Ever-stocked floor to ceiling with stuff made for cleaning up someone else’s butt, the baby aisle is a lot of the same four basic things in different bottles or tubs. I generally stick to two departments in my local drugstore--cosmetics and hardware--but if I remember to be a good roommate who buys paper towels once in a blue one, I might shuffle by the baby aisle, which for some reason is nearly always next to the cleaning supplies aisle. (I mean, jeez, aren’t we trying to keep babies AWAY from solvents and chemicals?)
With what little know-how I’ve accrued throughout my research on how to optimize the beauty of my husk, I am going back to the beginning, using products made for the people newest to the world. I’m talking infants here. Obviously, my tarnished self is going to need a lot more than tear-free bubbles to get this body clean, but I’ve got my grooming down pat. So thanks for nothing, babies. But I will borrow a couple items from you guys for alternate purposes.
Like lanolin, for example (AKA nipple cream).
As if the idea of a football-sized human screaming out of your vagina isn’t horrifying enough (thanks a lot, Miracle of Birth video in high school health class), it will apparently suck your fun-bags dry until fun there is no more. Since nourishing a baby au natural can be drying and rashy, I guess rubbing some lanolin on your nips will prevent them from becoming “cracked” (horrifying) and sore.
Lansinoh is THICK. It’s nearly solid. You have to rub it between your fingers to soften it a bit to use it. I have no reason for its intended use; however, it is great for many other things, like cracked and dry knuckles. Not very similar to breasts, but the backs of my hands take a beating since I work with them a lot and I’m an obsessive hand-washer.
This winter my knuckles especially are so dry that they regularly crack and bleed. Other than the mild discomfort of having that hurt every time I make a fist (which is often because I’m so aggro) I’m pretty sure fellow strap-hangers on the subway think I’m a leper. Rubbing literally the tiniest bit of lanolin onto the backs of my hands brought them back to David-Duchovny-in-Zoolander status.
Another lanolin use: rubbing a bit on your heels or other parts of your foot that a tight/ill-fitting shoe is rubbing the wrong way. Since it’s so thick, the lanolin sticks around, so I’m not like “Hold up, guys” every five minutes as I adjust my shoe.
Another baby aisle alternative is A+D. It’s a vitamin-rich ointment in a petroleum base, with a smaller percentage of lanolin. It’s marketed to treat diaper rash, but a friend of mine recommended it to me when the insides of my nostrils became so dry last winter, I’d wake up with a bloody nose every morning. Aside from the horror of waking up and groggily dragging my body to the bathroom only to gaze upon my reflection and look like I got shot in the face, having a booger-less nose is just damn uncomfortable. I’d swab a little bit gently in my nose, and no more nosebleeds. Plus, it has that clinically slightly camphor-y, medicinal smell that I am freakishly obsessed with.
A+D also works as an amazing nighttime lip treatment and eye cream. I don’t have any tattoos because I’m a commitment-phobe, but I’m told that during the healing process for some fresh ink, if you use A+D instead of plain old petroleum jelly, your skin heals faster. Same goes for minor burns.
Speaking of diaper rash, which the baby aisle would have me believe is a BIG problem, most ointments for diaper rash are zinc oxide-based. I’m all about the ZnO in sunscreen, but as Nicole mentioned a little while ago, it’s also useful for treating acne. I figure if it’s gentle enough for a baby’s butt, my zits won’t mind.
Most physical sunscreens have up to around 16% ZnO or so, but diaper rash cream can go up to a whopping 40%. Might be overkill for like an all-over treatment, but I’ve tried it as an overnight spot treatment for a stubborn little crop of un-squeezable indestructible zits along my hairline, and by the next day they were shrunken and peely.
Everyone knows baby shampoo is good for a little bubble bath fun-times. I don’t know if it’s because they pump that stuff full of sulfates, but I get a way frothier bubble bath with lingering suds than with actual bubble bath stuff.
Baby shampoo like Shea Moisture's is also good for cleaning your makeup brushes, which you guys all do regularly, right? But I realized it's a triple-threat when I discovered that you can use baby shampoo to re-stretch clothes that have shrunk in the wash.
I was definitely getting some side-eye from harried mommies in my local drugstore as I heartily sniffed at the one baby fragrance there by Mustela, that ubiquitous European brand of mommy/baby products. Who is spraying their baby with perfume? Aren’t babies supposed to naturally smell like the joys of life and possibilities and hope and all that? Someone bottle that scent.
This fragrance is marketed for baby and mama, and for real smells like me wanting to just cradle my head into whoever is wearing it and rock my weary self to sleep. Not too floral and just the right amount of powdery (minimal), but mostly just fresh and clean and trustworthy.
If “I submit to you completely, my guardian and caretaker” is a scent, this is the one. I spritzed it on my collar and my boyfriend literally dove into my neck, going “What IS that?”
Look, you guys, I’m not baby crazy. I’m pretty OK with the idea of not procreating. But that doesn’t mean I want to be cut off to a whole slew of potential products misguidedly marketed as 4 BABIES ONLY. Because if I’m being totally honest here, sometimes I can be a total baby and it is not cute. But if rubbing diaper rash cream on my face redeems me, I can live with that.