Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hand Creams

It would be great if we could all have beautiful looking hands. On the narrow side with long fingers & even shaped nails. We would all love to have even complexioned hands with no marks like we see in magazine adds. Utopia for most of us! If we can't change the shape of our hands, we can at least help make then comfortably smooth with, hopefully, strong nails.

This category is so large, with so many options, that it makes it hard to chose. Price is also to consider. You can get sample sizes at the drugstore of about $1 as well as high end ones in the $100 range.
Once in a while on Makeup Alley's Skin Care Board, we get questions like “What is the best of this or that?” This implies most of the time, on the expensive side. Often there will be no answers. The reason being that once you start to get interested in ingredients, their purpose & actions on skin, you figure that they are all similar & some “lower” end products are in fact superior. But again, for some of us, the presentation, or, just the fact of saying we use Dior, La Prairie or Chanel makes us feel good. It's like owning a pair of Gucci sunglasses or a nice Guerlain compact. Most of them are good & so it only depends on how much you're prepared to spend.

Our daily chores can really dry up our hands & the same applies to cold weather. The choices we make depend on our needs. Someone working in the health care system might want a cream with silicone to have a protective coat on their skin. This might not be necessary for those of us working in offices. Others, who work outside may need something thicker to really protect from the cold, even while wearing good gloves.
Before buying, it would be a good idea to try your potential purchase it in the store, whenever that's possible & wait 10 minutes or so to see how your skin feels. When you do try it on, a little more than a pea size will do. You only need to moisturize the top of your hands along with the cuticles.

My personal favourites:

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream is my first choice for daytime. As some of you may recall, last year we had brutally cold weather. I can still remember the -35º C we suffered through early February. It was quite simply unbearable. I had received this hand cream for Christmas & it literally saved my hands from unpleasant discomfort. My cuticles did a total 360º going from cracked & dry to totally normal looking. I use it in the morning & sometimes, when needed, towards the end of the after-noon. It has meadowfoam seed oil which helps prevent the lost of moisture, wheat germ extract & murumuru seed butter which has a rich oleic acid content that helps promote moisture to skin. The fact that it's odourless makes it a great option before bedtime, if like me, you don't always like to use overly fragranced moisturizers & at the same time, it's more discreet for daytime when you need to reapply.

Note: sadly on the 17th of February, PETA announced that Estée Lauder, Clinique, Avon & Mary Kay are now paying for animal testing for the chinese market. So, as of this moment, for me, this will be a no repurchase & will not post a picture of it as first intended. To read more about this:

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream is a recent discovery. For the past couple of months, every time someone asks on MUA, “What is your favourite hand cream?”, one very knowledgeable member always answers “Caudalie”. This encouraged me to try it & I was pleasantly surprised. On the back of the tube we can read: “Highly concentrated in patented anti-oxidant grape-seed polyphenols Vinolevure© fair trade shea butter, grape-seed oil, avocado, plant glycerin, sweet orange.” Just like Clinique, it doesn’t leave a greasy feel on hands. They are very similar in texture & penetration time. Although it's fragrance might be a downside for some, I must admit that I'm starting to get used to it. It's odour is almost candy like to me. Still, I believe this formula is superior to Clinique due to the anti- oxidants. Polyphenols are said to help protect against environmental stress like UV rays as well as with skin cell growth.

Avène's Cold Cream Hand Cream is my third choice. This one I purchased last spring for the first time along with Avène's Cold Cream Body Lotion. This hand cream takes a little longer to fully penetrate which makes it a great night time option & the fragrance is very subtle. As it's main ingredients we have Avène thermal spring water, mineral oil & beeswax. Quite a simple formula but it works nicely. Keep in mind that the thermal spring water is not for everyone. Many get hives or irritations from it. They can't stand the minerals in it.

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is on the pricier side but for me it's quite simply a classic. This was one of my first high end” purchases. I love the soft sensation it leaves on my hands & the yummy smell is a bonus. With sesame oil, shea butter & japanese mulberry, it's bene around for about 30 years. Soothing, it moisturizes deeply & is non sticky. It's also a nice one to keep in our purse.

Special hand care needs:

For those who cook a lot &/or take care of young children, using a hand cream per say may be too much of a hassle since hands have to be washed over & over. Oils are a great option for this. Some of us spend parts of out week-ends cooking & we don't want to use something that will change the taste of what we are preparing. My personal favourite is coconut oil but any cooking oil will do. If it's good enough to eat, it's good enough for skin. Since sometimes we have to wash our hands every 1/2 hour or so, a few drops of oil on the back of our hands does the trick. With this you won't end up with super cracked hands at the end of the day.

Hand creams who leave a film on hands:

Glysomed & Herbacin are two very similar products. They both contain, camomile, glycerin & silicone. These leave a slippery feel on hands which is what some people like. They both are available everywhere and are very inexpensive.

SPF Hand Creams:

A good sunscreen is a must to prevent signs of ageing. I personally prefer to apply a bit of sunscreen on my hands but some prefer to have an all in one formula. There are not many. Neutrogena® Norwegian Formula® Ageless Hand Formula SPF30. with HELIOPLEXTM technology to photostable broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection is probably the only one worth mention. Personally, I prefer to apply a sunscrean. The one I like is Ombrelle SPF45 face/visage. It's very light & is not greasy at all.

Other hand creams worthy of mention:

These are all excellent choices. It only depends on what is available to you and the price you are ready to pay for a hand cream.

Shiseido, Crabtree & Evelyn (they have several good options), L'Occitane en Provence Shea Hand Cream. The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector, this one has a very peculiar odour to say the least. You'll either like or hate. It truly is a great treatment & TBS also sells nice moisture gloves which can be worn at night.


  1. You're back! Omg YES!
    I'm going on a trip now and took the last bit of l'occitane with me. This has been an amazing handcream that make daytime applications not needed. The body shop one just dried me out so bad, my skin just doesn't like hemp oil, and the smell is off putting. Love it or leave it as you said.
    Caudalie has made an excellent on no? I've been hooked on it since getting it. The scent gets better over time, especially since it makes your hands nice & silky.

    1. Like I said, Caudalie is truly growing on me. Thanks to MUA's Skin Care Board, I don't think I would have tried it otherwise, especially since I won't be repurchasing Cliniqu's any time soon. I guess, if eventually I just go for one (kind of hard) this will be the one. :)


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