Ew, Desert Hands
May 9, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a hand and body moisturizer. Difficulty: Las Vegas.

Recently moved (back to) Las Vegas. I am still very very happy with the products I am using on my face, but I have yet to find a hand/body product that really pleases me. My hands in particular get very dry. Nexcare was just barely adequate in a more humid environment, but I honestly don't like the smell, and I feel like it really isn't holding up as well here in the desert.

I require a hand/body product that holds up well over the course of the day with little re-application, keeps my skin from cracking, and has a minimal (or at least pleasant) smell. Bonus points for being a multi-purpose product, such as a "moisturizing body wash" (although I question how something can both clean and and leave something behind) or a "moisturizer with sunscreen." Additional bonus points for reasonable price ($15 > tube), mega bonus for ways I can get a sample quantity.
posted by ilsa to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
When I was living through Boston winters, the Body Butter from the Body Shop was a godsend. It feels greasy going on but tended to sink in pretty quickly.

(And having been to Vegas and felt, the entire time, like the entirety of my skin was about to flake off from lack of moisture, I can't imagine that a combo product would give you enough moisturizing power for the desert.)
posted by occhiblu at 10:13 AM on May 9, 2007

There's a Kiehl's store in the Forum shops, and I hear amazing things about everything they ever make ever. I am still regretting not stopping in there when I was there last to try some stuff out.
posted by mckenney at 10:30 AM on May 9, 2007

Try Aveda's Hand Relief. I've never really used it on any other part of my body aside from my hands but it works wonderfully at keeping them moist without being greasy and it also smells wonderful. I imagine it would work well on any dry skin. They sell travel sizes as well as bigger ones online I believe. If the price is the same as it was a few years ago when I worked at an Aveda salon, the large size should be around $16.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:32 AM on May 9, 2007

I love Burt's Bees Hand Salve. Inexpensive, easy to locate (Target carries it), smells very faintly and deliciously of almonds and doesn't leave a greasy film on your skin.
posted by jamaro at 10:35 AM on May 9, 2007

Out in the nevada desert I used "Udderly Smooth Udder creme".

Also Body Shop's Hemp Chanvre hand cream is really strong, but feels a little thick going on.
posted by cotterpin at 10:37 AM on May 9, 2007

One other suggestion I would make is Cetaphil's body lotion. It is by far the best over the counter moisturizer that I have ever used. I use it on my legs because they get very, very dry. It's the only lotion that really helps soothe them. It feels nice and light and has no scent. There is, I believe, a 16 oz. container that you can purchase for $15 at most supermarkets and drugstores.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:38 AM on May 9, 2007

Well, if you're able to order online:
I recommend aqueous creams. I don't see them much in the US, but they are very soothing, thick, and not overly oily since they're water-based. There are some available at this site, but I haven't tried those.

For my hands, which are chronically dry and have mild eczema, I use Lansinoh, a lanolin-based cream. (Don't let it's original purpose deter you.) I put it on overnight, sometimes with gloves, and just one treatment improves things a LOT. I can just about feel its protective layer for most of the following day, but it's not at all greasy. It's very thick--like stiff honey--and isn't something you'd want to use on your whole body. Well, maybe it is, but that's a different question.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:46 AM on May 9, 2007

I'm of German lineage living in Tucson, AZ, so I can speak about dry skin. I use Cetaphil moisturizer almost exclusively (with cuticle cream from Burt's Bees when they need it) with some nighttime applications of body butter (Delon, typically). Don't bother with Lubriderm, Vaseline, or other similar products - no matter how much they claim "intense moisture". Also, recommended: a light body oil (Neutrogena or similar) after your shower will do wonders. In a pinch, Walgreen's version of Dove's body wash is really nice and won't break your budget.

As for cost: Cetaphil, Delon body butters, and Neutrogena body oil can all be found at Costco.
posted by parilous at 10:47 AM on May 9, 2007

I really like Glysomed hand creme - thick, not greasy and comes in a fragrance-free variety. I don't find the normal scent to be overpowering though.
posted by stefnet at 10:47 AM on May 9, 2007

I second Utterly Smooth.

So good it can make the desert bloom.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:47 AM on May 9, 2007

Ah, forgot to add, my go-to cream when I can't use those is tub-style Eucerin cream (not the lotion).
posted by cocoagirl at 10:48 AM on May 9, 2007

My derm recommended Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream for a small, non-severe chemical burn I had on my arm. I love it.

Also, I love Cetaphil body cream, the Aveeno 24-hour moisture formula (although I use the tub version-- I am not sure it matters which one). Lastly, I use Aquaphor for lips, intensely dry patches and scrapes. I have used it on dry skin on my legs and it worked very well (although was a bit greasy for a few minutes.)
posted by oflinkey at 10:58 AM on May 9, 2007

This past winter, my hands were so dry and chapped that they started to bleed. I picked up some Vaseline Intensive Rescue Heal & Repair Balm. It feels kind of ugly going on (use it in tiny, tiny amounts), but damned if it didn't do the trick.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:03 AM on May 9, 2007

This doesn't help anything, but "Difficulty: Las Vegas" sure sounds like a TV show or action movie or something.
posted by ORthey at 11:07 AM on May 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

I am a firm believer in the miracles that Dream Cream from Lush can accomplish. It is available for online purchase. I just spent the past two and a half weeks in Las Vegas and used my Dream Cream everyday and barely made a dent in the tub because it is so rich.

I know it's been said, but just to repeat, do not use crap from Bath and Body Works or anything that is heavily scented because the alcohol that creates the scent just dries you out more.

Also, when I'm out there (probably going to be moving there within the next few months) I use either Kiss my Face Sunscreen or Burt's Bee Chemical Free Sunscreen both of which leave my face nice and soft and sunburn free.
posted by banannafish at 11:11 AM on May 9, 2007

For body cream, I use Curel Continuous Comfort Frangrance Free. I've got very dry skin, and one liberal application after my morning shower keeps my skin in good shape. I was using Aveeno before, which also did a good job, but I find that Curel performs just as well and isn't as goopy/sticky as the Aveeno.

For my hands I use Aveeno hand cream. It's better than others I've tried, although I'm convinced there's something even better out there.
posted by robinpME at 11:15 AM on May 9, 2007

I love, love, love Ahava. You can find it in higher-end dept stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, but you can find it at online stores like here for much cheaper than retail stores.
posted by dogmom at 11:46 AM on May 9, 2007

Welcome (back) to Vegas! I've lived here all my life and don't have much of a dry skin problem, but my husband has really been suffering it in the 3+ years he's been here. We just picked up the Burt's Bees salve this weekend so I don't have a verdict on that yet, but it looks promising. He's gotten decent results from Philosophy's Time on Your Hands (I got a small jar in a gift set, we haven't gotten around to getting more hoping to find something that works and is cheaper). He's also been using the cow creme in the black & white jar (is that Udderly Smooth?) found at Trader Joe's to some success. Ultimately, we haven't found the perfect balm so I'll be watching this tread with interest, too.
posted by krix at 12:10 PM on May 9, 2007

I used Cethaphil when my skin dried out horribly from Accutane. Cetaphil is available at the drugstore, unscented, dermatologist recommended, and can be used on face and body. It's a great heavy, all-purpose lotion!
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 12:54 PM on May 9, 2007

Not exactly what you asked but: consider switching soaps too. Cetaphil, which makes a lotion that was recommended above, also makes a non-drying liquid cleanser that is the very best I've used. It's the go-to solution for people with dry or sensitive skin. Available most places and usually available in generic formulations too. Try it.

Anecdotally, the best thick lotions I've used are ones with shea butter. The best non-thick lotion is Alba Botanica's Very Emollient lotion (white bottle, purple stripe).
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2007

Seconding Eucerin!

I have very dry hands in the winter time. I will apply this before I go to bed and it works all the next day. Awesome, but expensive, stuff.
posted by internal at 1:00 PM on May 9, 2007

I know it's been said, but just to repeat, do not use crap from Bath and Body Works or anything that is heavily scented because the alcohol that creates the scent just dries you out more.

Ah, now you see I said "minimal smell" mostly because I don't want to smell like I was attacked by the scent-monster. That and I have to be around people who are allergic to a lot of perfumes. Now I have even more reason to avoid Bath and Body Works and probably Occitane en Provence as well.
posted by ilsa at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2007

Lubriderm has been an old standby of mine for years. It's thick enough to get me through the cold northeast winters, but not so thick that it makes me greasy in the summer.
posted by dagnyduquette at 2:16 PM on May 9, 2007

Kiehl's Creme de Corps is expensive, but totally worth it.

And whatever lotion you decide to use, you need to put it on your entire body right after you shower while still damp.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:23 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I use Lush's Dream Cream too. It is amazingly rich stuff, but it alone can't help my dryness lately (especially spending a few weeks in Cambridge, MA this winter). I've recently been reduced to covering my hands first in jojoba oil (also use it on the dry tips of my hair and on my partner's scalp where he has psoriasis, and can be used anywhere else on the body including face) then slathering on Dream Cream and wrapping my hands in some nitrile exam gloves (having a partner with a lab and machine shop proves useful again!) for a few hours/sleep. Magic.

Oh, and I always check makeupalley before making big skincare and cosmetic decisions.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:48 PM on May 9, 2007

I make my own with olive, almond or grapeseed oil (the grapeseed oil I buy is from the grocery store and is cheap and light). Add bees wax (I buy cosmetic grade, often from a craft store). Microwave on medium heat until wax is melted. Add flavoured oil essences if you like (lavender, lemon, whatever). The more wax you put in, the more durable it is.
posted by kch at 10:34 PM on May 9, 2007

Bag Balm.
posted by kc0dxh at 8:19 AM on May 10, 2007

I second Ahava. I believe you can find it at Sephora on the strip. You might have to ask for it, as they keep the free samples in a cabinet. That's all I used when I lived in the Vegas area.
posted by IndigoSkye at 7:23 AM on May 11, 2007

Eucerin has a fairly new line of "plus intensive repair" creams for the body and hands. I have eczema on my hands and these products work really well, as does the original Eucerin in a tub. However, the intensive repair creams are easier to rub into the skin. I also really like Crabtree & Evelyn's Garderner's Hand Repair Cream. It smells wonderful but doesn't irritate open, cracked skin at all.

If your skin is really dry, I also recommend moisturizing with a cream (not a lotion, they are drying) or even just oil within 3 minutes of taking a bath or shower (showers are better for dry skin, by the way). I knew a woman who swore by olive oil first thing out of the shower. She had beautiful skin and looked much younger than her age as well.
posted by tuff at 4:38 AM on May 12, 2007

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