Old Softie: Avon Skin So Soft

So last weeks post about Avon seemed to be a fairly popular, and never being one to let a chance to ride a train right off the rails get away, I decided to go forth and actually get some of the Skin-So-Soft that I originally thought was going to be in the small bottle.

So I bid on a larger one, and won.

I guess that I have a nebulous grip at best on sizes. I read that this was a six-ounce bottle and of course looking at it (as I am doing as I type this) I get that six ounces is actually a pretty decent amount if you are going for something like body oil in a decorative dispenser. It’s a luxurious amount of Eau de Cologne and an almost vulgar amount of perfume. On the other hand it would be a parsimonious serving of Prosecco, so take what you will from that. I was surprised and pleased, and the kitschy bottle is wonderful. I’m just glad I didn’t pop for the 20 ouncer of SSS I spied on Amazon.

So what is the stuff like? Well, I am not sure that my impressions shouldn’t be taken with several caveats: the bottle isn’t new and although it was in the box (and there’s an ingredients list) I have no idea if it was made in 2019 or 1920- perhaps one of you could chime in? I’m thinking likely 1990’s? The juice itself is clear as a bell. The ingredients list are isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate and mineral oil, alcohol, fragrance and a few other tongue-twisters. Shea butter it isn’t. It’s certainly from back in the day when “Better Living Through Chemicals” was the order of the day, but I am just putting it on skin, not cooking with it or gargling. It seems like more of an old school skin-sealant than a modern moisturiser. The kind you put on to let your skin replenish it’s natural oils. Frankly I am unconvinced that most of these modern products with their miracle ingredients are much more efficacious- I know there are things like liquid nicotine that are contact poisons, but I don’t really know of any contact vitamins. But chacun à son goût. It also has a distinct if not unpleasant smell to it: A peppery citrus-peel smell that faces a bit to a slightly musky lanolin scent, like the stuff in old-style moisturizers. I like it, but I think it might interfere with whatever I put on that I really want to smell like. If I were a long, hot bath in the evening sort of person (Which will only happen with looto winnings, the purchase of my own home, and converting the swimming pool into my tub) I could see myself slathering this on my freshly-exfoliated self. Since I am a shower in the AM sort of guy, I will content myself with using it on my hands and arms after the rigorous washings I give them a couple times a day.

So, do you use Skin So Soft? Have you moved on from it, or is it something that you never used at all? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Images: My iPhone, Pexels and the interwebs. My bottle was purchased on eBay.

  • Nancy Key says:

    I’m an Avon consultant. You can click this link to see the wonderful products available now http://www.youravon.com/nkey

  • Jeannette Digirolamo says:

    Yes! I use Avon SSS. I’m an Avon Lady. More for myself…and I have a few customers who order a few times a year. I prefer over lotion. I use on my legs before shaving. My husband has very weathered skin from hard work his whole life, and so much in the heat and sun. He uses a spray bottle after a shower before drying off. He doesn’t know why he didn’t do something like that a long time ago.

    And yes, it works as a bug repellent (not for deep woods and more extreme situations). Better for my skin than other bug repellents. I’ve had men buy it for fishing trips.

  • Musette says:

    In Spring and Summer I spend ALLADETIME out in the garden, so I slather it on before going out, seems to keep the bugs at bay. In general. I wore it on my first trip to Africa – seemed to work then, too. Mostly. I did contract dengue fever, though, so make of that what you will.
    I don’t really get much of a smell from it – (my bottles are current) – or maybe I’m just anosmic to it now. I do shower after gardening, so it never interacts with any perfumed ‘thing’ I put on.


    • Tom says:

      Maybe this is more highly perfumed because it’s older stuff and has.. aged.

      We always thought it was a mosquito repellent. Since Western Mass was Mosquito Central in the summer, we would use it. Along with candles and those weird things that look like the burners on an electric stove that you lit up.

      Oh, and big trucks that sprayed poison out of them.

  • March says:

    Man, I love those snails so much. I might need to troll eBay for one. SSS was (for us) an alleged mosquito repellent. I don’t know that I thought it worked so great, and I ended up associating the smell with that sole task. The Asian tiger mosquitos back east are terrible; they arrived, I think, somewhere in the nineties while I was gone, and they’re out from sun-up. I ended up resorting to long sleeves and a hat soaked in DEET most of the time.

    • Tom says:

      Jeebus they have a NEW kind of mosquito? Lordy, I remember the ones they had when I was growing up were bad enough.

      I wonder if any of those things actually worked or if it was just a totem against them. We had the city spraying stuff all summer. I remember when I moved to LA and they had to spray for the medfly and people were apoplectic- covering up cars, not going out for hours, etc. At home we’d just sit on the porch and wave at the nice truck driver spraying mosquito death as he drove by.

      In retrospect it likely wasn’t good for us either, but neither was malaria.

    • Nancy Key says:

      I’m an Avon consultant if you are ever interested my link is http://www.youravon.com/nkey. We have a lot of new products you would enjoy and still SSS repellent.

  • Kathleen says:

    I grew up in northern Canada where the mosquitos were plentiful and vicious in the summer. I used SSS as mosquito repellent. I’m not sure how well it worked; however, I preferred the scent compared to the the awful scent of the chemical repellants.

    • Tom says:

      That’s definitely true. The other ones I think repelled by odor. I know they repelled me.

  • alityke says:

    Cute bottle!
    I’m sure I used SSS bath oil at some point as my teenage besties mum sold Avon. I have no memory of the smell though.
    Looking on Avon UK SSS is now a dry body oil in differing sizes & formulations. No more fall hazard baths!
    Being a died in the wool researcher I found this peer reviewed paper https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2045813/
    Turns out SSS does work as a stop bug bites compared to untreated controls, but not as well as sprays containing deet. It kills the blighters but trapping them in the oil. The abstract is worth a quick read if you like that sort of thing.
    Gawd allamightee I am a nerd!

  • cinnamon says:

    Those bottles! How good are those 🙂 I got some SSS a number of years ago before a trip to some place tropical on the basis it’s supposed to repel small evil flying critters. I also got some high octane stuff with warnings on the package and ended up using that. Meaning I never smelled the SSS and I have no clue now what happened to the bottles. In any case, this sounds pleasant and if I’d been an Avon girl growing up I’d probably know the deal with all their stuff. But I wasn’t.

    • Tom says:

      Those bottles are cute as pie as they’d say in the South.

      Avon was a good and bad thing. The really good thing was that they were genuinely good products at reasonable prices that you could get in your house. The bad side is that it’s kind of an MLM thing, and that you sort of feel like you have to order something if the person who’s presenting it is a neighbor. But the latter complaint is kind of mitigated by the former. It’s not like they’re selling Vitameatavegemin or Herbaplex.

    • Nancy Key says:

      I’m an Avon consultant if you are ever interested my link is http://www.youravon.com/nkey. We have a lot of new products you would enjoy and still SSS repellent.

  • Maya says:

    I really do like those snails. Skin So Soft is so familiar to me but I can’t place it. I don’t think I ever bought it or wore it for any purpose. I did check to confirm something though. Citrus is a bug repellant so I’m guessing SSS does work against mosquitos. It makes me wonder what the lovely Verano Porteño by Frassai which is a citrus and jasmine perfume would do. The jasmine would lure the bugs in, then the citrus would chase them away again? 😉

    • Tom says:

      I love the snails!

      I love the idea of the poor confused mosquito going “yes, yes, yes” the “no, no, oh hail no!”

  • Pam says:

    Tom, this made my day. I’m still laughing. Thanks! Yes, I remember this stuff. If you used it, it acted as a mosquito repellant. Really. That’s what people used to say. So I can remember using it in the summer when we went on a vacation to the beach. And the association remains. I shall forever think of it as mosquito repellant.

    • Tom says:

      I heard that and have for years- I think that was a rumor that Avon ladies weren’t going to poo-pooh since they could at least get a few sales out if, and who could blame them? I’m sure any mosquito who tired to land on a newly SSS-slicked limb would slide off as if on warm Teflon.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m aware of Skin So Soft but didn’t grow up using it often because of the danger it presented in the bathroom, turning the tub into a greasy slipping hazard if too much was used. I also remember using Neutrogena’s body oil which had a unisex nutty scent a bit like Sesame oil. Nowadays I have a bottle of coconut oil I use sometimes instead of lotion. Takes me forever to use up oil; I prefer lotion.

    • Tom says:

      Maybe that’s why back in the day everyone had in their tub those weird blobby rubber daisy sticker?