There would be my Sunday School dress, swinging from the top of my door—my Mary Jane shoes, shined and oiled and sitting pretty just below, and my tights and little purse nearby. Mommy, already having fixed Sunday dinner, would come into my room in her slip, her hair in pin curls and mascara and blush perfectly applied, and set my getting ready for church in motion: a bowl of cereal and then a quick wash-up and teeth brushed and then back to my room for my favorite part, the ritual lotioning.
It was an incredibly loving act—one that, all these years later, I can remember quite vividly. I’d be perched on my bed in a slip and a few rollers of my own, and my mother would fill her hands with gobs of lotion and smooth it across my arms first and then my body and then one leg and foot and then the other. Some mornings, she would be tender; other times, when she was in a rush, her touch would feel much more perfunctory—mechanical. Always, though, the very action—mommy’s touch in the midst of a necessary beauty ritual—was pure. A physical performance of love and care extended from mother to child that could not only be felt between us two, but witnessed by those who saw this chocolate girl properly oiled
It is a ritual I practiced with my own daughters until they were old enough to handle the job on their own. And to this day, getting properly lotioned is a consistent part of our conversation about beauty and daily hygiene, particularly for us Black girls/women with all this chocolate skin. Skin that is properly moisturized and glistening from face to toe—sans ash—is every bit as important as (if not more than) a well-put-together outfit or a well-coiffed hairstyle.
And for us Black girls, the right lotion is every bit as critical as, say, a favorite curl pudding or the most perfectly tinted foundation. Seeing as it is used to moisturize every inch of the largest organ we have on/in our bodies, it’s got to be right: thick enough to saturate and oil, light enough to feel like it’s not weighing the skin down, long-lasting so that the ash doesn’t creep up in the middle of the day, easy on the chemicals, soothing to the touch and scented in a way that’s not overwhelming or that will clash with perfume.
We found all of this in AVEENO® DAILY MOISTURIZING SHEER HYDRATION LOTION, a moisturizer we recently gave a test-run. The bottle promises the lotion, full of “soothing oatmeal,” will: absorb “in seconds with a powder-like feel”; hydrate for 24 hours; be fragrance free—and it delivers on that promise. I especially loved the subtle glow it gave my skin, even with the powdery feel, which, I admit, I was a little skeptical about because powder on brown skin does not = moist and glowy. But with AVEENO® DAILY MOISTURIZING SHEER HYDRATION LOTION, I got moist and glowy that did, indeed, last the entire day, leaving my skin pretty and feeling quite soft to the touch. The lotion is unscented, but I have a hawk nose so I do pick up a hint of oatmeal, whereas Mari and Lila didn’t smell a thing on my skin or theirs when they used it.
And who wouldn’t feel confident and beautiful when her skin is looking right? When that natural glow is complimented by a true-and-tried physical glow?
AVEENO® DAILY MOISTURIZING SHEER HYDRATION LOTION can be purchased in grocery stores and mass merchandisers everywhere for $6.99 for a 12 oz bottle and $9.57 for an 18 oz bottle.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.