Comfortable skin is the best. Seriously. I have such a low discomfort threshold that dry skin distracts me terribly from whatever I'm supposed to be doing, whether it's work, fun, even sleep. I don't know how people with chronic parched, cracked and upset skin manage. Worse, cracked skin is a gateway for icky germs. A healthy moisture barrier is so important for skin's comfort and health. Interesting note: in the winter I've noticed that when I moisturize thoroughly right out of the shower, I feel the cold just a smidge less when I go outside. (Weather-appropriate clothing still important.) Anyway, all that is to say, Hey! Here's the Beautygeeks Hand Cream Gift Guide!
the beautygeeks hand cream gift guide
TheFaceShop + Hwang Na Kyeng Hand Butter Set ($15 at TheFaceShop in Canada and the US) This shea-butter formula has a pleasant subtle scent and sinks quickly into skin without leaving a greasy film. This cute set also has the right idea: share with friends.
Mary Kay Satin Hands Hand Softener (part of a hand-care trio, $51 at marykay.ca and $35 at marykay.com) This time of year is our manigeek Karen's favourite because that's when the Mary Kay Satin Hands Hand Softener becomes available. It's part of a seasonal trio that includes a hand scrub and hand cream. Karen geeks out large here for the Mary Kay Satin Hands Hand Softener’s heavy-duty conditioning and protection skills. The petrolatum-based formula doesn't sink in quickly, and it does leave a slippery coating. But when used on damp hands, it traps moisture in the skin and lasts through more than one washing. Works for our manigeek.
The Body Shop Hemp Handy Manicure Set ($17.60 at thebodyshop.ca and $20 at thebodyshop.com) The Hemp hand cream is The Body Shop's most popular hand cream, and it's not just about the name. It's satisfyingly rich and comforting. Guys like it too (probably partly because of the name).
Aesop Reverence Aromatic Hand Balm ($29.89 at amazon.com) Our Liza (LEEZA) Herz adores this hand cream, which she says is "light enough to be quickly absorbed, but rich enough for cuticle hydration." She also recommends it for dudes -- the scent is bergamot, vetiver and petigrain, "So it's bright and clean but with that earthy resinous vetiver note that makes it unisex." Well now I need this one myself. Please may I have one, Santa?
Soap & Paper Factory Hand Cream ($20 at chapters.indigo.ca and $10 at anthropologie.com) I picked up the Soap & Paper Factory Hand Cream in Tuberose (above) at Anthropologie in Canada some time ago; it's similar in aesthetic and in quick-absorb, non-greasy texture to the lovely gift-worthy Royal Apothic hand cream I mentioned here. Creamy Blossom, Snowy Blossom and Sugar Pine are seasonal Soap & Paper Factory scents you're most likely to find at Indigo Books stores in Canada and at Anthro online. I covet Sugar Pine, which is scented with fir, pine, cedar and citrus; the other two blossom shades contain a hit of vanilla. The pretty brand is worth getting to know if you aren't already familiar.
L'Occitane The Secret to Beautiful Hands ($64 at loccitane.ca and $60 at loccitane.com) L'Occitane still sells a Shea Butter hand cream every several seconds worldwide. That's because it's good. And this kit includes a hand scrub, cuticle conditioner and a thingy to help you get every last precious bit of cream from the hand-cream tube.
Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream ($21 at sephora.ca and $18 at sephora.com) If we want to see Cranky Beauty Pants crack a smile, we give her a Bliss hand cream. Or mini body butter in Lemon + Sage or Blood Orange + White Pepper. Mood-lifting scents, and formulas that make skin sigh in contentment -- they kinda make winter a smidge easier to take. High Intensity is particularly moisturizing with macadamia nut and grapeseed oils, and glycerin.
Jurlique Hand Cream Trio ($62 at sephora.ca and $49 at sephora.com) Wonderfully emollient Jurlique hand cream does exactly what we want: sinks in quickly to make skin satisfyingly soft and comfortable without a greasy finish. I've tried only the rose scent (made of organic rose petals from Down Under), which lingers nicely on hands for ages after application -- and now I'm wildly anxious to try the citrus (#citrusfreak). Dear Santa....
La Mer The Hand Cream ($90 at Holt Renfrew and $45/$80 at nordstrom.com) Totally worth the spend. Luxurious formula, sinks into skin beautifully, leaves hands soft, not slippery. I've asked Santa for one myself! Yes, in addition to the Aesop request. And the Jurlique citrus plea. I might have a hand cream problem.
Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve Trio ($30 at nordstrom.com) This no-nonsense stuff is a hand-saver for so many people with very dry hands. A thicker balm consistency, when applied on damp skin it traps moisture in place without leaving a slick or sticky finish. This particular set doesn't seem to be available from a Canadian retailer (Nordstrom ships to Canada, mind you); an alternative skin will love is the Holiday Helping Hands Gift Set ($50 at thebay.com and $28 at nordstrom.com) which includes Creme de Corps body polish and body lotion plus a wee Midnight Recovery, a face favourite.
TokyoMilk Dark Hand Cream in Everything & Nothing No. 10 ($26 at sephora.ca and $22 at sephora.com) I confess to not having tried this particular hand cream, but I do like TokyoMilk. I die over the fantastic packaging that takes inspiration from antique botanical prints. The line is designed to give and receive. This citrus floral shea butter hand cream is part of a Femme Fatale collection characterized by a graphic black-and-white take on its botanical-art aesthetic, with a subversive twist -- one tube features a gun, another a cockroach -- and provocative fragrances. Exactly the kind of tube you want to leave on the table at brunch. Right?
La Prairie Hand Cream ($110 at nordstrom.com) Christmas is a good time to give an extravagent hand cream as a gift, right Santa? To me? What, I can't have a hand-cream wardrobe? This is another luxurious formula that skin absorbs within minutes without feeling slick. Lovely.