Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter ($18.00, Amazon.com) combines the sophisticated floral scent reminiscent of Miss Dior Cherie with a super creamy, ultra hydrating formula. The reason for the massive hydration? A slew of super hydrators:
- Shea butter
- Cetearyl alcohol (yes, despite being an alcohol, it is hydrating)
- Glyceryl stearate
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa seed butter
I’ll cover a few more of below.
Shea butter has been reported by many sources, including this study in the Journal of Nutraceuticals, to be an emollient with excellent proven effectiveness for skin. The secret? Extracted from the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), shea butter contains a mix of rich hydrating fatty acids, including oleic acid (40-60%), stearic acid (20-50%), linoleic acid (3-11%), palmitic acid (2-9%), linolenic acid (<1%) and arachidic acid (<1%).
Interestingly enough, different sources of shea butter will produce different concentrations of each fatty acid, and hence varied hydrating properties, including vitamin E content (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004). So using shea butter from different brands may, in fact, be a completely different experience! However, they are all more or less quite hydrating – and the shea butter in Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter certainly does the job!
Mineral oil is the source of debate amongst many beauty experts – most dermatologists feel that it is safe, but most natural beauty experts claim that it is potentially harmful. However, a 2004 study in Dermatitis found that coconut oil had similar efficacy in hydrating the skin to mineral oil. According to another study, coconut oil can also help to heal the skin.
However, coconut oil can also clog the pores when it is used over top of other moisturizers – so be sure to apply Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter over freshly cleaned skin. This is because coconut oil acts as an occlusive agent, trapping water and other ingredients underneath. While at least one list classifies coconut oil as highly comedogenic, I would not go this far so long as you’re not using coconut oil over top of other products.
I believe in parabens. I’ll be honest: I’ve read the studies. I’ve done the research. I’ve asked dermatologists – according to Dr. Kathy Fields, M.D., of Rodan+Fields, when I spoke to her in 2009, “Parabens are safe, low-cost chemical preservatives with very low irritant potential.” And all but one dermatologist I’ve spoken with agrees with her.
The truth of the matter is, without going into it too much, parabens are safe in the concentrations used in cosmetics. Studies have shown they do not accumulate in the body for more than 72 hours. Just about all of the studies showing parabens are harmful are done in unrealistic concentrations or conditions. What’s more, using parabens in hair, skin, and makeup products exposes people to 10x less parabens, on average, than food. [Read more: The Real Dangerous Source of Parabens: Your Food?]
Why do I fight for parabens in products like Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter? Parabens stop bacterial and fungal growth in topical products, with an extremely low irritant potential and cost. While there are some ingredients I’m not too crazy about, like sulfates or phthalates, I’m telling you, if we take away all parabens, we’re going to have either a.) preservatives that are more irritating, b.) preservatives (and hence products) that are more expensive, or c.) products with very low shelf-life. Just saying. I haven’t seen an alternative that I’m thrilled with yet – but, I will admit, I am looking due to all the negative press surrounding parabens.
I’m a huge fan of Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter and I would recommend it to anyone, especially on mildly damp skin immediately post-shower.
Product Rating: 9/10
- High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 2.5/3
- Sunscreen (antioxidants boost sunscreen): 0.5/1
Aqua (Water), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Rosa Moschata Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Potassium Hydroxide, BHT, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Geraniol, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citral, Propylparaben, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Disodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben.