skin updates: moisturiser

shikai borage lotion


  • sweet almond oil: for more on it, see more on that multi-purpose oil
  • ShiKai borage dry skin remedy original unscented lotion: previously mentioned in ersatz (3): moisturiser
  • plus balm for lips and eyes (Dr Bronner unscented) and sunscreen (BurnOut Eco-Sensitive SPF 30; Elemental Herbs SPF 30 sunstick for lips & eyes).


1. Wash self.

2. Apply oil all over, face and body, to damp skin while in shower. On the face, be gentle: pat and press in rather than rubbing (more vigorous massage may be fine on others, but on me it can hurt skin). Some will rinse off; let the rest sink in while enjoying end of shower. Wash hair etc.

3. Ablutions completed, remove self from shower, wrap in towel. Oil by now will have mostly sunk in (doesn’t need to have sunk in completely, and heck, this is early in the morning and time is of the essence). Skin will still be damp, this is good.

4. Next step: apply moisturiser. Using hands. This may involve dabbing dots evenly over the skin, or just moving the stuff around, or some combination. It’s early morning, and no-one’s looking. Apply to head, neck, throat, shoulders, all the way to the nipple-line. Eye area too.

5. Then apply balm to lips and eye area.

6. Do some other stuff while all that sinks in: hair, deodorant, clip toenails, dance around if body is still a bit damp. Once most of the dampness and oiliness on face has sunk in, apply sunscreen.

7. Done.

I’ve also done this skipping the step of oil, or using just oil, or oil on top. Oil on top: good, but takes longer to sink in, and sunscreen doesn’t apply as well. Oil underneath is faster, as it can be done while in the shower while I’m oiling the rest of myself up anyway.

UPDATE: 2014-02-20: Other comparison: plain oil alone. My face is I think as moist, and stays that way for as long. Method: as above, but skip moisturiser and apply oil to slightly dried (but still damp) skin.


The lotion is also decent on hands, when washing them after going to the toilet, doing the washing-up, and whenever else you’d wash your hands in everyday life. So is the hand cream version of this: it is denser, with less water in the formula (just in the aloe vera as I recall; whereas in the lotion, as is usual in lotions, water is the first and most plentiful ingredient).


  • usually skipping the step of serum
  • faster and simpler morning sequence: compared to showering, drying myself, serum, oil
  • the moisturiser at hand has some antioxidants (not much, but I’m not fussy and am fussier about getting plenty in food)
  • and all the good, right, virtuous omega fatty acids; I’ve used borage seed (starflower) oil previously, alone and in products like the Allergenics range. That was one reason I tried this stuff out in the first place, as Allergenics isn’t sold in North America and has to be shipped or hand-imported. My last lot got impounded by customs and had gone rancid by the time it got here (also, unlike Allergenics, this stuff has decent preservatives).
  • currently, unlike when I last used it, moisturises without breaking me out. Hurray. UPDATE: FAMOUS LAST WORDS. Yay zits (2014-02-20).
  • readily available in shops including some supermarkets here, and online for non-expensive
    CAD10.00-16.00 / 238 ml (8 oz)
  • cruelty-free
  • did I mention: helps my skin to stay stuck to my bones? even the flakiest bits? seems to be doing the job of retaining moisture; building moisture-retaining qualities, we’ll see. UPDATE (2014-02-20): but no better than plain oil alone.

I have a historically crappy skin barrier: thin fragile skin, a ginger classic. Hence why people think we’re thin-skinned in other ways: easy to upset and enrage, hot-tempered, fly off the handle at the drop of a hat, go bright red and fight people, that sort of nonsense. I for one am a lazy placid peace-loving type. Especially when that involves gentle walks in nice places like where I live, sitting down for cups of tea and glasses of wine, and generally lounging around in a civilised manner. All of which are assisted by my skin staying on me and not causing a fuss and disturbing my glass of wine, etc.


Purified water, aloe vera gel*, safflower seed oil, glyceryl stearate, glycerine, jojoba seed oil, borage seed oil, cetyl alcohol (vegetable wax), vitamin E acetate, dimethicone, shea butter, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), phenoxyethanol, L-ergothioneine, ethylhexyl glycerin.

*Certified organic


These OMEGA-6 products are specifically formulated to relieve dry cracked skin in just days AND promote the growth of healthy new skin cells for long-term benefits. They bring relief to those who suffer from chronic dry skin.

These borage products have been clinically tested and proven to work.


Many people have dry skin that just won’t go away and isn’t relieved with traditional moisturizers. This is why we’ve created ShiKai Borage Therapy. These products have an ingredient so effective, it’s been proven in medical journals again and again. In other words, it really works.

Borage oil, extracted from the seeds of the borage plant, is a natural source of gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), an important OMEGA-6 fatty acid which is required for healthy skin cell membranes. Without sufficient GLA, cells can’t retain enough moisture. This can result in dry skin and other chronic skin problems.

Borage oil penetrates deep, delivering GLA and its benefits directly to the cells. As a result, skin retains more moisture and is healthier.


Learn about this very valuable plant . . .

A clinical study using borage oil on infants with “cradle cap” showed significant results . . .  (read more)

BORAGE – A Little Known Secret for Maintaining Healthy Skin
It is a natural oil that not only restores moisture and smoothness to dry and damaged skin, but can also provide relief to people who suffer from chronic skin disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. . . (read more)

DIABETES AND DRY SKIN – Exploring the Link
In order to create and maintain moist, resilient and healthy skin, our cells require an important essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is not available in our diet. Instead our body must make it via a complex metabolic process . . . (read more)

SHIKAI BORAGE PRESENTATION, facts science, studies  (PDF)


  • ShiKai Borage therapy facial moisturiser

This used to be their 24-hour facial thingummy, and I stopped using it and the matching eye cream with irritation issues (minor, but still) with their old preservative. The current preservative is one that my skin is usually cool with, so: worth a test-drive.

But: more expensive than the lotion, more than twice the price.

Differences: not yet tested therefore not yet known in feel, finish, and functionality. On paper and ingredient-lists, the differences are, compared to the original lotion:

+ more borage seed and jojoba oils
+ avocado oil
+ batyl alcohol (emollient)

– no aloe vera
– no safflower seed oil
– no dimethicone
– no vitamin C (SAP)
– absence of the interesting antioxidant l-ergothioneine

INGREDIENTS (FACE): Purified water, borage seed oil, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, glycerine, glyceryl stearate SE, shea butter, vitamin E acetate, cetyl alcohol, batyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexyl glycerin.

INGREDIENTS (ORIGINAL): Purified water, aloe vera gel*, safflower seed oil, glyceryl stearate SE, glycerine, jojoba seed oil, borage seed oil, cetyl alcohol, vitamin E acetate, dimethicone, shea butter, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), phenoxyethanol, L-ergothioneine, ethylhexyl glycerin.


  1. Aidan

    I noticed that you put “yay zits” in an update… did the Shikai dry skin lotion break you out? I’m in search of a good moisturizer lotion and I have very similar skin to yours (mine is thin, Irish skin that is very dry, allergic to everything, easily turns red and itchy).

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