It's a sad fact, but I'm getting older (I hit the ripe old age of thirty-one recently. Which I was fine about, until one of my many charming friends pointed out that if I was killed in some kind of horrific review-writing accident, the news reports would refer to me as 'a woman in her thirties' rather than 'a girl in her late twenties'). It never used to be a problem, but in recent years I've noticed that the skin on my hands reacts really badly to the cold. The last few winters have seen the skin on my fingers and the backs of my hands get rough, chapped and generally nasty-looking. This year has been a particularly brrrrsome one though, and with temperatures in my part of the world not climbing above -10 for days at a time in the run-up to Christmas, my pinkies were looking and feeling awful. The backs of my hands were peeling and sore and my knuckles seemed to split open every time I clenched my hands or tried to grip a pen, leaving me with a patina of little cuts. Washing my hands was sore and wearing gloves seemed to make no difference. I quickly found out that scented body creams and the like were worse than useless, as were most hand creams. Even the special 'Norwegian Formula' stuff didn't make any difference whatsoever. I had more or less given up hope of having anything approaching elegant hands until the weather improved when I spotted this Atrixo cream in Sainsbury's and chucked it into my basket on the off chance that it might be good.
I think it's fair to say that Atrixo have never been a cool brand and nor will their products ever look good in your bag the way Molton Brown or Soap and Glory might. That said, they have made an effort with this packaging and so it doesn't come in the yellow tub with the bluey-greeny lid that used to sit atop my granny's dressing table. It's in a blue plastic tube with a flip top lid which is handy as it won't spill in your bag. The Atrixo logo is still a bit naff but overall the product looks quite nice.
~*~Does it work?~*~
On the front of the tube it claims that it has added panthenol and is extra strength for rough, chapped hands. In my experience, extra strength hand creams usually equate to oleaginous, gloopy concoctions that take forever to absorb. Thankfully, this isn't like that at all. It's a plain white cream that rubs into the skin easily and absorbs quickly - in under 2 minutes after application you could be opening jam jars 'til your heart's content. Less is definitely more with this cream, though, and a pea-sized blob on each hand will suffice otherwise it does take a long time to sink in. The scent is nothing special - quite floral and soapy and it lingers for a few minutes after application but then fades quickly. I started noticing a difference in the condition of my skin after just a couple of days' use. The surface of my skin was much smoother and my skin was much more supple. As a result the nicks and hacks around my knuckles and fingers were able to heal without being constantly split open. Even with washing my hands several times a day and applying copious amounts of antibacterial hand gel (I work with children - 'nuff said) this cream managed to keep my hands moisturised and smooth. I've never had an adverse reaction to it when using it on my hands and occasionally my arms if they look a bit dry. It's not intended for face and body and I think it would be a bit too heavy for these areas.
This cost just under five pounds in Sainsbury's which is an absolute bargain, considered I've used hand creams that were twice or triple the cost and the results have been nowhere near as good. The fact that one application will keep your hands smooth and moisturised for around three hours or so makes it even better value for money. At my current rate of usage, I'd expect to get at least 4 months out of the 100ml tube.
I don't do ingredients lists because they're terribly dull and I have infinite faith in you all having the intellectual wherewithal to toddle off to the Atrixo website to check for yourself. Or, indeed, to read the back of the packet should you be buying it in a shop. I will tell you this, though: there are at least two seven-syllable words in the ingredients and the Scrabble player in me applauds this (hydroxyisohexyl and hydroxycitronellal, in case you want to impress with your friends with your knowledge of chemical compounds).