Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Kneipp: Evening Primrose Body Lotion


There is dry skin and there is extremely dry skin. I have the misfortune of having both kinds, with the latter concentrated in my upper chest area and the upper back.

Most normal body moisturisers would do it for me, but somehow my decolletage and upper back area require more. I've been trying many (and I really mean many!) moisturisers over the years and I've finally been able to narrow it down to two that work for those problem areas: MuLondon Organic Marigold, Frankincense and Myrrh Moisturiser and this one, Kneipp Evening Primrose Body Lotion.


Even if you've never used Kneipp, you must have at least heard of the Kneipp brand before. The story behind the brand is a compelling one, one set in mid-19th century in Germany involving a young man suffering from tuberculosis. He was inspired by a book he read about the healing powers of water and so, one day, he ran a distance to warm his frail body up and then dived into the freezing cold water of the River Danube. Shortly after, he got out of the water and ran home as fast as he could. He felt so invigorated and refreshed that he repeated it a few days later, with the same positive results. He gave himself these cold water treatments a couple of times a week and incredibly, he eventually regained his health.

This young man was ordained a priest some years later. Father Sebastian Kneipp was his name. In the years that followed, he also gained a reputation as a healer and he tended to the poor for free. His treatments included all kinds of water treatments like cold rinses, and hot and cold baths and compresses. In his lifetime, he wrote several books which also included his herbal remedies.

So, here was a priest who had taken the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but he was also a man in possession of so much knowledge in naturopathic medicine. I can't help but wonder how history would have been rewritten if he hadn't met an apothecary by the name of Leonhard Oberhäußer in 1890. They struck not just a friendship but also a partnership.

A year later, Mr Oberhäußer was entrusted with Father Kneipp's legacy of his lifelong studies. Father Kneipp granted him the exclusive rights to develop, produce and sell pharmaceutical, cosmetic as well as dietary products “under the name and with the image of Father Sebastian Kneipp". And thus, the Kneipp brand was born and so began its commercialisation. I read that the first product to be manufactured was a pill for constipation!

Today, Kneipp's market reach is worldwide. Its products are easily accessible here in the Netherlands. I've tried a total of three variants of their body lotions. Two of them have gorgeous feminine scents and were mild, good enough for normal dry skin: Aloe Vera and Wild Rose. The most effective of the three though, in my opinion, is the Evening Primrose variant. It's actually called Evening Primrose Body Lotion + 10% Urea. It's quite amusing how they've deliberately pushed the word Urea aside, almost like an afterthought. Urea - not terribly enticing, is it?


Here's its list of ingredients (minus the scientific names):

Water, Urea, Peanut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Glycerin, Avocado Oil, Avocado Oil Unsaponifiables, Cetaryl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Palmitoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Proten, Panthenol, Bergamot Leaf Extract, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, Orange oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Eugenol, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Xantham Gum, Triacetin, Tocopherol.

The thing is, this lotion works for me. I may be mistaken but I actually attribute its effectiveness more to the urea than to the evening primrose oil. It must sound weird. Urea is a by-product of the metabolism of proteins and is essentially our bodies' waste product (in urine). Curiously, urea is also a natural moisturiser found in the skin. It is a water-binder and helps keep moisture in the skin. Urea can be artificially synthesised and I take it that that's how Kneipp gets its urea ingredient!


The lotion is plain white and not too thick. The smell is hard to describe. It's not one I would call lovely or floral but it's not unpleasant either. It reminds me of the scent of baby powder but heavier and more full-bodied. It works best when applied after a shower, immediately after dabbing the skin dry.

The Evening Primrose Body Lotion costs just under €9 for a 200ml tube. It contains no mineral- and silicon-oils, no parabens and no artificial colouring. It keeps my problem skin calm, soft and moisturised, so it's no wonder that I'm now on to my third tube!


More information:
Kneipp Netherlands
Kneipp International

The other moisturiser that works for my problem areas:
MuLondon Organic Marigold, Frankincense and Myrrh Moisturiser

10 comments:

Naoko said...

It seems like it's available in Spain, but I didn't know the brand. I have extremely dry skin and also I'm a bit lazy to take care of it... I prefer the texture of body butters, which doesn't feel humid on the skin. Thanks for the review! xxx

Shop N' Chomp said...

My upper back can get pretty dry too. =( I've heard of this brand but I think it's only sold in beauty supply stores here. I shall have to check it out the next time I'm in the store. =)

Michelle said...

Hmm... I've never heard of Kneipp before. Looks like a god buy! Great review! :)

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting read, I love those kinds of reviews. Great job!! I am glad you found 2 products to your liking. "KTee" xx

Witoxicity said...

@Naoko
My pleasure, Naoko. This lotion doesn't feel very heavy on application. It sinks into the skin within a few minutes. Body lotions, butters or creams, it doesn't matter which, as long as it works, right? :D

@Shop N' Chomp
Oh, you too? Yeah, I don't quite understand why certain areas of the body tend to be so much drier than other parts. In my case, my upper chest and upper back area are often covered (more so in winter!), so it's not a case of over-exposed skin! Well, good luck with finding Kneipp there. :)

@Michelle
Thanks, Michelle. :)

@KTee
Thank you, KTee. I love writing articles like this. They may be long and time-consuming to write, but I always enjoy learning the history behind brands. I'm pleased you appreciate such efforts. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the background story of this brand. Very interesting. Great article my dear. Take care, Nicole x

The Diva's Polish said...

Another great post. Love the background and history behind the product. I'm addicted to creams, lotions and potions. However, not as dedicated as you to actually finish a bottle. Hopeless, in fact ;) xx

Witoxicity said...

@Nicole
Thank you, Nicole! As always, I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I hope you'll have a great day! :)

@The Diva's Polish
I've always labelled myself a lipbalm addict, but now that I think about it, I must be addicted to creams, lotions and potions too, just like you. In recent years, I've become more disciplined with finishing every bottle, but hey, I used to be guilty of leaving many a bottle half-finished! Let the guilt creep in, my dear, and you can change too. ;D

DinaXYYan said...

The story behinds this brand is really interesting! Thanks for sharing it with us :)
Wow, you're on 3rd tube of this lotion? this must be really good!

Witoxicity said...

@Dina
My pleasure! Yes, third tube. It works great for my super-dry, irritated skin, so I stay loyal. :)