Almost a decade ago I was lucky enough to travel to a tropical Island in Australia for my 30th birthday. My man had thought of everything. Planned a surprise party and got 10 of my best friends to attend… luxury accommodation, beginners diving course, whale watching, night turtle spotting. And then on my birthday, the biggest surprise of all. I am sure he was hoping to make a big impression with it… but my hysterical laughter perhaps was not the impression he was hoping for.

You see my man is all man…. but he is a bit of hairy man. Rugged hairy chest, hairy legs, hairy… well…. He’s very hairy. We’ve been together for over 5 years and I don’t know where he got the idea that I wasn’t into hairy…. but wherever he got it from… for my 30th birthday night… he presented himself to me in modern day, adult movie form. Completely hairless, from chin, to ankle.

After my laughter subsided, and I had soothed his obviously hurt feelings… I must admit it was rather nice. I am too much of lady to go into more detail than that thankyou… but it was my man in a different form which was very exciting for a night. The next day was brilliant too. A bike ride around the island(only 15klms) some snorkelling where we saw dolphins, turtles and all manner of fish, then a seafood dinner beside the ocean as the sunset, cocktails by the pool and a walk along the beach before retiring early to our boudoir. Then things got even funnier… for a while… then quickly rather more serious…. though still very funny.

My man’s previously beautiful smooth body, was now somewhat sunburnt, but additionally, covered in red spots that were obviously pretty uncomfortable. Ever get shaving rash? Bikini Rash? Well imagine full body shaving rash, in all your sensitive areas. My man understood he needed to shave his body with a seriously sharp razor…. But he did not count on it being blunt by the time he finished. Shaving his whole body was like shaving his face 30 times over in terms of how much surface area was covered…. And he’d touched up certain bits without shaving cream in the shower the next day. Then…. Go for a leisurely but long bike ride, and then ride again after swimming, with salt water soaked board shorts with some coarse coral sand also in situ.

Hairy man now smooth? Yes, admittedly, that had been rather special. Smooth, reddish man covered in angry red shaving rash? Not so sexy, for me or him. Obviously, he was in a LOT of discomfort. Did I mention we were on a tropical Island? OK, so there is a small pharmacy….. but it closes at 5pm and opens at 10am…. So at this point we were looking at 12 hours before we could get some serious pharmaceuticals like a cortisone steroid cream to reduce the inflammation. My man, was not going to make it… and my evening as well… well… it looked like it was going to be seriously ruined.

Then I remembered reading somewhere that Lavender Oil is great for skin conditions and I suggested we rub some on his rash. We’d brought some as part of a little first aid kit, and were also using it in a little oil burner. Mr Man was dubious and dabbed a bit directly on to an inflamed bit of skin. Yes, it gave some relief but also seemed to irritate due to strength. We diluted with some Olive Oil we’d been using for our barbecue and then reapplied. My Man’s face went from one of sheepish horror at his/our situation to one of great relief. The rash reduced in anger visibly before our very eyes and was also immediately less uncomfortable.  In fact, the oil worked so well that we did not even bother going to the pharmacy the next day, we just applied it liberally twice a day and after 3 days the rash was virtually gone, and in the meantime, it was not more than a light uncomfortable.

Our holiday ended on a high, but it could quite easily have been a disaster. I’ve always been a little sceptical of the use of natural oils in beauty and grooming products. It seems to me they are put in only as a sales tools, in quantities so small compared with the main ingredients they could not possibly have any beneficial effect. My opinions regarding this remain unchanged… but my opinions as to whether certain oils actually have healing and soothing properties… well that has certainly changed.

So. Got chaffing or shaving rash? Mix together:-
1 part Lavender Oil.
2 parts Olive Oil (Doesn’t need to be extra virgin!)

Spread liberally over the effect area. Apply as often as desired, but probably won’t need to be applied more than twice a day.

If you suffer from a shaving rash, don’t wear salty clothes, and remove all sand from swimmers as soon as possible after exiting the ocean… and certainly don’t ride a pushbike before doing so!

I turn 40 in 3 weeks, and Mr Man has been walking around with a mischievous look in his eyes again. I’m not sure what he is up to…. but no matter, the Lavender Oil Bottle has become a permanent fixture in our travel kit.