Weird Trick for Winter Skin

I got a facial in Williamsburg for Christmas (soooo good – thanks, John) and the esthetician gave me the weirdest tip for combating dry skin. I sorta didn’t believe her but I’ve been doing it for a month now, and even though it’s been the bitterest winter in recent memory, this trick totally works.

What is it?

Yup. Hair conditioner. The cheap kind.

I had heard of using conditioner to shave your legs, to shine floors, and even using it as a fabric softener…but keeping skin moist? No. Which, if you think about it, is weird because hair and skin (the topmost layers of skin, at least) are essentially made of the same sort of proteins. The dead kind. And, assuming you are a mammal, your skin is covered with hair anyway. It deserves to be kept moist too.

Lets stop using the word moist in this post.

Here is the deal: In the shower, after you use soap or water to wash your body, squeeze a big blob of cheap hair conditioner on a loofah-poof thing and run it over your body. Do your usual naked monkey dance, then wait a minute and rinse. That’s it. I have been using the strawberry scented buck-a-bottle from the bottom shelf. It leaves the slightest residue that works to seal off skin against winter dryness. In the summer it would probably feel a bit heavy – but in winter, yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Also, it smells good. Also, it has pretty much replaced my need for any kind of after-shower body moisturizer. And, actually, she said you could use straight conditioner as a body moisturizer on really rough patches like feet and elbows, but I have yet to need/try. Come summer time I’ll give it a whirl and let you know how it goes!

That’s my beauty trick of the day. If you know any other fun ways to use hair conditioner, please share. We are listening.


    • says

      Fingers crossed. I fear it would irritate the skin on my face (mine seems a little irritable). But its worth a try, right?

    • says

      I switched from using soap to only using oil to wash my face about 2 years ago, and have not had a problem with dry patches or oily ones since.

  1. Anonymous says

    Yeps. This totally works. I use Body Shop Banana conditioner as lip balm because its that good and rich. My dad used to work in a lab that formulated stuff like this for Helene Curtis. Different people will respond to different products but the beauty industry uses the five or six active ingredients for everything (READ THE BOTTLES). Here is another tip that should be obvious to everyone – ‘body wash’ is diluted shampoo at twice the price. Just use shampoo on a wet washcloth. It’s amazing what they sell to us.

  2. Naomi says

    I fear sounding like a grammar dick here, but aestheticism is an art movement, not a person who gives facials. That being said, I have had a bad string of luck with my dry itchy skin this winter, and I mourn the loss of those in-shower moisturizers that existed about 10 years ago (whatever happened to them?) so have turned to baby oil. I suspect your solution to be significantly more pleasant. Also more pleasant-smelling. 🙂

    • says

      Ha! No, you are not a dick. I am a putz for not noticing that. I didn’t know how to spell Esthetician and accepted whatever auto-suggestion it spit out. Apparently it still thinks I have it wrong and shows a red squiggly line on my end (we know better though 🙂

    • Naomi says

      I frequently find myself wishing there was a way to turn off that stupid squiggly line, but truth is I depend on it wayyyy too much!

  3. says

    this is another weird thing for hair conditioner— cloud dough. Its like play dough/ cloud dough. Just hair conditioner and cornstarch.

    • says

      Really? You just add the cornstarch until it reaches dough consistency? Wow.

  4. says

    i use it for shaving cream. let it be known that i am neither particularly hairy, nor do i shave very often. but cheap conditioner works well for me; my skin feels good afterwards (and now i know why!) and i not committed to using up an entire aerosol can of shaving cream before it leaves a rust ring.

    • says

      It’s good stuff, yeah? Someone was trying to sell me on peanut butter as shaving cream. Seems expensive and wasteful, so I’ll stick to conditioner….but it’s good to know.

    • says

      yup! shaving cream is supposed to plump up your follicle so it stands up straighter, making a good shave easier. so does conditioner. i’ve never heard of peanut butter, but i don’t think it’d wash off your razor easily. but now i’m intrigued…

  5. Susie in Sacramento says

    i’m so glad i’m not the only one put off by the “m” word!! and i love this trick, it works wonders! i’m a hair stylist and a few months ago i was speaking to a hair product chemist who told us the reason this works is that cheapie conditioners usually have a low pH, which works great to close down the cuticle of skin and hair, and balances your body’s natural acid mantle. this is why cheap conditioner can acutally be really good for your hair AND skin. *cue the star with a rainbow* the more you know!

  6. Anonymous says

    I’m going to be a bit of a party pooper. Conditioners and many beauty products can have toxic chemicals (hormone and endocrine disrupters,etc,.) and your skin is your largest organ….and also easily absorbs things applied to it. Check out your product’s chemical load on Skin Deep’s website:
    It’s a bit horrifying, but at least make an informed choice!!!
    Spring will be MOST welcome this year.

    • says

      Hmmm….It won’t let me look at any info without registering, so I will have to take your word for it. Indeed, it is scary how many chemicals are in our everyday products.

  7. Deb says

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…cheap conditioner. Got it on the shopping list for a whirl. But…”do your usual weird monkey dance”? Not so weird if you have a radio on in the bathroom while you are in the shower. And sing along at the same time. You get a workout AND smell good.

  8. PJFizzyknits says

    My new “find” for winter skin is felted soap! Found that out totally by accident. Made some for Christmas gifts (easy peasy – wrap roving around bar o’soap, wet and mush, let dry) but before I gave it as gifts, I tried a bar first (no, I didn’t use it and then give it away, nor did I use it in a bar where they serve drinks-sillies!) Anyhoo, happened to grab it to get rid of paint on my hands before a meeting, and next a.m. noticed less damage on fingertips. Hmmm I says to myself, and have used it everyday since. Will def try try the conditioner too! Need all the help I can get! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Anonymous says

    Ok, so I’m catching up on my “Peaches” and saw this tip. WOW! Tried the last few days and you are so totally right! Wish I had seen this a week ago when first posted!

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