My 5 Favourite Hand Creams

Hand cream and I have a long and complex relationship. My hands are so dry that during particularly cold weather, I often can’t bend my fingers without a slick of hand cream. If I go too long without moisturising in winter, my knuckles can actually crack too. So it’s safe to say that my house is constantly littered with tubes of hand creams, and I’ve tried nearly every brand out there. Over the years there have been a few that I’ve kept reaching for, or that I’ve missed once they’re gone. Or that I’ve bought recently and am bloody well obsessed with. Since it’s dry hand season now, I thought I’d share these with you.

IMG_3613.jpgIMG_3627.jpg

From left to right: Korres Almond Oil & Shea Butter Hand Cream, Weleda Almond Hand Cream, Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Cream, Dexeryl Cream. 

IMG_3614.jpg

Dexeryl Cream £6 – This very light but effective emollient feels quite watery when you rub it in, but it is extremely nourishing. It’s the perfect hand cream for on the go, and is also amazing for when your skin loses its mind and starts cracking or breaking out into rashes, because it’s formulated for eczema sufferers, so is super gentle. With no fragrance and minimal ingredients, this is the perfect emergency care for the hands.

IMG_3626.jpg

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm £19 – This is a very thick, luxurious formula with a beautifully uplifting scent. With almond and coconut oils to nourish, and a fragrance blend of mandarin, cedarwood and lavender, it’s a gorgeous experience for the senses. Definitely better for using before bed as it is quite heavy, but the gorgeous scent is also ideal for a pre bedtime ritual as it’s so soothing and indulgent. Again, hands are left very soft and smooth.

IMG_3624.jpg

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream £12 – This is thick, rich and luscious with a beautiful orange blossom scent. Despite being so thick, it absorbs very quickly and immediately leaves your hands ready to go back to whatever you were doing beforehand. It contains antioxidant polyphenols from grape seeds which helps prevent your hands from ageing, as well as avocado oil and shea butter. The reviving scent makes it perfect for the morning, to refresh your senses before you leave for work – and your hands will be soft for hours afterwards too.

IMG_3622.jpg

Weleda Almond Hand Cream £9.95 – Being 100% natural this one is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin who only wants to use natural products. I love how this one transforms into an oil as you massage it in, and I love to use it when my hands are painfully dry – it just seems to soothe that tight feeling better than anything else. Plus, it smells of marzipan.

IMG_3618.jpg

Korres Hand Cream with Almond Oil and Shea Butter £9 – This comes out of the tube like a body butter, and has a beautifully warm, cosy scent. The formula is extremely thick and nourishing but actually absorbs pretty well. Like with all the others, hands are soft and smooth for hours afterwards. There’s aloe vera, jojoba and beeswax in this one to soothe and protect the skin as well. With its comforting scent and intensely nourishing texture, this is definitely a perfect winter hand cream. Actually, while we’re talking about Korres, has anyone tried their new Bergamot Pear Hand Cream?! That is my favourite body care scent, I must get my hands on one…

Advertisements

Eloquence Beauty Nourishing Treatment Oil

Eloquence is a new skincare brand with a really interesting key ingredient: Sacha-inchi oil. I was  intrigued by this unknown plant extract, so when I was given the chance to try some products from Eloquence’s range, I jumped! The sacha-inchi plant is native to Peru, and after I googled it I realised that here was another plant I’d often seen when I was volunteering in the Amazon Rainforest. The oil from the seeds is extremely high in omega fatty acids, protein and antioxidants, which makes it a perfect choice for a nourishing product like Eloquence’s Nourishing Treatment Oil*

IMG_9853.JPG

The oil has a gorgeous citrusy scent which really sets it apart from most of the nourishing oils I’ve tried. It’s a thick, dense oil but they’ve somehow managed to make it absorb wonderfully without leaving greasiness or residue, so it’s basically the best of both worlds in terms of body oils. I love to use it on my legs after I shave, and I’ve also been massaging it into my nails at night because they’ve been flaky due to major stress I’ve been under recently. The oil was actually a lifesaver for this – it sinks into my nails instantly and leaves them shiny and healthy looking.

What I really love this oil for though, is my hair. Oh my word is this an amazing hair oil. The combination of coconut, sweet almond, olive, argan, sunflower and grape seed oils together with the magic sacha-inchi oil sinks into dry hair to leave it super soft and shiny. I’ve been using it on the curls around my hairline as they have a very brittle, dry texture and it is looking so much better! I also apply a little to the ends each night which is a lovely, indulgent experience as my hair smells divine when I sink into bed. Plus, bye bye split ends!

This is an utterly gorgeous multi-use, luxury oil that I cannot recommend highly enough. It is seriously one of the best oils I’ve ever used, and with the citrusy scent and easy absorption, it’s perfect for the warmer months! Get it from the Eloquence website for £29.99 – link

 

 

Elizabeth Arden Fragrance Free Eight Hour Cream

I am SO disappointed in this product. I don’t write negative reviews very often, because it doesn’t feel good, but I recently realised that it really wasn’t fair to people who are trying to work out whether or not they should spend money on something. So, here we go…

IMG_9330

The product claims are promising. It’s supposed to help moisturise flaky skin, dry hands and cracked lips, you can use it to shape brows, (though I have no idea what this brings to the table that an eyebrow pencil would not) and to ‘revitalise shine’ (I’m assuming this translates to ‘makes you shiny’).

Over the Christmas period I was getting a few flaky patches on my face, and being a sensitive skinned individual, I decided to try the Fragrance Free version of Eight Hour Cream. I have to say, I completely swallowed the hype. Looking at the ingredients now (salicylic acid, lanolin, petroleum jelly, corn oil, vegetable oil, castor oil and two plant extracts, one of which doesn’t have any skincare benefits – seriously, tonka bean extract is JUST a perfume) I don’t know why I bought it, I should have known better.

My skin was not happy about it. First of all, it did nothing but make my lips and hands sticky when I tried it as a lip balm/hand cream, and it smells vile. I put it all over my face as planned, for three nights in a row. I used it for three nights despite hating the texture and smell because I wanted to give it a fair chance at getting rid of my dry patches. Well, they actually got worse. Plus, by the end of the three nights the rest of my face was red, oily and I was starting to get spots. Usually, I have a very even complexion, and spots are a rarity.

I think perhaps I had too-high expectations for this legendary product. I’ve used it as a foot cream a few times since and it’s very nice for that, but I haven’t liked it for anything else. I know some people say they use it for eczema but I tried that on my hands and it made me so itchy! It could just be that my skin really is quite sensitive, and a thick balm with salicylic acid in it (although I really did think the simple base would make it ok!) just isn’t going to work for me no matter what. Either way, Elizabeth Arden’s Fragrance Free Eight Hour Cream is just like every other multipurpose balm, but with a ridiculous £26 price tag and a dreadful smell. You’re much better off spending a tenner on some Weleda Skin Food because at least that smells good and will actually do something about flaky patches.

What do you think of Eight Hour Cream? Did I use it wrong? What do you use it for? If you’re looking for a good multipurpose product, here are some links to a couple I’d recommend:

Lush Elbow Grease

Dr Paw Paw Balm

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Hand creams and I, we have a special relationship. Being something of a germophobe, and having naturally really dry hands (thanks dad), balms, creams and lotions have their work cut out when they meet me. I reviewed a lot of mediocre hand creams back in the day, but I’ve decided that now, I’ll ONLY be reviewing the creams that really make me go wow. Maybe when I accumulate a load of crap ones I’ll do a post on them, but for now, lets focus on Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm.IMG_6761

The nourishing ingredients packed into this botanical mixture, are quite something. Shea butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, cetaryl alcohol (a fatty acid and amazing moisturiser), glycerin, cocoa butter, wheatgerm oil AND soybean oil. Like, whaaaat? Most hand creams would only contain one or two of these, but the combination of all of them means you get all of their individual benefits too. For example, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, almond oil helps to protect the skin and wheatgerm oil is high in antioxidant vitamin E. The texture of the cream is gorgeous, while it’s in incredibly rich balm it melts into the skin so easily. The perfect combination of nourishment and absorbency for the busy lady with a dry hand problem.

IMG_6797

The botanical ingredients in Resurrection Aromatique are seriously out of this world. Orange, cedarwood, lavender, grapefruit and rosemary combine to make an intense and complex fragrance, that really does resurrect the senses. There are so many amazing ingredients in this balm, I want to talk about them all! There’s soothing aloe vera, anti-ageing tocopherol and carrot oil in there too.

So on paper this sounds like the best hand cream around, right? I have to say, I genuinely think it’s one of my favourites. I use it every morning before work (I massage it in while I’m walking out of my flat, covers up the smell of central London nicely) and it absorbs really well. Since using this I’ve realised that not only have I stopped having to use a hand cream throughout the day, my hands now look younger too! If you have constantly dry hands, this is such a good option for you, I cannot recommend it enough. It certainly isn’t a budget product, but at £19.00 for a 75ml tube, you’d be insane not to try it if you struggle to find good hand creams. Get it on Aesop’s website. Link

I’m really keen to try more of Aesop’s products, do you have any recommendations?

Dr Paw Paw Tinted Ultimate Red Balm

I’d heard about the Australian love of paw paw as an ingredient years ago, when I used to use Aussie hair care (I am aware that Aussie isn’t Australian, don’t worry). So when people started talking about how paw paw ointment is a staple in every Australian’s life, I was curious. Dr Paw Paw isn’t actually Australian, but it’s a great product and I’ve really enjoyed using it.

IMG_6214

I stumbled across Dr Paw Paw in Urban Outfitters and decided to go for the red tinted one because I’m always on the lookout for fuss free ways to apply pigment to my lips (lipstick stresses me out SO much). As well as the un-tinted original, they do a peach pink colour, and a giant tube of the original version.

IMG_6216

The reason for the giant tube is that paw paw ointment is a multipurpose antibacterial and antimicrobiral balm. Fermented paw paw (aka papaya) is an antioxidant, and helps repair the skin. There’s aloe in there to help calm and soothe, as well as olive oil to nourish and petroleum jelly to protect. This is one of those multipurpose magic balms that does it all for chapped, irritated or dry skin. I put mine to the test on the dry, cracked skin between my fingers. Aside from looking distinctly pink from the red pigment, the skin is smooth and soft, with no white bits at all. That’s something that almost all hand creams and balms struggle to get rid of, so I’m very impressed, and will be purchasing an original colourless balm as soon as I can!

IMG_6218

As you can see, the Ultimate Red Balm is a gorgeously rich colour, and I’m actually really impressed with the colour payoff. It’s subtle, but way better than any other coloured lipbalm I’ve tried. Because my lips are quite full and there isn’t a clean line between my lips and the skin around them, I find it really hard to get lipstick to look good. So a balm like this is perfect.

IMG_6222

This balm is great. It’s only £6.95 for a 25ml tube, and leaves the skin soft and nicely coloured for a good while. I think the clear one will go down really well with my boyfriend, who’s lip cracks in the middle a lot (poor baby), as well as with my cracked hands. After applying the red stuff between my fingers, it’s actually kept the dryness at bay for about 3 hours now, which is really impressive!

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream

Sometime in mid-January, boyfriend and I were having a conversation and got onto the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t a fan, I told him, of people buying unsustainable roses for massive amounts of money when they’d just die in a couple of days anyway. I do like cut flowers, they brighten up a room nicely, but I personally don’t like to get them as gifts. I like my gifts to last!

Anyway, when Valentine’s rolled around, I did get some roses. They were mashed up, with beeswax, geranium, aloe vera and soya oil. And poured into a tube with Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream written across it.

IMG_5545

This is the best hand cream I have ever used. And no, I’m not saying that because my boyfriend bought it for my first non-single Valentine’s Day (I’m not that nice), it is straight up AMAZING stuff.

 IMG_5553

I was interested to see that this contains rosehip fruit oil, rather than seed oil. I moisturise with rosehip seed oil, but I also drink rosehip tea (made from the fruit) every day, and I firmly believe it’s an incredibly rich source of antioxidants. It makes me feel SO good. People in the Andes have been drinking it for centuries because of its health-giving properties, and I love that the fruit extract is in this hand cream.

IMG_5552

The hand cream is 92% organic, which is great for the environment. It has beeswax to protect the hands, sweet almond oil to heal and nourish, and aloe to sooth. This is a combination that’s perfect for someone like me, who’s hands get so irritatingly flaky and red that even cotton catches on them sometimes. It sorts them right out.

IMG_5554

Though the texture appears a bit lumpy, it doesn’t feel that way at all, and absorbs into the skin really easily. Natural hand creams don’t do that very often unless they aren’t very moisturising in the first place, but this stuff lasts almost all day! The cream has a strong, uplifting scent of geranium, ylang ylang and patchouli, which I really adore.

IMG_5562If you saw my post about my makeup bag from the other day, you’ll have seen my horrible flakey hand. I hadn’t been using this cream when I took those photos, and look at my hand now that I have! Soft and smooth. I am very happy. Well done boyfriend!

And thank you Neal’s Yard! You can get Wild Rose Hand Cream from their website, for £10.

Bringing the beauty – a Travel Post!

I’m super excited. Tomorrow I’ll be going to New York for the first time! And then up to Canada, to stay with a friend. I can’t wait, and I thought that before I go I’d share how I roll when it comes to travelling.

IMG_3709

These are my essentials for hand luggage. A good book. Palmer’s lipbalm. Weleda Skin Food (for my face). Weleda Rhinodoron spray for my nose (the dry air doesn’t like my sinuses). A mini Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (luxurious and nourishing, because I’ll be using a tonne of antibac hand wipes too). Pacifica Coconut Milk Wipes (for freshening up). Urbanears Headphones (the best, and prettiest). Gin Gin ginger sweets (for ear popping purposes). Benefit’s They’re Real! (because my eyelashes are more or less see through so I need mascara at all times). Buddha Nose Girl Balm (the smell is calming and refreshing at the same time).

IMG_3734

I’m so glad I invested in a few new mini bottles to decant all this in. Because it went from all that…

IMG_3697

To just these! So satisfying. I’m going to need to wash my hair while I’m away which is annoying, because I need to use so much shampoo and conditioner I have no choice but to bring whole bottles. But being able to shink the rest of the products down to just this has helped SO MUCH. Most of these bottles came from Muji, with the exception of the Travalo perfume bottle, and the oil bottle, which actually came from a Weleda Body Oil set.

IMG_3699

I’ve kept it super simple with make up. To be fair, my make up routine is very simple all the time anyway, as I rarely experiment. I just decanted a couple of broken eyeshadows into my tiniest travel pots to save a little space.

So that’s it! I’m really pleased with how much space I’ve saved with those Muji bottles. Happy travels, touch wood! And if you’re going away yourself this summer, I hope you have a great time 🙂