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I'm in my mid-30s, and while I struggle constantly with dry skin on my hands and combination skin on my face, I've (mostly) been lucky when it comes to the condition of the skin on my body. I used to have quite the large collection of scented body lotions; I LOVE fun scents in bath and body products.
And then I developed an allergy or sensitivity. If I cut myself shaving my legs and used one of my scented body lotions, the cut would get irritated and wouldn't heal. I'd sometimes get rashes where I'd used the lotions, too. I had to give away all my scented lotions, and it made me very sad.
I got the opportunity to try the Indie Lee Lemongrass Calendula Body Lotion ($22), and I was excited. It doesn't contain any dyes or artificial fragrances, so I thought it would be safe to take a chance on it, even considering my past skin issues. Well, I've been using it on my legs (generally the only place I use body lotion) for over a month now, and I'm pleased to report that it's compatible with my skin! No rash, no itching, and if I cut myself while shaving my legs, this doesn't interfere with the healing process.
The lemongrass scent predominates, although there's a touch of something else (calendula, I suppose). So if you are a fan of lemongrass, you will probably like the scent a lot. I am very happy that the scent comes from lemongrass oil and calendula flower oil, as I almost always have better luck with natural fragrances. The fragrance is strongest when this is fresh out of the bottle and doesn't last too long once you apply the lotion.
This is a fairly thick body lotion but is easy to spread around, and it rubs in easily without leaving residue. I feel that it is a decent moisturizer — maybe not the best I have ever used, but certainly competitive with a lot of products out there. I have tried it both on my legs after towel-drying them and while they were still a bit wet from the shower. This actually works fairly well on wet legs. My skin feels reasonably soft and smooth after use, as well as on the next day. (I use it once a day during the evening after my shower.)
The ingredients list is pretty simple. I never have much trouble understanding what ingredients are because I have a Ph.D. in chemistry, but the ingredients list for Indie Lee body lotion should be understandable to non-specialists, as well. I particularly like that the tube lists the sources of some of the ingredients (For example, it notes that the glycerin is from coconut oil). Certain ingredients in cosmetic and skin care products can come from either animal or plant sources, and it's nice to know which you're getting. I appreciate it when companies are upfront about that sort of thing.
Glycerin, in combination with water, is excellent at drawing moisture into the skin and keeping it there, and those are the first two ingredients. Other moisturizing ingredients will be recognizable to people who are used to reading labels: jojoba oil, soybean oil, shea butter. This product contains stearic acid (also sourced from coconut oil), which is a fatty acid that is probably helping to hold the oil/water emulsion together (cetearyl alcohol and myristyl myristate also help with this). Phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin are preservatives and are used as alternatives to parabens. There has been a small amount of evidence that these last two may be irritants, but they're present in this product in pretty small amounts. If you have any doubt as to whether or not these compounds will be an issue, you can always try a patch test before using this lotion over a large area of your body.
Indie Lee is Leaping Bunny certified (so, their products are not tested on animals). In sum, this is a decent moisturizer with all natural (and vegan) ingredients. The smell is pleasant and the lotion has been non-irritating.