I used to touch everything, from subway poles, to supermarket lemons, to strangers’ dogs. I touched things just because I felt like it, like running my finger through the fur of the tall, shaggy poodle on my floor named Abby. But now I think before I touch anything in public. Do I really need to touch that doorknob? Can I examine milk expiration dates without touching them? Can I complete a credit-card transaction in two actions, rather than three?
Since any extra touching feels unnecessary, I haven’t been touching myself much either, so I’m no longer doing a full-on moisturization routine. Super-soft skin doesn’t feel that urgent. But while organizing my apartment, I found a sample of Kate McLeod’s Body Stone — a product Allure founder Linda Wells once spicily described to me as feeling like “foreplay.”
On its own, it’s a solid, smooth mound of moisturizing butter, a mixture of shea and other fragrant oils, roughly the size of a Levain Bakery cookie. But with touch, it melts against the heat of your skin to become a rich moisturizing balm. I normally gravitate toward liquid lotions that I can splash over my body for convenience. But recently I’ve liked the slight effort of using the Body Stone like a massage stone. I’ve been gliding it against my often hunched-over shoulder blades and along my stiff arms, giving myself a few moments to reset. It’s also plastic free and comes in a reusable bamboo container.
Soft skin isn’t on the hierarchy of needs. You can, of course, just use a moisturizer you already have, but remember that it feels nice to touch yourself. It’s good to try and take a few extra deep breaths in the day. These aren’t normal times. Maybe “beauty” right now means taking care of others but also taking care of yourself a little, too.
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