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Moisturizers Worthy of History’s Greatest Polar Explorers

These Arctic and Antarctic adventurers pioneered the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the face of the planet, suffering everything from scurvy to frostbite. Soothing lotions wouldn’t have done much to help in those departments, sure, but at least the cocoa butter in Kiehl’s Creme de Corps would have nourished their cracked feet and hands. (Let's ignore, for a minute, that lotions tend to freeze in sub-zero temperatures.) Here, we salute five of the greatest polar explorers of all time. If we could, we’d have sent them off with a tub of Crème de Corps to aid them in their travels.

Sir Robert Falcon Scott

Falcon Scott

A torpedo specialist, Scott joined the British Navy in 1881 at the tender age of 13. He attempted to become the first to reach the South Pole on two occasions, only to be beaten there by Roald Amundsen on his second attempt. He eventually reached the pole on January 17, 1912, but froze to death on his return voyage. A little J.R. Watkins Peppermint Foot Salve with olive fruit and safflower seed oils wouldn't have saved him, but it might have eased the pain of wicked frostbite.

Roald Amundsen


Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole in December 1911 and the first to reach the North Pole in 1926. He disappeared in 1928 while flying to the North Pole to rescue a lost explorer. The search for his plane’s wreckage still continues today. As the true granddaddy of polar exploration, this Norwegian is awarded with the biggest size of Kiehl's Creme de Corps available—a full liter.

Ernest Shackleton


Sent home early on health grounds from Sir Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery Expedition (1901-1904), this Irishman set his sights on being the first to cross the Antarctic continent from sea to sea in what would be called the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17). Disaster struck when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed. Shackleton single-handedly saved his entire marooned crew. A hero of his ilk probably deserves to have a moisturizer named after him, but one with the same name will do. We recommend ERNEST SUPPLIES. It comes in a pouch, making it perfect for schlepping or trekking.

Fridtjof Nansen


Nansen, a champion skier and ice-skater, deserves a nod for sporting the best mustache of our explorers. He led the team that made the first crossing of Greenland in 1888 and deliberately froze his boat in Arctic pack ice to follow ice currents to the North Pole. Decades later, after retiring from arctic travel, he won a Nobel Peace Prize. Given his many heroic diplomatic and humanitarian efforts, we figure this guy would no doubt have appreciated the healing effects of a good topical balm, like this mineral hand cream from AHAVA.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes


Fiennes—who is still alive today—amputated his own fingers in the throes of severe frostbite. As the first to cross Antarctica completely on foot, no one’s limbs and appendages deserve a healthy dose of lotion quite like his do. For the youngster of the polar explorer set, we recommend this new school Tall Drink Body Hydrator from Guythority by Jock Soap.

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