Sunday, September 18, 2011

No Bagels Here, Only Skin For The Body Shop's Overpriced Papaya Body Butter.

The Good: Smells good, Offers minor protection
The Bad: Expensive! Scent does not last long, Does not significantly moisturize
The Basics: Outside smelling good and leaving a sensation of being covered in a thin film, the papaya body butter does nothing for my skin, at too high a price.

One of the few products from The Body Shop that I have not enjoyed is their Papaya Body Butter. Oddly, I have stronger associations with the Papaya Body Butter, but like it less than The Body Shop's Strawberry Body Butter (reviewed here!).

Body butter is possibly best described as a greasy-textured skin cream, thicker than a lotion, designed for use on one's whole body. It is well-titled "butter" as it has the same consistency as soft margarine, the same sheen and virtually the same greasy feeling. The only significant difference is when one who is using the body butter rubs it into the skin, the greasy feeling goes away . . . more or less.

This is the Papaya body butter and it is recommended for normal skin. It comes in a 1.7 oz. container for a whopping $7.00! The container is a small plastic disc that unscrews from the top. This gives the user perfect access to all of the body butter within. The actual body butter is a peach colored goo that coats the inside of the container and the screw-off top. I was able to use from the cap for the first several uses before ever diving into the container.

The first thing one notices when removing the cap is the scent. This smells like papayas. Having cooked with papayas, I can honestly say that this scent is a very pure papaya scent, not some fabrication or assumed scent. This smells exactly like fresh-cut papayas and it smells quite wonderful. For those who like papayas, this is pretty much guarantees to make you salivate, the scent is so visceral and encompassing.

The thing about papaya scent, in reality and as part of this body butter, is that it is not the strongest scent and while it might permeate a room, it seldom lasts. The scent from this body butter lasts about an hour under normal use, a bit longer for low traffic areas. I've noticed that even in a confined room, like an office, within an hour, the scent dissipates such that others do not notice it after an hour.

The body butter is a simple enough product to use; one simply scoops out a dab and rubs it on the skin. The papaya normal skin body butter is something of an enigma to me. I purchased it originally for the scent (it's a wonderful scent) and I began to use it because I have normal skin. The best I might suggest is that the body butter might have maintained my normal skin. Then again, it was maintaining itself on its own, too, so I'm at a bit of a loss for the purpose of this product.

Rubbing the body butter into the skin - it's recommended to use right after drying off from a shower to help maintain the body's moisture - results in a pretty gross greasy feeling. This product is like a slime and it's kind of gross. Even after rubbing well into the skin, the body butter maintains a greasy sensation that can be rather uncomfortable and disconcerting. So, for example, I used some of the body butter on my hands over half an hour ago and my fingers still feel greasy and slick. They feel like I've just eaten a very buttery bagel and some of the margarine dripped on my digits. It's uncomfortable and kind of icky.

Fortunately, the body butter does not leave a greasy trail where it goes, despite feeling like it might be (I've dabbed my fingers on paper and there is no residue, despite the feeling). The thing is, I've been using this product for months and this sort of reaction still happens. I consistently feel like there is a greasy coating on my body and that's a poor trait for a health and beauty product; this product is not soothing, relaxing or leaves no noticeable feeling, any of which would be ideal instead of feeling coated by the product even hours later.

But back to the purpose; my skin has not changed in any noticeable way since using this product. My skin is not softer, it is not dryer, it is not greasier (though it feels that way), it has not broken out. Which begs the question, what is the purpose of the body butter? Perhaps it might help someone maintain normal skin if their body was not able to, but I've noticed the drier areas of skin on my body have not been affected by the papaya body butter either. So, its purpose ultimately eludes me. It's a pointless product.

And it's too expensive to be pointless. At $7.00 a mini-vat, this is far too expensive for what one gets out of it. I'm certain there are body sprays that smell like papaya that would offer a much better value. As it is, this may make the user smell good for a while, but it does little else that a healthy body is not already doing.

For other products from The Body Shop or skin care products, please check out my reviews of:
The Smooth & Renew Loofah Mitt
Passion Fruit Body Butter
Dial anti-bacterial soap


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

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

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