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I have always been really good at taking care of my skin and making sure that I cleanse and moisturise properly ever since I was a teenager. It has paid off because my skin looks good and I have hardly any fine lines.
One area that I neglected however is my hands but I am making up for it now and have got a regime of moisturising them as much as possible and they are looking much better than they did.
One hand cream which I tried and liked was this one by the Body Shop. I treated myself to it because I had some vouchers to spend in store as otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bought it because I wouldn’t have wanted to spend £10 in case I didn’t like it and it was quite a small amount for the money but as it was effectively free I wanted to try it out.
I am a huge fan of the body butters that the Body Shop produces so I was curious to see what one that has been especially developed for the hands and feet would be like and I wasn’t disappointed in it.
It is effectively a really rich butter for skin and although it could probably be used everywhere it is even richer than the body butters so I wouldn’t recommend using it as I think it would be just too heavy and rich. It is recommended for elbows and knees when you have rough patches.
This is so rich and quite greasy but it works wonders on really dry patches. I used this with my hand gloves and the next morning my hands were so unbelievably soft. I actually couldn’t believe how soft they were actually.
I do think that this is more of an intensive treat rather than something to use all the time just because of how rich it is. I found that it was difficult to do anything as the cream didn’t absorb properly for ages so my hands were greasy and when I used it on my feet I slid about my floors a lot. It was lovely to use though when I had time and wanted to pamper myself a bit and could allow the time for it to just soak in.
The glass container this comes in is pretty and looks quite luxurious and is actually a lot different to the usual Body Shop containers but it is a bit fiddly and awkward to use as it has a spring loaded lid which is difficult to open and close properly.
I decided to try this spa wisdom africa honey butter after seeing it being used in the care home that I work at. I wanted to see the results for myself as I have very dry skin and normal body lotions and creams make me itchy and on occassions a little bit blotchy I thought that i would give it a whirl. The body butter itself has a thick creamy texture with a subtle smell that sinks into the skin fast leaving no slimy feeling just soft nurished skin. I would say within the first two weeks I saw results, my skin was dramatically smoother and felt hydrated, even the heavy dry skin areas such as my feet and elbows felt and looked dramatically different in such a short amount of time. During the time in which I have been using this cream I have had no ill effects, no scratchiness or itching which is a major achievement.
The cream comes in a 125gram jar with a strange jam jar opening system, this has made it difficult to take to work as it takes up a lot or room in my bag. I dont know whether the body shop has a squeezy tube yet but if they havent it would be a great idea.
Christmas two years ago was quite an expensive time for me - my credit card bill can prove it! And it was also the year I discovered that the Body Shop stopped selling reasonably priced products in lieu for a more premium product range with a price to match. Briefly I had already purchased an excellent boxed foot prep kit which comprised of a foot scrub brush, a pair of socks, a foot cream and a scrub solution. It looked quite ethnic in the box accompanied by "Africa," labelling and after purchase for my mum as a special Christmas gift I couldn't wait to try out the foot cream as it seemed to have impressed her.
In 2008 the Body Shop decided that it would cease production of this bargain priced kit even though the products by their very packaging tend to mimic the latest range from the Body Shop called "Spa Wisdom." Because the jars and storage jar packed creams and potions are very similar in look and colour, it was easy to assume that it was still part of the same range even though the price of £10 for 125ml of this stuff proved to be eye widening at the time.
My experience with foot creams have been vast this year due to lifestyle changes, increased walking and exercise as the Sun comes out to play. I've sampled and bought products from Scholl, Boots, Efasit, Superdrug, some hellish Herbal stuff that ripped me off from the States, and some foot kits from the Body Shop.
Once home, the product jar looked quite classy in the bathroom even though it has a twist look metal lid complete with old fashioned storage/jam jar lock springs on either side of the top lid and a revelation that the entire glass jar is actually made out of plastic and rings out with a plastic dud sound the moment it is put on a worktop. Frankly I'm delighted because the last glass moisturiser I had met its death quickly from falling off the top shelf in my bathroom and smashing to pieces. Matched to the original style of "clasped storage jars," the Spa Wisdom Africa Spa Honey Butter looks very similar to a dark cream foundation thanks to its toffee brown consistency and look. The scent is flowery and inviting, similar to rose water and Primrose; however I don't find it to be overly feminine at the same time. Although Dooyoo state clearly here that it is a body butter, it is only marketed for hands and feet.
Although ever slightly off putting due to its brown/beige colouring, what comes across immediately is an imparting feeling that this cream may well have a pepper aspect to it as the cream can slightly make my skin feel prickly and cool when the cream is massaged into my feet and in between my toes. On just washed feet I find the whole aspect of application enjoyable, refreshing and relaxing; this is one cream, not just thanks to its price, you want to go easy on for moisturisation. It only takes a little to go a long way. I find just running a finger at the top surface of the container enough cream to moisturise both my hands, whilst a deeper scoop of a half inch of a finger or two is enough to cover one foot at a time.
One advantage of this cream which is an early indicator of its promise however is the fact that it is marketed as a cream for "hands and feet," and in this respect it knocks any hand moisturizer for dead that I have ever used because of the beautifully smooth and silky soft feeling the cream leaves when used on my hands. This is even more apparent when I'm applying cream to my own feet as well as massaging my mum's feet and it makes a great alternative to foot oils as the brown cream rolls into the skin very easily, sinking in and leaving a beautifully smooth and soft feeling. It does however vanish into the skin completely but the feeling of softness does not, under socks my feet still feel soft for four or more hours for example and in its use with any cotton sock I find that this cream seems to work for longer. Even when applied the night before, by the morning my feet are still gloriously soft whilst more apparently felt between my toes, this cream could well be a revelation. In sandals for example, of which I have been wearing for use whilst gardening, my feet retained their softness out in the open air and out of shoes, to the touch, my feet were smooth and soft. Regardless of whether how you subject your feet to the open air, Spa Wisdom doesn't manage to lose its effect and that is quite a welcome surprise. Whilst walking around the home in bare feet I found that the cream's longevity wore off - unsurprisingly with each step - this isn't a cream that you can use whilst working but rather a cream to use for relaxing AFTER work.
The Spa Wisdom's longevity of softness on my hands don't fare as long though, perhaps due to whatever you are doing with your hands at the time. So many times I have inadvertently gone to wash my hands and realised that I had applied the cream beforehand only to find it has completely been rinsed off my hands. Apply it afterwards when watching television or doing something relaxing and "hands free," and that's when the softness takes a longer effect. For staining worries however if the cream gets onto clothing at the time of application, a little hot water and vigorous action with a sponge ensures that despite its foundation look, this brown cream will not stain clothing and quickly rinses out.
The biggest test is how this product has managed on my dry patches on my foot. Unlike the Body Shop's Peppermint Cooling lotion, Spa Wisdom's cream is fairly thick and you don't need a large amount to do the trick; you can feel that when you touch the cream out of the jar; it imparts a certain and welcome degree of silkiness without any grainy powders to spoil the luxurious feeling. Once the cream has sunk in the softness comes to you courtesy of the four main ingredients such as Shea butter, Lanolin, Bees Wax and of course that Honey content; essential ingredients which have been proven to alleviate dry skin. On the worst hard patches of skin, I found that Spa Wisdom doesn't soften up the ridges completely but they do make a good attempt of softening hard skin. The relief however is welcome; especially if you have burning dry skin on the balls of your toes - burning, painful sensations - are replaced by coolness and softness. Latterly, another immediate advantage for those like me who have busy lifestyles is the fact that I found this product can be used and then walked on straight after application without fear of skidding or slipping on hard floor surfaces. This is the final thought that warrants me to give this product a full five star rating.
Despite the price then, Spa Wisdom's Africa Spa Honey Butter for Hands and Feet is a welcome little tumbler of joy. It smells fresh and gives a beautiful condition to feet and hands generally. Its organic ingredients and overall content give added peace of mind; treat your hands and feet to a little luxury now and then because they are more than worth it! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
4 / 4 oz / Contains lanolin, shea butter, and organic honey /