I decided to write-up a little review post on my ‘hands down’ (see what I did there?) favourite hand cream. I have tried many a hand cream over the years. Some priced at a couple of euro to some costing tens of euro’s but I always and I mean always revert back to the same one. I even feel nervous when the winter months creep in and I don’t have a full tube either in my hand bag or beside my bed. I know it is a pretty big status to live up to but I really think this hand cream can be considered, well in my opinion anyway, a cult beauty product!
I have to admit, I was first introduced to the marvel that is L’Occitane’s dry skin handcream during my teenage years but as I was blessed with exceptionally smooth hands back then I did not fully appreciate the true value of this nourishing balm. I did however start to appreciate it as soon as I started microbiology labs in college as I was constantly reminded of the importance of hand washing and I mean excessive hand washing. As most of my career has involved laboratory work with either exceptionally infectious material or human blood and tissue samples in the hospital, my level of hand-washing has increased dramatically. This would extend to the point where the skin on my hands would become dry and itchy especially between my fingers.
I tried a series of hand creams to try combat this flakiness but I struggled to find one that sufficed to my needs. Then I remembered my trusty tube of L’Occitane shea butter handcream that seemed to last forever. I started to apply this hand cream every time I washed my hands and even invested in a mini sized tube so it would fit in the pocket of my lab coat. Not only does this soothing cream smell heavenly but most importantly feels rich and luxurious on the skin.
Each tube of this iconic cream is enriched with 20% Shea butter. It is also packed full of nourishing almond and coconut oils, perfect for cocooning the skin in a protective but yet nourishing barrier. The addition of honey* also adds to the soothing and antibacterial properties of the cream. Scent wise, a fusion of delicate jasmine and ylang-ylang gives this cream a very pleasant but not overpowering aroma. Overall, this hand cream feels good on the skin, is easily absorbed and does not leave behind any oily residue. A pea sized amount of cream is all that is needed to cover your entire hands, leaving them feeling soft and nourished. I am not gonna lie, I most definitely am the type of person to ‘liberally’ apply hand cream whilst also taking time to massage it into every crevice on each hand. I think it is a good way of incorporating mindfulness into your day. The simple act of closing your eyes and massaging your hands with hand cream can be extremely relaxing and can be done almost anywhere, even whilst sitting on the bus travelling into work. For an added bonus this hand cream is available in a variety of different scents with my favourite being lavender. Top tip: soak your hands in warm soapy water, gently pat dry and apply some of the lavender-scented shea butter handcream. Gently massage the creamy lotion into the palm of each hand and extend out to each finger, the back of the hand and wrist. After you have enjoyed your little hand massage, cup your hands together, cover your nose and breathe in the soothing scent of delicate lavender. Trust me it is absolute bliss!
Now here is the important part, how much does this heavenly concoction cost? It is a little pricey coming in at €24 for 150ml and €10.50 for 30ml. Having said that a little certainly goes a long way and I feel you do get good value for money. There are a few variations of this hand cream on the market. Some containing essential oils (like the lavender version mentioned above) and a more intense version for extremely dry skin but the original version is my favourite. I have yet to come across a person who does not love this handcream! It is also a great handcream to use if you are in hospital. I even have a small tube of it over here that I bring into the clinic each day. The warm temperature and dry air in hospitals/clinics can really dry out your skin. Plus as I am currently a human pin cushion, I like to massage my arms with some of the cream. The iv’s, blood tests, injections and bandages can really damage the skin so it is nice to give it some extra nourishment.
* As this handcream contains honey it is not suitable for vegans