Welcome to the first of the Hello Charlie product smackdowns, where we'll test out a heap of products and let you know what works best, and why.
This month, it's hand creams. And because it's Hello Charlie, we're looking at natural handcreams without the nasties, that will give you great moisturisation and take care of your cuticles as well.
I have to admit that I have a real thing about dry hands. Hate them. And because I also have a bit of a thing about clean hands I'm constantly washing them. Add to this my super dry skin, and hand cream is just about the one skincare item I use most. Oh, and lip balm. But that's a story for another day.
So I've been using A'kin Hand & Nail Cream for years. I have multiple tubes all over the place - hand bag, bedside table, kitchen sink, desk, car ... you get the picture. But I'm getting more and more icky about using products with phenoxyethanol in them, and my beloved A'kin has phenoxyethanol. So for the last few months I've been on the hunt for a natural hand cream that I can use throughout the day.
I grabbed a couple of decent looking natural handcreams at my local chemist, and I put a couple of the Hello Charlie ones to the test.
Badger Cuticle Balm
$14.95 for 21 g (Available at Hello Charlie
: *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Essential Oils of *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium), *Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin), *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), *Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Verbenone), *Litsea Cubeba (Litsea), and CO2 Extracts of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) & *Zingiber Officinale (Ginger). * = Certified Organic
- 100% USDA certified organic
- Ingredients are fab
- It's USA made and cruelty free
- Smells great
- Really works!
- Too greasy for your whole hands (but that's not really what it's about)
Love this! We've been stocking the Badger Cuticle Care
for a while at Hello Charlie, but I hadn't actually tried it. Christine (our gorgeous Customer Service Guru) keeps a tin on her desk and raves about. After testing it out myself, I have to agree. Perfect for putting around your cuticles, your hands look so much better and no more hangnails. You couldn't use it for your whole hands while you're working as it's a little oily, but it's perfect for dabbing around cuticles.
: Thumbs up
Akin Hand and Nail Cream – Lavender
: Aqua (purified Australian water), Cetearyl Alcohol*, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate*, Glycerin*,Glyceryl Stearate*, Sorbitol*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (cold pressed Australian grown), Lecithin(from GMO free soy bean), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (cold pressed Australian grown), Squalane (from olives), Stearic Acid*, Behenyl Alcohol (from GMO free Rapeseed), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Certified Organic), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate*, Glyceryl Laurate*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (cold pressed Australian grown), Sodium Citrate*, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)*, Citric Acid*, Sodium Gluconate (from GMO free corn), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phytosterols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Seed Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Citronellol#,Geraniol#,Limonene#,Linalool#,*derived from botanical sources,#from essential oils.
- Not too greasy
- Reasonably priced
- Smells good
- It contains phenoxyethanol as a preservative
- I think this is drying my hands - I have to use it all the time
: I like it, but I think there's better choices out there.
People for Plants – Lemon Myrtle, Camellia, Manuka Honey Hand Cream
: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Glycerin*, Cetearyl Glucoside^, Sorbitan Olivate^, Beeswax*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract^, Honey (Manuka)^, Xanthan Gum^, Arctium Lappa Root Extract*, Lactic Acid^, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil*, Potassium Sorbate^, Citric Acid^, Alcohol*. *Certified Organic and 100% Natural ^Natural Source.
- Reasonably priced ($12.95 at my local shop)
- 90.6% ACO certified organic
- Ingredients are good
- It's Australian made and cruelty free
- It feels sticky, like there's too much beeswax
- It's too watery and light
- It doesn't give me enough moisture
I really wanted to like this one, but I hate using it. It goes on watery, then goes instantly sticky - so sticky that you can't rub it in, which I think is the beeswax. I get no moisture from it, either. I passed it on to my husband, who's not nearly fussy as me (and gets super dry hands from all the washing up I make him do!) and he hated it, too. I love natural handcreams, but not this one.
: Thumbs down
Antipodes Deliverance Kowhai Flower Hand Cream
: Aqua (water), glycerine (vegetable), persea gratissima (avocado oil), macadamia ternifolia (macadamia oil), wheat straw glycosides, ceteryl alcohol, calendula officialis (calendula/marigold oil), sophora microphylla (kowhai extract), tocopherol (Vitamin E), gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate, fragrances of sweet orange and cedarwood: benzyl benzoate*, benzyl salicylate*, citronellol*, d-limonene*, farnesol*, geraniol*, linalool*.
- smells great
- good ingredients
- Organic? I can't tell from the tube, and I threw the box away. There's nothing on the website, either.
- Expensive! I paid $31.95 locally
I really like this one. The smell is lovely - orangey and then kind of woodsy. It goes on well and is easy to rub in, and it's not too greasy, so I can get back to work without my fingers slipping on the keyboard. It's also nice and moisturising, great to put on last thing at night before I go to sleep. But the price - ouch! Much more than I'd be willing to pay regularly.
: Thumbs up
Weleda Skin Food
$21.95 for 75 ml (Available at Hello Charlie
: Water (Aqua), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Alcohol, Beeswax (Cera Flava), Glyceryl Linoleate, Hydrolyzed Beeswax, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Viola Tricolor Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cholesterol, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Coumarin*. * from natural essential oils
- Smells gorgeous
- Works brilliantly!
- biodynamic and NaTrue certified
- Price is okay ($21.95), considering how good, and useful, this product is
This is brilliant! I can't live without this - it fixes everything. Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but I really, really love it. Dry feet - rub Skin Food on at night, sleep with socks on and you'll have baby soft feet in the morning. Same with elbows, and dry patches anywhere. The only thing is that it's greasy, so you need to apply it to your hands last thing before you go to sleep (and ideally, wear some of those cotton glove thingies to stop you getting grease marks on the doona cover). You wake up the next day with super soft, younger looking hands (yes, really!) and I find that you don't need hand cream again until the next night.
: Thumbs Up
Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream
$16.95 for 50 ml (Available at Hello Charlie
: Water (Aqua), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Beeswax, Tapioca Starch, Lysolecithin, Beeswax (Cera Flava), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral* (* from natural essential oils).
- Gorgeous smell
- Not at all greasy
- biodynamic and NaTrue certified
- Price is reasonable ($16.95)
- Not quite moisturising enough for me, but I have very dry hands so might not be a problem for someone else
I rather like this. It's not quite as moisturising as my hands need, but it's still pretty good. This is a good cream for everyday use. I can apply it and get back to the laptop immediately, too, because it's not greasy.
: Thumbs Up
Weleda Pomegranate Hand Cream
$17.95 for 50 ml (Available at Hello Charlie
: Water (Aqua), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Petal Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Coumarin* (* from natural essential oils).
- smells divine
- very moisturising
- don't need to apply it often
- biodynamic and NaTrue certified
- reasonably priced ($17.95)
- too greasy to use and then get back on the keyboard
I love this. It's too greasy to be used during the day, but I apply it every night before I go to sleep. It's so moisturising that it's very rare that I need to use hand cream during the day, even if I'm washing them heaps. This hand cream really does seem to restore moisture, not just put a layer of moisture on my skin that washes off next time I wash my hands.
: my favourite for night
Lavera Basis Handcream
$11.95 for 75 mls (Available at Hello Charlie
: Water (Aqua), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alcohol*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Stearic Acid, Cellulose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract*, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lysolecithin, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Geraniol**, Citral**, Citronellol** (* ingredients from certified organic agriculture, ** components of natural essential oils)
- smells lovely
- light yet moisturising
- very reasonably priced
- NaTrue certified with lots of organic ingredients
- not greasy at all
- can't really think of any!
This is the ideal day time hand cream, where you need to apply some and then grab your phone or keep working. The Lavera Basis Handcream
isn't at all greasy, so it's perfect for this. I've taken to keeping this on my desk at work, and in my handbag, too.
: my favourite for day
Hand Cream Smackdown Results
When I first wrote this review in 2015, I had ditched the A'Kin one and was using the Antipodes one (although I haven't bought it again - too expensive for me), the Weleda Sea Buckthorn and the Weleda Skin Food at night.
Since revisiting the Weleda Pomegranate handcream (which I wasn't using when I first reviewed hand creams) I've pretty much switched to that. I usually have a tube of the Lavera handcream on my desk or in my handbag for handcream on the go, but the Weleda Pomegranate restores moisture so much that I don't really need hand cream during the day. How's that for a win?
So it's bye bye to the once beloved Akin - sorry, Akin, but I've moved on.
Which is your favourite natural handcream? Let us know in the comments below!
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