Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crisco Cosmetic

Two years ago, I read the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I'm sure you've heard of it!  Fast forward to this November and the start of my holiday baking.  From about mid-November until after New Year's I live in my kitchen and tons of dishes pass through my dry, cracked hands. So when I started my first round of baking I made my only recipe this year including Crisco.  I know, it's terrible for you; but if you only eat it twice a year, you'll probably survive.

In the process of preparing this recipe, my hands got a little greasy so I just rubbed it in.  I thought of that passage in the book when Minnie teaches her boss about the wonders of Crisco.  A couple of hours later I was at the pharmacy looking for my favorite winter lotion which is ridiculously expensive and apparently no longer available in my area.  I thought about the odd similarities between Crisco and this lotion and thought, "what the heck, I'm going to give it a try."  Then I went home and immediately forgot the whole idea; such is life with 5 children.

Fast forward another week and I finally saw the movie, The Help and remembered my Crisco plan.  Since December 1, Crisco has been my only hand, face and body lotion.  I know, crazy, right?

My skin has never been softer.  Seriously.  The Crisco is a little thick, so you do have to warm it in your hands a bit, but if your skin is nice and warm like after the shower, it goes on great.  You can buff it off a bit with a towel if it makes you feel better but I don't find it necessary.

I have friends who buy pressed coconut oil for their skin at $7 to $15 per pound.  Crisco costs me at $1.75/pound at my local grocery.  This really appeals to my frugal nature.

I am sure the coconut has a lovely smell but there is a lot to be said for cosmetics that are truly unscented.  I'm pretty sure those transfats aren't being absorbed through my skin, so no worries there.  I think I have actually found the perfect use for shortening.

If you know me "in person," you probably know I have a lotion issue.  I cannot stand having dry hands so I am constantly applying lotion.  The great thing about Crisco is that I don't have to wash it off before cooking.  In fact, I actually apply it right before I wash dishes and it gives my skin a nice protective coating and I swear those wrinkles on my neck are getting less pronounced.

I am going to try to talk Sunshine into letting me rub it into her perpetually dry hair.  Just seems like it couldn't hurt.  I didn't get my usual winter cracked heels this year and my cuticles never looked better.  I swear, it's a magic elixir.

All that said, come summer,  I wouldn't coat my skin in it and lay by the pool -- seems like a good way to get some fried chicken skin. I don't lay by the pool anyway but will use sunscreen for swimming and save the Crisco for afterward.   I also can't recommend using it anywhere you may be acne prone; it just seems like a bad idea.

So that's what I'm up to these days; I'm just all agog over my Crisco Cosmetic.  I guess you could say it's a Crisco crush.

Let me know if you're brave enough to try it yourself!

POST SCRIPT:  (1/30/2012) - Writing this, I started thinking about coconut oil.  I bought a jar of organic, food grade oil on sale ($6) and stirred a tablespoon into my 1 cup jar of crisco. Now I use 1/3 coconut oil to 2/3 shortening.  I sometimes scent it with lemon essential oil or rosemary.  It's perfect.  Really.

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