Friday, July 22, 2011

Not So Good Melted, Passion Fruit Body Butter Still Does Something.

The Good: Scent, Good moisturizer
The Bad: Melts, PRICE, Greasy feeling, Foul taste
The Basics: In a close call, this body butter suffers from general body butter problems of a greasy feeling on the skin and a nasty taste, despite actually moisturizing.

As a gardener and someone who has two cats - thus multiple litter boxes I'm constantly emptying and washing up after - I understand the importance of products that keep skin moisturized and healthy. I think there can be certain value in products that restore dry skin to health and when I was reviewing the Body Shop's Strawberry Body Butter (reviewed here!), I found myself underwhelmed because it, at best, maintained my skin instead of actually doing anything. So, I was a little filled with trepidation when I picked up the Passion Fruit Body Butter.

First off, the Passion Fruit Body Butter from The Body Shop threw me in its labeling. It is labeled as "Passion Fruit Normal To Dry Skin." With hair conditioners, the label will express the desired result for a certain hair type (i.e. in hair conditioners, "Normal to dry" would indicate that it would take normal hair and dry it out). So, I was somewhat baffled by the idea of a product that was going to try to dry the skin out. This product does NOT do that, so the labeling is somewhat of a misnomer (or, annoyingly, an example of a need for universal labeling standards in health and beauty products).

As with other body butters, a body butter is a somewhat greasy, near-solid cream (like a pomade) that comes in a disc-like container (like shoe polish) that is designed to protect and/or moisturize skin. Unscrewing the top of the container gives the user ample access to the body butter and this is a very easy product to get out of its container and use. As well, this does seem to go rather far. I've been milking my first container of this for over six months now. This is good because at $7.00 for a 1.7 oz. container, the product is not cheap. In fact, I spent over a week using the body butter off the inside of the lid, as opposed to out of the container proper!

The passion fruit body butter smells like passion fruit, though to be honest, my dining and cooking experiences with passion fruit are considerably less than my experiences with papayas. The scent is good and I found the scent from this though very subtle and fruity, seems to endure quite a while. The main scent, though more faint, tends to last about an hour and a half. I've found the scent on my skin for up to three hours in low-traffic areas.

Honestly, the scent is not the greatest. It smells nice, but it does not conjure up anything for me. If you have a great memory that involves the presence of passion fruit, maybe there is something more for you in this. For my, it was a fairly generic fruit or berry scent and while it lasted, it was not terribly distinctive or evocative.

Then, there's the actual product and here is where things become dicier for me. First, the product actually works. This body butter does an excellent job of moisturizing skin that is dried out. After weeks of gardening, I found some value - the most I found in this product - from using it on my knees and elbows, which tend to be places that get very dried out and damaged by constant gardening. The body butter moisturized and reinvigorated my skin in those areas.

But the cost, not the expense, seemed a bit high. This product goes on greasy and leaves a sensation of being coated. When I've applied it, I've felt coated (something I don't feel with, say Vaseline Intensive Care lotion). While there is no actual film left (I've tested with papers at various points after applying the product), I have a constant sensation that begs to differ with reality when using this body butter. If you can imagine feeling for three hours like you are coated in a thin film of margarine, you have a good idea of how unpleasant this body butter may make one feel.

The body butter is recommended for maintaining skin moisture in addition to restoring skin to a normal moisture level when it has been dried out. So, for example, body butter is recommended for application after taking a shower (the body usually dehydrates some after acclimating to a long shower or bath) to keep moisture in the skin. Here, the purpose is self-defeating as the body butter makes one feel less clean after getting clean in the shower. I mean, honestly, who lathers up in a slimy, greasy-feeling product in order to feel clean after scrubbing off dirt and grime?

Not me.

I've also noticed that this particular body butter melts. I left it in my car this spring (not in the sunlight) and the purple container heated up and melted the product. It resolidified when brought inside and left for a day in a cool, dark area, but it seems like this is a liability if it is being carried around by someone in a handbag or such.

As well, this product has a loathsome taste. I accidentally tasted a bit of the papaya body butter and it had a neutral, lotion taste that was inoffensive, at best. My gosh, this passion fruit stuff is foul! I applied some to my lips to see how it would moisturize them and the result was several minutes of gagging and scraping my tongue. It's gross and my lips are drier now because I insisted on getting every trace off.

Until that happened, I was leaning toward a soft "recommend" because the product does work for moisturizing and revitalizing the skin. But after having the vile experience of accidentally tasting it, combined with the icky feeling on my skin and the expense, I've moved to an equally soft "not recommend" (it was a razor decision). There are products that have more memorable scents, moisturize skin and do not leave such an unpleasant feeling residue to them. I look forward to ditching this product when I find one!

For other skin care products, please visit my reviews of:
St. Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub
Wet Pina Colada Flavored Personal Lubricant
The Body Shop Smooth & Renew Loofah Mitt


For other health and beauty product reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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