It’s officially spring in my part of the world, although my skin might beg to differ: the recent ups and downs in temperature and humidity have wreaked havoc with my face and hands, leaving things feeling a bit rough and itchy. As of today, I’m still wearing my winter coat, but I’ve expanded my hand cream collection so that there’s a tube or bottle waiting for me in every tote bag and desk drawer. Here’s a sampling of my recent good-smelling favorites.
I’ll admit that I splurged on Graine de Pastel Organic Hand Cream (top right) just for the box design, but now I’m hooked on the cream inside the old-fashioned metal tube. It absorbs cleanly and smoothly into hands, so it’s a perfect workday choice, and it’s spiked with moisturizing botanicals. It also smells garden-like, with a soothing and somehow very French-feeling blend of lavender, chamomile, and a touch of something linden-like. ($14 for 30 ml at C. O. Bigelow and the Graine de Pastel website)
On the other hand (hah), a more affordable option is a pump bottle of &OtherStories Lemon Daydream Hand Lotion (top left). I don’t care much for &OtherStories scents as perfumes, but as a lotion, this mix of pear, jasmine and cedar feels bright and fun, and the formula sinks quickly into skin. The bottle is even big enough to share with co-workers. ($11 for 250 ml at &OtherStories)
Anyone with an olfactory sweet-tooth should check out Urban Outfitters’ comfortably priced Gourmand line. Pistachio Brûlée (just above) smells like a pistachio mousse topped with vanilla syrup and whipped cream. As a hand cream, it’s very effective, and as a scent, it’s mouth-watering. (And it costs much less than any of Laura Mercier’s scented body products, which were likely the sources of inspiration here.) ($8 for 60 ml at Urban Outfitters)
As much as I love finding new favorites, I also keep repurchasing Kiehl’s Coriander Richly Hydrating Hand Cream (below left). I’ve been trying to describe the Coriander scent for more than a decade. It reminds me variously of baking bread, fresh-cut grass, and sugar crystals, which sounds bizarre, but if you’ve ever tried any Kiehl’s Coriander body product you’ll know what I mean. Shame on Kiehl’s for discontinuing the matching Perfume Oil. ($15 for 75 ml at Kiehl’s)
Apparently I can’t make any kind of list without including my longtime love Lush. Actually, Lush’s hand creams are some of the best I’ve ever tried, even if they’re a bit heavier than the others I’ve just listed. You could always save Love and Light (above right) for bedtime, but I happen to like it as a remedy for mid-afternoon sluggishness or any random moment of stress, because its true neroli scent gives my spirits a natural lift while its jojoba and cocoa butter heal my hands. (100 g for $19.95 at Lush)
Do you have any hand creams that you’d like to recommend right now? Feel free to share in the comments.