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~That'll Come in Handy~
Towards the end of 2012 I fell in love with Body Shop's Wild Rose hand cream, conveniently choosing to enjoy its fabulous fragrance whilst ignoring the words 'for mature skin' written on the tube. If my hand skin is mature, then it's probably the only grown up thing about me.
Talking to my boss the other day, I noticed how awful her hands were looking. She's about 5 years younger than me but my hands look ten years younger than hers. In the past I'd never really given my hands - or anyone else's for that matter - much thought but looking around me, I realised that mother nature had been kind to my hands but I'd better not take her for granted and rely on good luck forever. Perhaps I should get smarter about looking after what I'd got and make a bit more effort with my hand. This started when I bought the Body Shop Wild Rose hand cream but it was rather light in texture and I found I was applying it quite often. When I reviewed that product a few months back, I said I really wanted something more like a hand 'butter' - something thicker, richer and harder working. Luckily for me, this wasn't one of my "Hey wouldn't it be wonderful if you could get pet elephants that were only 18 inches high" wishes - this product did actually exist and Body Shop made it.
~Check before you buy~
At £11 for a 100 ml pot of 'Body Shop Wild Rose Nourishing Hand Butter' I didn't rush to buy as I thought it was expensive. Actually it's only slightly more expensive per ml than the standard hand cream (100 ml tube is £10) but the hand creams are often on offer and I couldn't bring myself to part with £11 for something I'd not tried first. I hesitated for quite some time before finally taking the plunge and buying a tub. There is no smaller tub for you to give it a go and see if you like it so I would advise as a minimum to go to the store and have a go to make sure you're not totally wasting your money. I picked mine up from the Body Shop outlet store at Cheshire Oaks which gives 40% off the full prices if you buy 4 items or more and also honours my 'Love Your Body' discount card with its 10% additional reduction on top - something that doesn't seem to work if I buy online. Hence I paid around £6 for my tub once the discounts had been applied.
I wanted to give the hand butter the best possible chance of success so the same day I bought a pair of white cotton 'gloves' from the L'Occitane store which are designed to be used with hand creams and butters. I have no patience at all and the idea of putting on the hand butter and either having to sit rubbing it in like crazy or flapping my hands around waiting for it to soak in was not going to work for me. I now just open the tub, scoop up quite a small amount of the butter and slather it all over my hands. Then whilst most of it is still sitting on my skin, I slide my hands into the gloves and get on with whatever I was doing - so long as it wasn't something that required me to have any particular sensitive finger dexterity. I have small hands and as I write this I'm making a right mess of trying to type whilst my hands are encased in these cotton hand-cream gloves. It cuts my typing speed by about a half but stops me clogging the keyboard with pink smelly cream. Life, as we all know, is constantly about compromises. After about five or ten minutes, I take the gloves off and everything has soaked away nicely. I like to tell myself it's soaked into my hands but of course I can't rule out the possibility that I'm just paying money to put hand cream onto the inside of my gloves.
~In the pink~
So what do you get for your £11 (or rather less if you play the offers well and grab all the discounts)? The tub holds 100 ml of hand butter and to put that into perspective, the small Body Shop body butters come in tubs of 50 ml and the large ones are 200 - so it's twice as much as the small and half as much as the large body butter tubs. The tub is made of white, semi-transluscent plastic with a big two-tone pink label on the top and another pink band around the sides. My pot is bilingual in English and French, leading me as so often happens to conclude that the French need a lot more long words to say what we can say in English with two thirds of the space. The label describes this as "Indulgent moisture for beautifully soft hands. With rosehip oil and Community Fair Trade Brazil nut oil". The only instruction given is 'massage into hands' and there's no suggestion of how often you should apply it. That's fine for me as I never follow instructions anyway although I feel slightly offended at not being given the chance to ignore those non-existent instructions. I'm fairly sure that it's not beyond the wit of any of us to work out that you rub it on your hands and you do it as often as it suits you.
If you can't cope without instructions, you can find them on the Body Shop website where this is recommended as the fourth step of a hand care regime that starts with a hand wash, follows with an oil and a hand cream and ends up with the butter. If you really have enough time to do a four step process for your hands, I'm envious of your time management skills. Interestingly they do suggest it can be used with gloves, so I'm happy to know my instincts were right on that.
The cream itself is pale pink in colour. It's rose scented so I doubt you were expecting me to tell you it was turquoise. It's less thick than a body butter but much thicker than a Body Shop hand cream although it lacks the sun protection ingredients of the wild rose hand cream. That's why I'd recommend to use this at home in the evening and the cream during the day time when you're out and about. Also it's better to apply this when you're not about to wash the dishes, have a bath, wash your hair or whatever is likely to strip off all the moisture you've just put back. Just before bedtime is a good choice and if your personal circumstances don't make going to bed in cotton gloves too absurd, you can slap the cream on extra thick, pop on your gloves and let the cream do its work overnight. I'd suggest this is a better idea if you're sleeping alone - which is one of the reasons I take my cream and gloves with me on business trips.
~Ingredient stuff - you know what you like and what matters~
If you have really good eyesight, you can peel open the label on the bottom and read the ingredients though I suggest that if such things are important to you, it's probably better to go to the Body Shop website and read them up on there. On the website the ingredient lists are (in my rather disinterested opinion) rather more informative because they are not just the legal minimum information - instead they tell us what's in it and in brackets, what function it has in the product. I would assume these days that people know what Body Shop stands for on ingredient sourcing and integrity and product testing and will make their own decisions on what they do and don't accept without me listing a load of chemical names. If it matters for you, you'll check, if it doesn't you'll just take the lid off, sniff it and decide if it smells nice.
~I'll give it a big hand~
The most important question is obviously 'does it work' and I'd give it a resounding endorsement. My hands are not rough to start with but I find using this two or three times a week has made the skin feel softer and it leaves my hands smelling lovely for a couple of hours each time. I find myself sniffing at my hands after I've used it to enjoy the rose scent.
If you have any allergies or problems with certain ingredients, please do check out the ingredient lists. If you hate the smell of roses, then give this one a miss. But if your skin is 'normal' and you like roses, this is a superb product. A small pot lasts a long time and it's good enough that - if forced to - I might even pay full price for this lovely product.