HIV meds leave my skin so dry and itchy that I've been known to claw my legs bloody. Bathing with name-brand soaps makes it worse, and dermatologists offer little salve-ation. So I've taken matters into my own hands: I make a glycerin soap with olive oil (great for dry skin) and yucca (a cactus-derived herb). Most hobby shops sell kits for stove-top or microwave brewing. But if craft is not your thing, you can order a close second for $5 from It’s packed with olive oil, yucca, coconut and corn oil in a choice of sweet scents. Suds up for a power shower.

  —Jack Kaplan, Edgewood, New Mexico