Well, it's that time of year again: eggnog, holiday shopping and rashes! Not so pretty, I know, but as the weather gets colder and the heater is on full blast, the skin gets drier. Not to mention all the flying in store to visit the folks which leaves skin parched. It's usually in December when I break out in mild winter-itch rashes, and that's obviously Bumsville.

Holiday shopping with a friend, we made our way over to the West Village, home to C.O. Bigelow. Bigelow is a pretty old (established 1838) and landmark apothecary that I love to visit when I'm in the area. The store has it's own line that is also sold at Bath & Body Works, offering a high-end option for shoppers.

This year, I was drawn to the Lotio Mentholus Analgesic Lotion. The packaging is modern and attractive, and the product promised to treat itchy, dry skin associated with skin conditions, rashes, hives and bug bites. Thankfully, I already had itchy skin and mild rashes to play guinea pig.

The active ingredient is camphor, a complex molecule found in the wood of camphor laurel (evergreen tree found in Asia), used primarily for its scent and medicinal purposes. Several anti-itch gels use camphor as it has calming and cooling properties, and it absorbs pretty fast. It also contains oat extract, which is great for moisturizing. There's other nice stuff in here, like lavender oil, peppermint leaf extract (which enhances the cooling feel, along with menthol) and rosemary oil. The scent is quite intense and medicinal (you definitely don't want to apply this before you go out on a date) but the oils give it a nice compromise.

While it definitely brought my skin moisturizing joy, I can't say that it did wonders for the rashes. They were temporarily assuaged, as expected, but didn't completely disappear after several days. I knocked those suckers out the old-fashion way (hydrocortisone cream). The quick relief, however, was pleasant, and I have a feeling this lotion will be the magic wand for relieving sunburn pain when it's that time of year.