Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Put the Lotion in the Basket

It puts the lotion on its skin...

Dear Wingman,

My boyfriend works outdoors a lot and his hands are really rough. They feel like sandpaper on my tender lady parts. I've suggested that he use my lotion but he thinks it's too girlie. I'm about to cut him off from touching me. Can you talk some sense into him?

Yikes. Well, we certainly can't have you cutting him off, and we certainly can't have him running his belt sander paws over your genitalia.

Skin care is one of those touchy (pun intended) areas where men tend to ignore the issue, figuring that only sissies use lotions or sunscreen and that rough hands are the sign of a manly man who does manly work and other manly things with his manly man's hands.....besides, chicks dig that leathery Marlboro Man look, right?

Some chicks, but not all, and half the guys who played the Marlboro Man died from lung cancer so theirs is not exactly the example we should follow.

I myself work in an industrial environment around heavy machinery and with cold, wet conditions. My hands, however, remain soft as a baby's for the most part. Of course, I wear gloves most of the time and that goes a long way to helping keep your hands from getting nasty. However, gloves aren't always able to be used, and your skin encompasses more than just your hands.

FACT: your skin is the largest organ in your body.

While my hands are soft, they do often feel dry as paper, and the rest of me can get pretty ashy in the winter. My tattoos will often look dull and faded when my skin dries out, and that, friends, is not a good look. You didn't pay good money for body art only to have it look like something you got in 1942.

If your skin is in really rough shape, especially your hands, I have a couple recommendations. Two of the best, most serious lotions out there are Carmex Healing Lotion and Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion.

Gold Bond has always been the gold standard (pun intended) for serious lotion. This stuff, however, is even thicker and, well, lotiony. And I discovered Carmex in the Army, back before they made a lotion, and found their lip balm in the white and yellow jar (and later in a squeeze tube) to be nothing short of miraculous in healing chapped lips. Now they make a lotion too.

Drawback? Both lotions can leave you feeling like you just slathered yourself in either Crisco or bear fat, especially the Gold Bond. It's THICK. It can take some effort to get it worked all into your skin and your hands are going to feel a bit greasy at first afterwards. But both lotions are great if you have seriously damaged skin.

HANDY TIP: If your hands need fixing, get a pair of plastic gloves, like food service gloves or if the lady in your life colors her hair the gloves from the hair dye box. Before bed, lotion up your hands liberally and put the gloves on. The moisture will soak into your hands and the lotion will stay off your sheets. Do this for a few days and the results will be worth it.

Now, I recommend a lighter lotion for a daily (or less frequent) moisturizer. I do it every 4 or 5 days myself. I personally recommend Malibu Tan's Hemp Moisturizer for Men. It's light, works in fast, doesn't leave a greasy film, and it smells pleasant without a lingering after-smell.

 I came across the hemp oil lotions from Malibu Tan at Walmart, and was curious. The original lotion bottle had a label that looked like the sort of woven hemp Baja pullover all the stoners wore in high school and I expected it to stink but it was pleasant. I know what pot residue smells like, and the lotion smells nothing like that. They use THC-free hemp oil, and it works rather well. In addition to the original they have several other scents like Tropical Mojito, Cherry Almond, and Acai Berry if you want to smell more like a basket of fruit. Your call, bro.

Take care of your skin, and keep your hands soft. No one wants to be touched by cactus hands tougher than a rhino's ass, and once she cuts you off and you're stuck taking care of business on your own, you'll wish you'd heeded my sage advice when you start to cheese-grate your own junk.

Who's got your back? I do.

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