Everything You Wanted To Know About Lotion But Were Afraid To Ask

By Michael Harriot

As summer approaches, the heavily melanated portion of the population faces the perpetually re-occurring prospect of fighting the problem that has plagued tbe Black race since prehistory–ashiness. While winter poses its own unique dry-skin-challenges, spring and summer outfits dictate that one step up their lotion game to the highest level. Never fear. As a public service, NegusWhoRead is here to dissect lotion and everything surrounding it to its smallest micrometer.

Choosing the right lotion This is one of the most important part of your overall moisturizing strategy. The right lotion is dependent on a variety of factors including:

  1. How dark skinnededed you are – The amount of melanin in your skin is important. If you are a deep chocolate hue, don’t buy a light-skinnedededed lotion. Yes, there is such a thing. Because ash is more prominent on dark skin, you need something that will reach into the crevices–especially on your knees and elbows. While White people can rush into Wal Mart and grab a bottle of Vaseline-brand lotion, my skin will sop that shit up like biscuits and gravy. You need something with some heft on it–like some Eucerin, or pure cocoa butter. A good rule of thumb is–if it cakes up around the outside of the lotion container, it’s pretty good.
  2. Spend some money – What the hell is that store-brand Equate lotion going to do with your negro knees?  Sure, they’ll look good when you first put it on, but by noon you’ll look like you were kneeling in an ashtray.
  3. Know the ingredients – Cosmetics companies love to put made-up names for ingredients in their products like Olay Regenerist. They’ll have you thinking your lotion is made of rhinoceros tears and the blood of Jesus, when it’s really nothing but Crisco and perfume. Remember, you have melanin, you don’t need SPF 423. You just want to fight the white stuff.
  4. The shine factor – This is very important. If you are as dark as I am, you must be careful to choose a lotion that makes you glow like your mama just wiped the leftover Blue Magic on your face. I’m sure I have caused a few plane crashes from the reflection from the shine after I have made the wrong choice in lotion, walking around looking like a turned-off iPhone.

Male lotioning vs Female lotioning technques – Many women have a very intricate lotioning technique that involves sitting on the side of the bed as soon as they get out of the shower and rubbing lotion all over their body for two segments of any show on Lifetime TV or OWN. They begin with their legs and continue to all the parts they can reach. In fact, one of the easiest ways to tell if a woman is really single or not is to rub the small of her back. If her skin is silky smooth there, she’s taken–no matter what she says. How is she getting dabs of lotion there without a partner?

Men, on the other hand, get dressed, drive to where they’re going, and just before they get out of the car, they dab some Nivea on the forearms, elbows and the area between the thumb and forefingers. I know what you’re thinking – What about the knees? If you’re around any man who is wearing an outfit that shows his knees, you need to re-evaluate your life choices in who you choose to hang around.

The most important lotion Areas – As previously stated, there are some people who keep every part of their bodies moisturized while others, like me, concentrate solely on the parts that are showing. There are a few parts that deserve more attention than others. Here are the top ten ranked in order of importance from least to most:

5. Elbows – you can’t see them, but trust me, they’re ashy
4. Knees – You aren’t praying that much. If you were, Jesus would’ve healed your white knees.
3. The ashy meat – I believe that little piece of meat between the thumb and index finger serves no other purpose except as an ash indicator. If you ned lotion there, you need some in other places
2. Feet – Especially if you wear sandals. Trust me, no one want’s to suck on your feet just because they look like someone sprinkled confectioner’s sugar on your toes. And exfoliate the back of the heel! Putting lotion on dead, dry skin is like making out with a virgin–You might get it a moist for a little while, but… so what?
1. Knuckles – Unless you are a bare knuckle brawler or repair carburetors for a living, there is no reason for your knuckles to be that gray.

Be careful –  Be careful whose lotion you borrow. Trust me, your mate knows which lotion, soap and toothpaste you use, so please don’t leave home smelling like Dial and cocoa butter and return smelling like Irish Spring and Nutrogena. It’s not a good look. Furthermore, some people use scented lotion as part of their overall perfume game so be careful who you rub on. I like my lotion like I like my toilet paper and vagina–unscented (Editors note: I should have edited that out, but I thought it was kinda funny). There was a time during the early 2000’s when every woman smelled slightly of Victoria’s Secret apple lotion — even if they were wearing underwear from Wal Mart. I also know men whose strip club preferences are broken down by whether the dancers wear glitter lotion, which creates one of the greatest conundrums since Prince vs Michael Jackson. On one hand, trying to wash glitter lotion out of your clothes is the 32nd leading cause of water waste (according to a statistic I made up a few seconds ago), but the shining shimmering of skin is incredibly attractive.

Hotep lotions – There is always a friend at work, a dude who wears a Daishiki or a woman in your beauty parlor who wants to share the secret to healthy skin. They’ll tell you to it is everything from jojoba oil to praying over the leaves of the eucalyptus plant and rubbing it across your face. I’m sure you’ve heard these hotep theories, “You know, when we were in Africa all we used is monkey scrotums and the sweat from underneath the titties of a new mother…” Don’t trust that bullshit. If you try to moisturize with those concoctions, they’ll have you breaking out like you have elbow herpes. A friend once told me to mix my pee with Shea butter and I’d have the best lotion ever created. I won’t lie, I almost thought about trying it because she did have beautiful, glowing skin…

But she always smelled kinda funny.

Plus, I could always tell when she had eaten Asparagus.

Stay moist, my friends.

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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