
Now, the vampires that last occupied my bedroom left a few months ago, so I have never really thought about shea butter much. Sure, my skin isn’t at its optimal hydration all the time, but I have never really sought out products with shea butter specifically. However, I should have done that a long time ago. Believe me, the difference between my arms at the store itself was enough to convince me of shea butter’s benefits. Of course that could be for any number of reasons, but in my head, the difference is attributed to the presence of shea butter in this body butter.
My skin type:
When I’m not applying lotion regularly, my skin is rather dry and sometimes patchy/flaky, especially on the legs, but if I apply lotion regularly, it is normal.
Being a body butter, the Marks and Spencer African Shea Body Butter is thick in consistency, and it clumps up in parts when just scooped out of the tub. However, to apply it on the skin and eliminate the clumps to make to spreadable, you need to take a little bit of it in your hands and warm it by rubbing it between your palms.
The color of the body butter is a very ordinary-looking light beige/off-white. Nothing special looking. There are no shimmers or tiny beads in it.
This body butter moisturizes my skin intensely. It needs a little bit of effort to rub in, but once it’s fully rubbed in, it lasts all day on my skin. I really like this aspect of the body butter. However, one thing I don’t like much is that it leaves a bit of a sweaty feel to skin in hot weather. When I’m in air-conditioning, my skin is moisturized yet dry to the touch. However, the moment I’m in the (usual) heat, my arms and legs get slightly sweaty. This might get uncomfortable for most people, but it is a rather unfortunate drawback to using this body butter.
The body butter smells very pleasant. The fragrance is not too strong, and once it’s on your skin for, say, half an hour, you won’t be able to smell it anymore. That’s a good thing if you don’t want the smell of your lotion/cream/body butter to interfere with your perfume/body spray. I can’t exactly describe it, but it is a slightly sweet smell. They usually have testers at the store though, so the smell’s not a problem; you can always sniff the testers before buying.
The body butter comes in a wide tub, with a screw top. The top is extremely secure, so you can take it around with you when you travel, but it might take up a lot of space in your luggage. You could transfer it to a smaller travel-size jar for travel purposes.
The pictures on the covers of all the variants of these body butters are so pretty, and I assure you they will look really nice on your bedside table – all colourful and bright!
Pros of Marks and Spencer African Shea Body Butter:
- Very moisturizing.
- Long lasting.
- Pleasant smelling.
- Good packaging (I prefer tubs since I only use them at home with clean hands).
- Very pretty pictures on the front.
- Smell won’t interfere with any fragrance you’re wearing.
- Contains shea butter.
- Contains ingredients traded to fair trade standards.
- Animal cruelty-free.
Cons of Marks and Spencer African Shea Body Butter:
- Will make you slightly sweaty in hot weather.
- Too bulky to travel with (in the original container).
- The feeling of the clumps between your fingers before you rub the body butter between your palms to warm it up is, to put it plainly, disgusting. It feels like clotted bits of squished moldy bread between my finger, drizzled with slime. But hey, it all sorts itself out the second it is warmed up.
Verdict on Marks and Spencer African Shea Body Butter:
This is a very good body butter. The clumps you can overlook – you will get used to it soon. The issue of being too big to travel with can easily be resolved by transferring tiny amounts into another smaller jars. Those of you who dislike tub packaging may not like the packaging all that much. I like tubs since I always use clean hands and can get every bit of product out this way!
However, the only true con for me is the sweaty feeling I get with it on, in hot weather. If you are willing to overlook this, or it’s not hot out where you live, you can buy this with no hesitation.
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