When the time comes to read my will, the real winners will be 1) those who wear a size 10 shoe and 2) those who love a good hand cream. I've tried somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 different hand creams in my time, and my medicine cabinet (which just fell off the wall last week due too many products being stored inside) is proof of that fact.
So let this post serve as my last will and testament — stating that I, Alison Freer, being of sound mind and body, shall be so benevolent as to now share with you my top five ultra-emollient hand creams, all of which shall be made available on a first come, first-served basis at my bathroom door immediately upon my death.
(But first, a quick disclaimer: I am a devotee of ultra-rich hand creams. I believe you aren't really getting maximum moisture impact unless there is a little bit of inconvenient grease going on. So best practices demand that you wait at least 2 minutes after applying one of my fab five lotions before handling a kitten.)
Now, a little something you likely didn't know about me: In addition to working as a costume designer by day and writing posts here by night, I've also been moonlighting as a secret model on the weekends for years. My best pal's mom has a clever line of pedicure socks and foot cream called Pedi Sox, and her go-to foot model is none other than (drum roll please): YOURS TRULY!
Pedi Sox are a clever invention meant to keep your feet toasty in cold climates when you get a pedicure, and I've had my feet photographed at least fifty times over the past 10+ years as their house model. My payment? Pedicure reimbursements and all the Pedi Sox 'Sof Spa' foot Softening Cream Concentrate I can manage to choke down. (Yes, quelle horreur, run and tell that, I use foot cream on my hands!)
Pedi Sox 'Sof Spa' Softening Cream Concentrate is the perfect uber-emollient lotion, useful for parched heels and cracked palms alike. It really does what the name says — it softens ragged, dry cuticles beautifully. It has a light, faint floral scent that fades quickly. I'm forever a fan, even if they eventually toss me aside for newer, younger feet. (PS: The actual Pedi Sox themselves are genius for use at night to keep your feet soft and smooth. Just lather up with your favorite lotion and pop on a pair of Pedi Sox to lock in moisture while your piggies wiggle freely .)
Dermalogica's Age Smart Multi-Vitamin Hand and Nail Treatment is the fanciest of this bunch, at $26.00 for 2.5 ounces — but it's actually worth the coin. You don't need to reapply constantly to maintain the moisturizing effects, so a little bit lasts forever. One application in the AM lasts until I wash my hands at lunchtime. (And the paws of a motion picture costume designer take a beating — handling clothes all day is hell on hands.) The scent is crisp and unfussy — it doesn't smell like vanilla cake or sparkly unicorns, so it won't interfere with your other perfume or fragrance.
There's not much fancy French brand L'Occitane makes that I don't love, and their Shea Butter Vanilla Bouquet Ultra Soft Cream is for sure the good stuff. It sinks in quickly, doesn't feel greasy, and has an almost feral softness to it — both in feel and scent — that reminds me of petting a warm, glossy puppy in a serene field of sun-kissed vanilla poppies. (Yes, what I think I'm saying is that huffing this lotion sends me into a hallucinatory state.)
EOS's Everyday Hand Lotion is the absolute best purse-pal hand cream delivery system ever created. No stupid tiny cap to take off with your teeth and set down to lose, no tube to pop open in your bag and squirt everywhere. It's the perfect flat little ergonomic disc that opens easily and snaps closed securely. Most lotions at this price point are watery and pointless, but EOS's cream has a great hand feel and sinks in quickly. (I find it to be a great gateway drug for peeps who think they don't like the feel of hand lotion!) The three available scents are trés girly and all have real staying power — but I'm partial to the cucumber variety. It's like spa water in hand cream form.
Finally, if I had to pick one hand cream to rule them all, it would be Supergoop's 'Forever Young' hand cream with sea buckthorn. I don't know what the hell sea buckthorn is or even does (and it sounds rather painful?), but this very special hand cream has something almost every other hand cream on the planet lacks: SUNSCREEN.
If thou wishes to keep thine hands from looking like shrunken tomatoes left in the crisper for too long, hand cream with sunscreen is the way, and the truth, and the light. I keep this hand cream in my car, as UV exposure while driving adds up. (I once seriously considered wearing gloves while driving to block out all that evil sunshine, but alas, my life is not a Jane Austen novel, so hand cream with sunscreen will have to do.) Supergoop's 'Forever Young' hand cream is rich without being greasy, leaves zero white streaks as some sunscreens tend to do, and has a light, slightly citrus-y scent.
And so closes this macabre little post about death and hand cream.
I am the author of "How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing", available everywhere books are sold.