Towards the end of April I started getting people telling me about the latest skincare craze. Some posters on a mother and baby web forum had been singing the praises of Waitrose’s Baby Bottom Butter as a face cream. This led to people going out and buying it, and later to coverage in the national press. By the time I got wind of it my local Waitrose was already sold out. Speaking to my sister last weekend it turns out that at her branch of Waitrose it was rationed to one per person and staff were forbidden from buying it.
What is going on here? Should we be elbowing our way to the front of the queue to get hold of this stuff?
Well I haven’t been able to get any yet and I haven’t been able to find out the INCI list, but I have read all the commentary on it I can find on the net. From what I can work out it seems to be simply a balm with a high olive oil content. I have written about the benefits of olive oil before, so I think there is a good chance that this product has some benefits. I am not sure it justifies the hysteria around it though.
Let me tell you what I think has happened here.
When you are young your skin works pretty much how it is supposed to. The rate at which water is lost across it is about optimum and there isn’t much you can do to improve it. If you try a skin cream at this age you are not going to get any benefit from it, and it is quite likely that you will find it a bit unpleasant as it might be quite difficult to rub in. The chances are you will instantly form a negative opinion of that brand and never use it again in your life. As the years roll by your skin loses its ability to hold in its moisture. You don’t really notice it on a day by day basis but your skin is steadily getting dryer. Use that same cream now, and you will find that it hydrates your skin improving its appearance and the way it feels. You compare this with your previous experiences of other creams and conclude that this cream has special properties and it is likely to become part of your regular regime.
I think something similar has happened here. The young mums on the forum haven’t previously needed any kind of treatment for their skin and probably didn’t get much out of the products they have tried before, but now a bit of a boost to their skin’s barrier function on their skin is giving them a real lift. Skin products are heavily promoted by the use of the most glamorous models and the most slick advertising. It is little wonder that a lot of people have a job believing a word of all the hype around the big brand’s fancily packaged offerings. But when people come across a genuine testimonial on the internet from real people they instinctively react to their honesty. They believe what they are hearing and want to give it a try themselves.
The fact that it is a bottom balm designed for babies means it is probably very oily so I would expect that it would be good for someone with very dry skin. If your skin is normal or oily you are probably not going to enjoy the experience very much. Other than that, it is only £2.49 so what have you got to lose by giving it a try if you can somehow lay your hands on it.
One final plea, if anyone has got some and can send me the ingredient list I would be very grateful. I imagine that I will be able to copy it without too much difficulty and I have several friends and family who would like to try my version of it.