My Favorite Hand Creams!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Little known fact about me: I am obsessed with hand cream. My cousin even once suggested that I go on the television show, My Strange Addiction, with my infinite tubes of the product. But what she doesn't understand is that most of the time, moisturizing my hands is done out of necessity because they're so dry. I wash my hands a lot (best way to ward off cold and flu!), and every lather requires a glob of cream to follow it up. That being said, I've also taken these opportunities to try as many hand creams as I can and have amounted quite the stash. 

Since we've now reached the chapping, drying time of year, I thought I'd share the favorites of my collection. I have a varied bunch here, so I've broken them into categories. Hopefully you'll find something useful!

Best Hand & Nails--Hand and nail creams are actually the ones I use the most. It's a great way 2-in-1 for looking after your cuticles, and I find that they're usable year-round, so they're rich enough for winter, but not unbearably so in the summer. Without fail, every time I remove my nail polish and wash off that miserable remover, my hands get a nice treat in one of these two.

  • Dermalogica Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment: Weirdly enough, this is supposed to specialize in anti-aging, but being only 20 years old, obviously I can't comment on that. The most notable thing here is how accurate the word "treatment" is. It's incredibly obvious that this is not just a hand cream, but a hand cream with a specific purpose (getting dramatic here!). It feels a bit on the thin side, but as you rub it in, you can kind of tell that this is jam packed with keratin, protein, and other good-for-your-nails ingredients. For the hands, it's great as an "anytime" sort of product, but I specifically apply this when my nails are long and brittle and nail polish remover has stripped them dry. It definitely hydrates and soothes my cuticles, but the biggest difference is seen in the strengthening of my nails. This is also the most expensive hand cream featured ($26), so unless brittle and peeling nails is a massive concern for you, this might be one to skip.
$15
  • Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: This is my handbag/schoolbag cream of choice, which actually only has to do with the size of the tube. I find most hand creams are either slightly too large to look normal in my handbag, or so small I'd have to switch them out every week--but something about the Caudalie tube is just right. My weird packaging issues aside, this one is less for nails and more for hands. It doesn't have the same strengthening type effects as the Dermalogica, but feels extremely nourishing. This feels more like a cream-oil product, and although Caudalie claims it doesn't leave a greasy film, there's definitely a bit of oily slickness to it. That feeling goes away pretty quickly, especially if you keep rubbing your hands, but that aside, this is a great all-around hand cream, especially if you like the moisturizing effects to linger.

Best Repairing/Soothing--There are some hand creams that hydrate and some that heal. This is the category for all those relieving, soothing magic products we turn to after a blisteringly cold day outdoors. This category is also the one with the most pretenders, as a lot of products market themselves this way, when all they really do is moisturize.
$16 
  • La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Repair Cream: What would a skincare list be without LRP?! This one was a fairly new find, in the 50% off clearance bin at Duane Reade no less, but it's quickly become one of my must-haves for the driest winter days. It's a bit uncomfortable to apply at first, as the texture is tacky and almost sticky as you start to rub it in, but after five minutes or so that sensation is gone. Then, you're left with gloriously, unbelievably soft hands that feel fully saturated in restorative moisture. It's such a soothing cream that's not greasy or slick in the slightest, and it even feels like it forms a protective barrier over the hands. Perfect for before bed (whether or not you use gloves), or just after a long day outdoors. 

Best SPF--Okay, okay, I don't wear this as much as I should--and when I do, it's never in November! But it's still important to protect your hands (where you age first), so if you're incredibly disciplined, start applying this now. Or if you're like me, put this on back burner until July.
Sorry for the stock photo, lost my own tube back in August
  • Neutrogena Age Shield SPF 30 Hand Cream: Did you get that? SPF 30?! In a drugstore, $5 hand cream?! It just never fails to amaze me. Admittedly, I don't love the formula, as it can feel a little too rich and slick for summer, but if you apply it in small amounts and only on the backs of the hands, it's perfectly fine. 

Best Classic--Because this is a hand cream list, and it must be included.
Just tossed the original tube, so this was the next best thing!
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream: I suppose I should also award them "Best Variety" as they've come out with an impressive range of scents, but it's their original that's most famous. And really, who hasn't tried one of these? The epitome of your standard, deeply moisturizing and fuss-free cream, the little $10 tubes are great to scatter and chuck in several handbags (or at least that's what I do). No promises of restoration or soothing here, either, it's just deeply nourishing hydration without any greasiness or heavy feeling. It's a classic for a reason!

Best Fragrance--Most hand creams are either powdery-scented, or don't have one at all. This might not be for the ultra-sensitive, but it can always take the place of perfume!

  • Soap and Glory Hand Food Hand Cream: I believe the scent is Coco Mademoiselle? Or anything prettily floral without being dainty. This is one of those creams you pull out and use, and people around you may ask what scent it is, without being a noxious hit-you-over-the-head Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer. (You know what I'm talking about!) Fragrance aside, this is another all-around good hand cream as well--deeply hydrating, and not greasy, though there's a bit of that oil slickness I mentioned earlier. Soap and Glory does this in a smaller $5 tube, but that's tiny for me, so I sprung for the larger $10 size--perfect for keeping on your desk at work!

Phew!

That's it! I've tried a lot of hand creams, and there are certainly many that I like, but I thought I'd streamline it and give you my top, top picks!

If you have any recommendations, leave a comment.

Have a terrific week!

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