Germantown skin-care shop soothes a raw hide

    I am not a dermatologist and I haven’t played one on TV, but I do have skin and this summer, it was completely baffled by the weather.

    One minute, it was 90 degrees and humid; the next, we were awash in torrential rain. If weather were a politician, it would be accused of flip-flopping. My dermis is sick and tired of being jerked around by Candidate Climate.

    Alternately dry and flaky or lathered in an oily sweat like a thoroughbred at Churchill Downs, my tortured skin can’t tell which way is up. I’m no help. Do I moisturize? Do I exfoliate? Do I molt and start anew? To what do I entrust the care of my all-important lady-pelt?

    I have high standards for skincare. I won’t accept just any product. I may demand to see its birth certificate several times — long form please.

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    Fortunately, there’s Yadain, purveyor of natural body products, nestled into a busy Germantown nook at Greene Street and Maplewood Avenue. They are not dermatologists either, as far as I know, but general manager Ashaki has plenty of recommendations for my dilemma.

    “Yadain is Arabic for ‘two hands,'” she said, explaining the significance of the name is that “everything in the store is made naturally by two hands.”

    I liked it. Sounds like a place I can trust. My impression was confirmed when I learned that Yadain has served Germantown for six years. They have been successful enough to expand to a second location at 12th and Chestnut streets last year.

    For wet, humid days when sweat and oils have a tendency to collect on the skin, Ashaki suggested the African Black Soap traditionally made in West African countries, notably Ghana.

    It’s been around for centuries and is usually produced from a mixture of dried plantains, palm kernel oil, and cocoa pod powder, though formulas vary. Ashaki assured me that it’s great for fighting a number of skin conditions including “eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.”

    What about those low humidity days that wreak havoc on my dry, crusty parts? Ashaki pointed me in the direction of Yadain’s Peppermint Body Balm, a creamy concoction made from mango, avocado and peppermint designed to return moisture to the skin. As we endured the devastating heat of the summer sandal season, this may have been just what I needed to protect my cloven hooves and make them presentable for public display.

    Last but not least, any recommendations for the fellas? They need your help, too, Ashaki. They think that the “weathered look” is masculine and perfectly acceptable. I’ve tried to explain to them that this is a no-go unless you are Clint Eastwood. Even Robert Redford’s boyish charm can’t eclipse the fact that these days his skin has the leathery texture of a Slim Jim.

    Ashaki nodded. No problem. For those looking to keep their man-hides a bit more supple in all kinds of weather, there are Yadain’s raw shea butters infused with various oils. Totally manly, I promise. It’s raw, and the crumbly texture is just rugged enough that you won’t mind slathering it on.

    Now I’m ready for any dubious flip-flop that Candidate Climate may propose. Rain? Scorching heat? Unseasonable cold? No problem. My lady-pelt and I, once in danger of being displayed alongside other leathery pachyderms in the Academy of Natural Sciences, have discovered several handmade options to help us endure the season’s unpredictable weather woes.

    Yadain is located at 5532 Greene St., Philadelphia, 19144. It’s open Mon. – Sat. 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sun 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 215-991-9001 for more information.

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