Forget Chocolates -- Buy This

I don't know whose blog or post it was, that put the seed of cocoa butter in my mind, but I had been walking past Queen Helene's 100% at the Dollar General in recent weeks, tempted by a vague recollection. I'm pretty sure it was a black man, yet again, with the info most relevant to me, claiming it was the perfect moisturizer and didn't smell too strongly.

Well, it smells like cocoa. That much was clear from sniffing the $1.50 tube, a simple thing without a twist-up mechanism, just a cylindrical chunk of vegetable fat rattling around loosely on a push-up platform. Still it seemed like a bold move, for a middle-aged white guy. I needed time to think about it.

Then this cold snap hit, coincidental to Valentine's Day, and suddenly it made a lot of sense. The biting gust freeze-drying my face as I stepped into the parking lot was my first of the year. It would always be good as a lip balm, and look what they charge for those puny, inorganic things! Along with the basket full of dietary garbage, a little something for my health. I could pass the odor off as a romantic gesture, if necessary.

It rubbed on very dry. I had no way of knowing how much I had applied, because I felt little tactile difference. But it smoothed the skin just the same as the changes in my postshave routine, as if from the inside. Amazing! And then, the "emollient" effect. Yes, the skin was softer, but did you know, that word also means "soothing"? The skin relaxed, as if I had done an oil cleanse. Not as deep, or long-lasting, but recognizable. And the smell is fine -- I quickly lost it amid the turmeric residue of my curried rice dinner.

I don't see anything like those effects from that Dollar Tree moisturizer. In fact, hit on negative references to "aqueous cream" in the dermatology abstracts and exzema sites. It sounds suspiciously similar, and has fallen out of favor in medical circles for not improving skin condition in the long term. I think I might be there already.

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