Friday, 20 November 2015

Hand cream: a minor obsession

For years I have been obsessed with hand cream. The infatuation began when I was in my early twenties, working on a website with a very glamorous producer called Anna. She always had a tube or jar of hand cream on her desk, and used to apply it periodically throughout the day. Anna had beautiful hands and nails. It didn’t take long to realise the two were related.

Around that time I started to have regular manicures and my nails were immaculate. It seems laughable now that I had the money, the time, and the inclination to keep them so groomed - today, my nails are very rough and ready, uneven lengths and often with chipped polish. There just isn’t time for anything else.

But there is time for hand cream. Turns out this might be something of a universal obsession, one my new neighbour Bethie shares. The thing about hand cream is that it offers a quick little burst of luxury at any time - before bed, after washing up, on the go - a ritual for psychologically bringing you back to yourself, a little reminder to care for yourself. I like to keep a travel tube in my bag as it’s a pretty effective way to immediately improve your personal space on smelly trains or anywhere that feels less than sanitary.

Here are my favourite hand creams:
1. & Other Stories Fig Fiction hand lotion, £7. I wrote about the figgy wonder of the Stories range last year, and my affection for it goes on. Hand soap and lotion sit on the shelf above the kitchen sink as my reward for washing up.
2. Dove Pro Age Nourishment hand cream, £3-4 from any chemist or supermarket. Bethie's tip, it's thick and creamy with that trademark Dove scent.
3. Dr Hauschka Hydrating hand cream, £13. This one is a mild, all-natural cream with a herbal fragrance. Dr H is a long-term like here at O&P.
4. Jurlique Rose Hand Cream, from £13. The one that began the obsession. Anna introduced me to Jurlique, an Australian brand, all that time ago. If you want true, natural rose fragrance, this is the one for you.
5. REN Citrus Prebiotic hand cream, £18. Ren is one of my favourite skincare brands, producing quality products without parabens or other nasties. This hand cream has quite a strong, lemony fragrance but leaves paws so soft.

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