It's been a rough year for hands, both physically and figuratively. On top of a saddening lack of physical contact, the constant hand washing that's necessary to keep Covid-19 from spreading has turned most people's hands into a dry shadow of their former selves. It's worth it, of course, but when the lyrics to "Sweet Caroline" start to make you want to cry, you know things are dire.
It's no vaccine (soon, it's gotta be soon), but for dry skin, shoppers say L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Cream is the only antidote you need. And at $12 for a tube of the French-made lotion, at least your hands can feel like they're on vacation. As a millennial who grew up beelining for Sephora and Hollister as soon as I hit the mall (fearlessly dating myself here), I remember my mom pulling me into L'Occitane's French Provincial-decorated stores just to buy its hand cream. Ten years later it's still a best-seller, fitting for a lotion that moisturizes all day long with just a small dab.
"A fantastic product for extremely dry hands like mine. It surpasses any other hand cream I've tried," one shopper writes, saying that a quarter-inch squeeze of the lotion covers both hands "and then some." That ultra-concentrated moisturizing power is thanks to the formula of 20 percent organic shea butter, organic honey, and sweet almond oil, which deliver fatty acids and omega 6 and 9 to support your skin barrier. Coconut oil and sunflower seed oil round out the hydrating side, while urea adds some light exfoliation to rid your hands of dry skin — making for a lotion that the brand says sells every two seconds.
The reviews speak for themselves. "I love this hand cream. I have tubes of it everywhere," one reviewer writes, listing off the four places she's stashed the moisturizer. "It's the best hand cream for dry skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves very little greasy feel," and has a "very light scent," ideal for smell-sensitive people. Others agree "this is without a doubt the best hand lotion on the market;" it absorbs within 30 seconds, creates smooth, soft hands within minutes, and is even able to heal cuts and scrapes "better than Neosporin or Aquaphor." On top of that, it removes crepey wrinkles on your hands in a way that's "pretty miraculous."
Shop now: $12; amazon.com
Health professionals, too, say the cream is unbeatable, fighting valiantly against "super dry" hands. More than one person calls it a "magic butter lotion" and "practically magic." It's even able to rescue hands that are "falling apart" and a "red, peeling, painful, disintegrating mess." The shopper wrote: "Until now, I hadn't spent more than $5 on a hand lotion. But... it works! My hands feel so much better now. [They're] reforming into human hands as I write this, and I know it was the shea butter's white magic!"
Someone else adds that they've been buying it since the '80s, back when it was only available in Paris. "Every time anyone I knew was headed to France, I would hand them $100 and say, 'Get as much of this as you can!'" Back then, $100 would buy 10 tubes — and though it's a tad more expensive now, they've kept up the habit. "I have tried other shea butter moisturizers, but none get close to how great this one is," they conclude.
Given the 5,780 five-star ratings and 1,686 similarly enthusiastic five-star reviews/love letters the hand cream has earned on Amazon, we'd venture it's well worth the $12 price tag. One, two, sold.