My favourite Hand Cremes. Reviews of Burts Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Creme and Almond and Milk Hand Creme. (Plus a Couple of Honorable Mentions!)

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If you’re suffering from dry hands as a result of brutal winter weather, your job, diligent hand-washing, genetics, or anything else, then look no further than these my favourite hand creams from Burts Bees, for salvation for your poor little paws! 

The fact that these work magnificently well and come from such a fabulous company is a welcome bonus. 

Burts Bees was born in Maine, USA, in 1984, when a local artist and single mum, Roxanne Quimby, was trying to hitch a lift home. Enter one, Burt Shavitz, a local bee keeper who sold honey from the back of his truck, who stopped to give her a lift. The pair chatted on the drive and Burt offered to give Roxanne any unused wax from his hives so she could use it to make and sell candles. She fashioned the wax into fruit and vegetables and they were so popular that their success allowed the new friends to expand the range to include their iconic lip balms. To say the company has been a success is a huge understatement. 

By virtue of being effective, delicious smelling, natural and often extremely lovely, the products have become legendary and this thoroughly decent company have succeeded in becoming icons in a world where that’s nearly impossible unless you’re a huge corporation.

The brand and packaging just whisper (they’d never scream, they’re much too nice) authenticity, nature, simplicity and loveliness. 

I like lots of their products but my absolute favourite are these hand cremes. They’re not just my favourite items in the Burts Bees line but the best of any hand creams I’ve tried, and as a uncomfortably dry hand sufferer, I’ve tried a lot! 

They are most suited to night time use though, so I’ve also included my favourite hand cream options for daytime use, or for people who can’t abide the sticky hands that my favourites will create. 

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Burts Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Cream, £10.99

The hand cream is unusual in the fact it comes in the most adorable (environmentally responsible, recyclable) glass jar (unlike the generic tube packaging of most hand cream) with a metal screw top lid, making it look and feel like a very special and luxurious item but super cute. The label and pot are sort of old fashioned, retro and charming.

In the jar, I think Burts Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream smells almost unfeasibly delicious. To me, it’s utterly nostalgic, mouth watering, banana loveliness that takes me back to my childhood and those banana sweets that you used to put in ’10p mixtures’ (or ‘mix-up’ depending on your childhood location!). When you open the screw top lid of the jar this smells like those sweets, only better, and I absolutely love it! 

However, once you’ve rubbed it into your hands the strong scent does morph into something a little different, like a less pleasing artificial banana scent mixed with plastic to me. My mum says it’s more like rubber to her. I don’t know which one is the more accurate description, but I think you’ll agree neither sound particularly delectable! It’s not overwhelming, and doesn’t linger long, and most importantly, for me at least, it retains enough sweet banana scent to keep me happy. 

I do think it’s worth mentioning that the smell of this product does alter once you’ve applied it onto skin and also to give you the ‘heads-up’ that even though I largely adore the smell, it is very divisive. Having said that, in my experience, more people love it than hate it. Okay, scent disclaimer done, lets move on to the products efficacy and results! 

The formula is very, very thick and almost waxy, which isn’t all that surprising given the ‘bees wax’ in the title. It can get fairly solid for a cream in the jar but softens with your body heat once you dip your fingers in to retrieve a small amount. And it really does need to be a small amount if you’re applying during the day and want to be able to go about your daily business without leaving almighty greasy hand and fingerprints on everything you touch! 

It does eventually sink in fairly well, with the greasy film reducing dramatically about 15 minutes after application. 

Of course, you can use a tiny quantity and use it during the day but I tend to use something lighter if I’m on the go. By night, I love slathering this on it as a rich night-time treatment for my hands (and elbows and feet!) or applying it when I have nothing to do other than watch TV. 

The Burt’s Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream is a super rich, all-natural, non animal-tested hand cream that’s jam-packed with lovely ingredients; aloe vera, vitamin E, almond oil, grapefruit seed oil, canola oil and glycerin, all work to moisturise and soothe dry skin and beeswax helps to help seal, protect and shield your hands from the elements and irritants and lock in the moisture.

My hands are never softer and more comfortable than when I use this, or Burts Bees Almond and Milk Hand Cream, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop repurchasing them. If you hate greasy products or hands, you’re not the ideal candidate for this but if you have dry hands, I’d urge you to push through the greasy pain barrier… I certainly think it’s worth it! 

Burts Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream, £10.99

Like the product above, the first thing that struck me was the packaging. (It’s identical in all but label). It’s just so cute! The jar and label have such a gorgeous rural feel and really express the ethos of Burt’s Bees (who describe themselves as earth-friendly and natural) perfectly.

I love the look of these two jars on my bedside table but I understand that glass jars are a tad impractical and why a lot of people avoid them. Obviously you run the risk of introducing bacteria too, by dipping your fingers in, if you don’t use a clean spatula every night. I must admit I don’t use a spatula for this even but tend to use when I’m just out the bath or shower with clean hands. Besides, I don’t think this is an on-the-go product, more a night-time treatment, so I don’t care that I can’t nonchalantly throw it in a handbag. Plus, this hand cream is incredibly thick so would be nigh-on impossible to squeeze out of a tube so I think the jar is actually the most practical container for this product. 

The next thing I noticed is that this Burt’s Bees hand cream smells heavenly! Burt and his bees really know how to make a delightful smelling hand creme that’s for sure! This smells deliciously like marzipan. I don’t actually like marzipan and wouldn’t welcome a marzipan desert but this creme smells good enough to eat to me! It is, as the name suggests, a sweet and nutty almond extract scent, mixed with honey and milk. It is a source of delight to me that the smell remains far, far longer on the hands compared to any hand moisturisers I’ve ever used before. I can still smell it lingering after 45 minutes! I understand a lot of people are anti-scent in skincare of beauty products and if you’re one of them, then this fragrance will be far too potent. 

A word of warning to grease avoiders among you; the consistency of isn’t for the faint hearted or for people who aren’t seeking a heavy-duty salve-like, skin-saver. This has an even thicker and more emollient texture than the Beeswax and Banana variant of this Burts Bees Hand Cream and even on the driest, thirstiest hands, rubbing this dense ointment in is akin to kneading dough! It does become more pliable as the heat of your hands starts warming it up but it’s not without effort. 

It bastes skin in rich, fatty, moisture and definitely takes a lot longer to absorb than your average hand cream. The end result of smooth, soft and supple skin on my dry hand is wonderful, though, and is well worth the effort to apply and wait for it to sink in. It delivers what feels like new hands!

If you’re using it during day time, I would exercise caution and use a tiny amount, as with the banana. It’s just not compatible with opening doors, jars, purses or much else, if you don’t. You will leave a trail of grease prints wherever you go if you put on more than the bare minimum.

As with the banana version, this is full of great stuff. It’s made from 99.9 per cent natural ingredients; sweet almond oil vitamin E and aloe, as well as beeswax, which protect the skin and helps the product stay on even after you’ve washed your hands. 

I love everything about this product but the most important thing of all is that as a delicious smelling, nourishing treat for you or a loved one, it works like a charm. 

It’s a marzipan dream cream! 

My Favourite, Non-Greasy but Intensive Hand Creams for Daytime Use

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Crabtree & Evelyn Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy, £16

This, on the left-hand-side of the above photo, was a Christmas present from my mum and the first thing I’ve tried from Crabtree & Evelyn. It has fast become an all-time favourite hand cream. 

Crabtree & Evelyn’s award-winning Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy is an intensive, but fast absorbing, hand cream infused with macadamia nut oil, shea butter and conditioning lemon, coriander and honey extracts. It contains hydrating ceramides and antioxidant-rich vitamin E as well as Myrrh extract to helps condition your nails and cuticles. It’s formulated without lauryl sulfates, mineral oil, parabens or propylene glycol. 

It smells nice and very citrusy and fresh to me; a bit like a honey and lemon drink with punch of coriander. 

It nourishes skin so it’s noticeably smoother and more comfortable after each application. 

The texture is lovely and light, almost like a serum that feels watery when you’re rubbing it in. It sinks in almost immediately and leaves no sticky residue. My hands feel velvety and smooth after use. You don’t need any “down-time” after application. 

I like the fact it comes in a metal tube that I can safely travel with it or easily roll up the tube to get out product as I use it up. 

It’s the lightest hand cream I own and the one I would recommend to anyone who doesn’t want anything thick, heavy, sticky or greasy and does want something that’s super light but very effective. 

Liz Earle Rosemary & Rock Rose Hand Repair , £21

On the right-hand-side of the photo is another beautiful item in the all-singing-all-dancing Liz Earle range. 

One of the reasons this is perfect for daytime is because I can carry the tube safely in my handbag, but this isn’t the standard packaging for Rosemary and Rock Rose Intensive Hand Repair. My tube is part of a gift set and the standard packaging is the same as the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser pump bottle (but in pretty pink shade!). I have the standard bottle too and it’s too big to toss in a bag and carry about, making it redundant during the day. 

It has a nice enough, very subtle and quite calming scent of rosemary and rock rose pure essential oils. To me, it’s not the loveliest smelling of hand creams and ever opinionated Mitters Magpie (my mum) said of it, “oh no… no way… smells of old muskrat!”. Only at that point, did I realise it reminded me of Body Shop’s White Musk scent from my childhood so the musky element certainly rings true to my nose as well! I really don’t think many people would be especially offended by it though, because it certainly doesn’t linger for any length of time. It’s much less botanical or aromatic than most Liz Earle products but some will like that, I suppose.

It has a creamy and rich consistency when you first touch it. It has a similar texture to Liz Earle famous Cleanse and Polish cleanser so is initially very thick, luxurious and indulgent feeling but first impressions are deceiving because the thick cream blends into a very light non-greasy lotion that absorbs quickly and leaves no trace of creme on the skins surface. It is very matte in finish so you won’t get locked in the loo with sloppy hands after using it!

Although it has ‘intensive’ in the title, it’s not intensive enough for me to use overnight but it is as intensive as they come in such a lightweight formula. I’m really impressed.

It is made using a botanical blend of soothing echinacea to soften the skin, toning & calming hops, plus antioxidant-rich beta-carotene and natural source vitamin E, which is apparently three times more potent than the synthetic kind to heal and prevent skin scarring. 

The formulation is really lovely and quite luxe feeling and it’s a failsafe method to soften and comfort dry hands. It’s certainly one of the nicest I’ve ever tried and I think a hand creme like this, or indeed the Crabtree & Evelyn above make great gifts, as hand creme seems to be something that hardly anyone buys for themselves but that everyone would benefit from. Having the standard pump bottle of this by your sink, as I have, with the accompanying hand wash from the Rosemary and Rock Rose range is a particularly lovely treat – to you or someone you love.

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Buy these hand creams; 

Burts Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream

lookfantastic.com/burt-s-bees-beeswax-and-banana-hand-cream-57g

Burts Bees Almond and Milk Hand Cream

lookfantastic.com/burt-s-bees-hand-creme-almond-milk-beeswax-57g

Crabtree and Evelyn Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Treatment 

crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/hand-care/hand-cream/citron-honey-and-coriander-hand-therapy-100g-81091

Liz Earle Rosemary & Rock Rose Hand Repair 

lizearle.com/h5/hub?id=%2Fhand-repair-rosemary-rock-rose.html