Free shipping on all orders over $39

Porter's Lotion for very dry skin- shared by Angela

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Oily Skin
Reviewed by Angela September 22, 2010 16 Comments
See Angela's profile

With Copley’s and Julie Kay’s posts about their hand regimens, and the advance of cold, winter weather, I thought it was the perfect time to share my favorite dry skin lotion with the TIA community.  First a little bit of background.

I lived in New York City for most of my life, where winters can be brutally cold and dry (though mid-Westerners might scoff at what I consider “brutal”), while in buildings and on public transportation the heat is always turned up so they are intolerably hot and dry.  These extreme fluctuations in temperature plus the lack of moisture in the air caused my skin to become so dry that my hands and heels would crack and bleed, and my legs would itch unbearably and the skin would flake off in chunks. I tried everything I could find and while lotions and creams provided very temporary relief, nothing healed my skin.

One winter day in 2003 I was in my favorite natural pharmacy in Manhattan and I asked one of the staff what I could use for my extremely dry, winter skin. He suggested Porter’s Lotion and handed me the bottle.  Didn’t I see this stuff in a J. Peterman catalog in the 1980s?  I thought he was crazy; it was a liquid in a spray bottle.  How could a liquid provide any moisture or relief?  I thought only something heavy and greasy could help me.

He sprayed some in my hand and explained that the strong medicinal smell would quickly dissipate. Initially I smelled ammonia, and then a hint of rosemary. I’m something of a fan of medicinal smells, so I wasn’t bothered by it, in fact, I liked it. It wasn’t at all greasy and soaked right into my hands.  It stung slightly because my hands were badly cracked, but after that it felt nice. Really nice. I decided to buy it, as they never steered me wrong before and I’m so glad I did.

Within three days of using it my legs stopped itching and flaking. It took about a week for my hands to heal. Heal. Porter’s actually healed my skin.  Nothing -- no cream, no lotion -- ever healed my skin. Porter’s has been my constant companion since.  People have commented on how smooth and soft my hands are.  Even in the dead of winter.

I've recently relocated to the Bay Area, so I won't have to deal with brutal winters, but Porter's remains my go-to lotion.  I keep a bottle at the office, where handling paper all day robs my hands of what little natural oils they have - and because it’s not greasy, I can spray it on whenever I need to.  After each time I wash my hands, I spray on the Porter’s.  I keep a bottle in the car.  I have a travel size in my purse.  There’s a bottle in the kitchen and one in the bathroom.

This is the kind of product that even if Marta -- my skincare product guru -- gave a thumbs down to, I would be hard-pressed to give it up because it has helped me so much.

Porter’s Lotion Original Formula (8.45 fl. oz. - $12 at


Water, Witch Hazel Distilled, Glycerin, Alcohol (Denat.), Greensoap (U.S.P.), Ammonium Carbonate, Camphor, Rosemary Oil
  • November 5, 2012

    by Lauren Mercury

    Does this product work well on feet and elbows? I am a marathon runner and am looking for something special in the winter.

  • November 2, 2012

    by Michelle G

    I'm a great lover of Porter's too for super dry (cracked, bleeding, itchy) skin. Our entire family loves it in winter - smells a bit odd, but works to deliver relief very fast. It has also worked wonders on my son's eczema.

  • November 1, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    What I left out (above) is the remedies I use, many of them, I learned from my Grandmother (my dad's mom), or I learned from my Mother who would tell me how she learned from her Mother (this is a grandmother I never had the pleasure to know, my mom's mom). I cherish every tiny wee bit of knowledge I can pass to my family and hope they accept it as the gift it is... ~jk

  • November 1, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    Angela J! I dunno how I missed this commentary, but I'm happy to have found it now (thanks, Marta, for including Porter's in your Dry Skin Regimen 10-31-12). I agree w Junko and want to add my measure: I've come to believe there are many Auld World Remedies that are simply vanishing and not being handed down to younger generations now as was tradition in times past. I still use medicinal solutions for many things and look for holistic cures when I am desperate. Porter's is a good example of a simple old and basic recipe that works. Brilliant! ~jk

  • April 11, 2012

    by Ladybug

    I was clued into Porter's several years ago and have been extremely pleased with it ever since. I have never felt that creams or ointments did me any good whatsoever and I have never liked putting cream on my face because it always felt like I was putting on a mask. Porter's has been an answer to a prayer! It can be a trifle stingy if my face or hands are chapped but it soon feels fine. I love the scent, to me it is just a nice clean smell. I also like that it is made with simple ingredients. I would recommend it to anyone

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More