Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Soothe Dry, Cracked Cuticles with Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($5.99 for 0.60 oz.) is designed to help hydrate dry cuticles, brittle nails, and fingertips. It uses a combination of sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and cocoa butter to do so. It smells like lemonade–sweet, lemony, but it’s not synthetic. There’s a little tartness still left, so it’s not cloyingly sweet.

I’m one of those people who would love to use hand cream/lotion regularly, apply cuticle oil/cream nightly, and so on, but frankly, I suck at it. I always forget, and on the rare occasion I remember, half of the time, I’m too lazy.  I have hand cream by my nightstand and my desk.  I’m trying to improve those bad behaviors, because my hands really could use additional nourishment–especially as the temperatures come down.  What’s nice about this cuticle cream is how quickly it works and how effect it is even if you only use it sparingly.  I suffer from dry, dehydrated cuticles/fingertips; not so much cracked, definitely not bleeding, and I don’t have brittle nails, so those are the conditions which I tested this under.

I picked this up a few weeks during Drugstore.com’s big ol’ 40% off sale on a whim, and I’m really glad I did.  It comes in a metal tin, and inside is a solid balm.  It really is quite solid, which I thought would make it difficult to apply, but it actually encourages you to use less product (which is all you need) and minimizes any excess so you aren’t left with greasy fingertips.  Because it doesn’t immediately dry down, it’s best used at night, which is what’s recommended, and I always wake up with hydrated, soothed cuticles (and wherever else I put it).  In a pinch, it can also help moisturize dry spots as well as smooth flyaways.

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creams Soiree
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creams Soiree

Will You Part With Any One of These?

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Creams Soiree ($65.00 for 10 oz.) contains 10 one-ounce hand creams in a variety of scents. There are two regular Shea Butters, then one each of: Shea Date Bouquet, Lavender, Cherry Blossom, Rose 4 Reines, Fleur Cherie, Shea Mango Flower, Pivoine Flora, and Shea Rose Petals. The set also includes two gift bags–perfectly for breaking up the set and sharing the love with friends and family.

One of my favorite aspects of L’Occitane’s Hand Creams is how quickly they dry down. It’s one of the more important features of a hand cream that I’m always on the lookout for, because I want to apply it and then be able to resume doing whatever it is shortly after!  Though it feels like a cream, so it has a thicker, heavier consistency, it dries down quickly and feels lightweight on and never greasy.  The formula is effective and keeps my hands hydrated throughout the day.

I’ve only tried the regular, Date Bouquet, Lavender, and Mango Flower versions so far, but it’ll be fun to work through the rest of the scents.  (I have used both the regular and Lavender versions previously.) The versions with 20% seem thicker and richer to me, very cream-like, while ones that aren’t marked with that seem a bit lighter weight and almost like a gel-cream hybrid in consistency.

When I saw this set, I thought it was adorable, and after seeing it in person, it absolutely is. It’s a great kit to receive for sure, but it would also work incredibly well as stocking stuffers. I love the 1 oz. size, because then I can stash these all over the house, in my bag, the car, and travel-friendly.  You can purchase 1 oz. tubes of several of these versions separately, and those retail for $10 a pop, so the kit contains $100 worth of tubes (but they do offer larger sizes for some of the scents, too, and it is less-per-ounce with the larger sizes).

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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream
Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($18.50 for 2.5 oz.) is described as an “ultra-rich formula customized for the most dehydrated hands that offers supreme moisture, leaves hands soft, and promotes healthy-looking cuticles.”

Now, despite the usage of “brown sugar” in the title, it’s referring to the inclusiom of brown sugar crystals in the formula itself, but it has nothing to do with the scent. I know when I first tested this product out, I expected something sweet and food-ish, but the scent is actually a stronger, herbal-ish lemon. Distinctly lemon, but it almost borders on cloying and synthetic. I’m actually a fiend for lemon-y scent (seriously, I love all lemon-scented kitchen soaps!), but this smelled a little off.

ingredients: Water (Aqua), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot), Kernel Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Sucrose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caramel, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Triethanolamine, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Isohexadecane, Lecithin, Sorbitan Oleate, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol.

As a hand cream, it’s a decent product: a very thick, luxuriously textured cream that absorbs in a few minutes without leaving behind any greasy residue. It moisturizes well if you have normal skin, but when my hands are at their driest, I don’t find that it to outperform some of my favorites (like Jack Black Hand Healer). It just leaves my hands shy of feeling truly soothed and infused with moisture. This seems to do better at locking in existing moisture while imparting some but not quite enough.

It’s not bad, and it’s better than average, but I don’t think it will work well for those with particularly dry or cracked hands.  I did like the texture and how quickly the product absorbed (which can always be an issue in thicker creams like this one).   If your hands are in better shape and the scent catches your fancy, I think this will do the trick for you.

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream
Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream

Battle of the Hand Creams: Jack Black

I’m a constant hand washer, so my hands are often in a sad state.  Even though I’ve made many attempts to become a regular user of hand cream, it was only recently that I’ve decided it’s about time and I’m determined to go through and do a little Battle of the Hand Creams here on the blog.

Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream ($15.00 for 3 oz.) is a man’s man’s hand cream.  It’s incredibly moisturizing, even on the toughest, cracked and peeling hands (or feet!) and never feels greasy.  It has this manly scent–it’s woodsy with a little eucalyptus, but it’s not really unpleasant nor something I’d like to bathe myself in.  I don’t find the scent overwhelming, and it certainly doesn’t linger for long on my hands.

This is definitely one of the better hand creams I’ve tried, because it absorbs quickly and you won’t need to apply it several times a day.  I’ve been using it just before I go to bed, and my hands have certainly improved–less “old lady” like.  It has silicone in it, which really helps to keep it from feeling greasy (has a softer, more velvety feel) and adds a bit of a barrier on skin–much like a face primer, actually!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have cracking or peeling skin on your hands/feet, I think it’s worth trying this.  If you don’t find yourself with very dry hands, a more affordable hand cream might work just as well for you.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream ($17.50 for 2.5 fl. oz.) is a rich (and thick!) cream designed to keep hands hydrated for up to twelve-hours and is touted as a “restorative cream” that’s fit for hands and cuticles.

Clinique has created a rich and creamy hand cream that sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue. These are pretty much must-have characteristics in any daytime hand cream I keep on my desk (which is where I must keep them, or else I’d never remember to use them ever!). It’s a hand cream that does exactly what it should and without any fuss. It’s scent-free, takes about an oversized pea-sized dollop to get an even application on both hands, and it lasts for hours.

I couldn’t tell you if it lasts twelve hours, but I’d say my hands are significantly less dry throughout the day, and I usually apply it once in the morning and once in the afternoon (if I’m good!). In terms of overall positioning in my hand cream favorites, Clinique comes in as a new favorite, but it’s still edged out of first by Ellen Sirot’s Hand Perfection. However, Hand Perfection is pricier and less accessible, whereas Clinique is more affordable and readily available.

Bottom Line: While Clinique’s new hand cream for the wintertime does seem a bit on the pricier side, but so far the tube has lasted me a month now, and I imagine it’ll take me to February, so three to four months of usage is good enough to justify the price to me. When I come across a hand cream that’s rich in moisture but zero on the grease-factor, I’m all over it, and Clinique wins on both counts!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For long-lasting moisturized hands, Clinique’s new Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream works well without any frills.

Availability: Clinique, Nordstrom

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is one of the best hand creams I’ve ever slathered on my paws. My hands take a beating, because I constantly wash them, and I’m less-than-perfect about regularly applying near enough hand cream/lotion to keep them in tip top shape.

With the labrasnore running around, wiggling for attention all the time, and it, of course, being absolutely impossible to resist, I pet him, but then I wash my hands afterward. (Hey, since becoming acne-prone, hand-washing has become a regular ritual.) I easily wash my hands twenty times a day, and I may only lotion up once or twice a day–it just seems so silly to apply lotion and wash most of it off a half hour later.

Additionally, after landing in NYC last February, I found myself with these odd dry patches on my hands and fingers. I just figured that lotioning up more often would cure those dry patches, but to no avail. I saw my doctor after a few months, and she informed it was just eczema. OK, cool.

The only product (out of some ten or more that I tried to moisturize those dry patches) that worked was Hand Perfection. I can’t actually think of any better endorsement for it, because I was starting to feel rather hopeless about it all. My hands were soft, smooth, and they even looked a little less ragged after just a few uses (like two days). It’s a bit more than I’d think to spend on a hand cream, but a little goes a long way, and I’ll often use it as a spot treatment now, and then use something else throughout the day.

It does have titanium dioxide, which can be used for sun protection, but there’s no SPF noted on the product, so I don’t think it’s in a high enough quantity to do anything. For being touted as a day cream, I’d expect SPF in it (hands need SPF protection, too!). The size I have is just the “purse” size, which has lasted me a month now. The full-size is 3.4 fl. oz. and retails for $50.00 (ouch!).

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you’re still searching for a hand lotion to keep your hands smooth, soft, and moisturized, I definitely urge you to check this one out. The purse size makes for an easier first-time investment without committing to the full kit and kaboodle.

Availability: Ellen Sirot