L’Occitane, Aesop and Cerave - The hand creams that inspired us

L’Occitane, Aesop and Cerave - The hand creams that inspired us L’Occitane, Aesop and Cerave - The hand creams that inspired us

When we think about skincare routines, we often associate it with caring for the skin on our face. Most of us have spent a lot of time and money to find effective products, regimes and routines that work. While it makes sense considering what our face is exposed to daily.  

There are other parts of our bodies that also bear the brunt of the elements, namely our edges: hands, lips, and feet.

In this article, we are going to explore some of the brands: Aesop, L’Occitane and CeraVe that inspired our Touch Me Hand CreamFor the purpose of this article, I got hold of their bestsellers to compare their formulas, ingredients, textures, scents and packaging.

Why you need a hand cream

 We often hear about or experience the impact external aggressors can have on our skin, causing irritation and damage that leads to dryness, sensitivity, and the ageing of the skin. Our hands suffer from this same exposure, if not more, but don’t seem to get nearly as much attention. While we can all agree that dry, split hands are not aesthetically pleasing, they are literally and figuratively a pain.

The thing about our hands is that they work hard for us throughout our day and are left vulnerable to meticulous washing and harsh products, which strip our paws of essential moisture, as well as thinner skin and fewer sebaceous glands, which makes them less able to retain moisture and thus more susceptible to drying out and cracking. Moreover, our skin loses elasticity over time.

Whether you are constantly typing with your fingers, spending time in the gym, or partaking in more manual work, your hands deserve recognition through care. See our article on how to care for dry hands to learn more about the causes of dry, cracked skin and how to treat it.

KOBA skincare was conceived to extend the narrative of skincare to other parts of our body that require a little more TLC but are often neglected and go unreplenished. Just as you probably don’t go a day without applying moisturiser to your face or a lotion to your body, you shouldn’t neglect your mitts.

After trying so many hand creams and balms and not finding one that checked all the boxes, Therese began formulating her own high-quality hand cream that considers all daily activities and encompasses French skincare expertise, African heritage, powerful naturally derived ingredients, and a unique and delicate fragrance all wrapped up in an attractive, easy to use design that is sustainable and kind to the environment. Touch Me Hand Cream reveals soft, supple and comforted skin without neglecting the cuticles. 

What should your hand cream contain?

A quality hand cream is a must. It should keep skin nourished, hydrated and comforted, your cuticles soft and conditioned, and prevent the skin from becoming sore, cracked and flaky. When choosing a hand cream, lotion or balm you should look for specific ingredients that are essential to skincare: humectants (these substances attract and draw water into the top layer of the skin), emollients (these substances smooth the skin’s surface as well as repairing and strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier) and occlusives (these substances create a barrier on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture). Next, I would consider preferred textures, finishes and fragrances. As someone who spends their work day typing away and is sensitive to strong smells, I look for ease of use, light aromas, and silky textures that don’t leave behind a greasy and sticky residue so that hand care can fit easily into my daily routine.

Putting the most popular brands to the test

 Let’s get into the best-selling creams that have inspired us: L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream. Disclaimer: Please note that all opinions are my own and based on my personal experience of using each cream daily after washing or as required for a week.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream RRP £22.00 for 150ml

The L’Occitane story began in 1976 with founder Oliver Boussant who used his knowledge of plants to produce natural skincare with well-being and sustainability in mind. With its roots in the South of France, L’Occitane takes its inspiration from the wonders of the Provence landscapes and the natural beauty of the world around us.

The L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is arguably one of the most popular hand creams out there and with good reason. The high concentration of shea butter in this cream, comprising a whopping 20%, not only nourishes but also soothes and comforts. Anti-inflammatory shea butter is often helmed as a superfood for the skin; rich in vitamins E and A, an abundance of fatty acids, a natural SPF and emollient and a powerful antioxidant. A little goes a long way and its aluminium squeeze tube packaging means little waste. L’Occitane’s iconic cream has a thick balm consistency, which for me personally was too intense and heavy. While it penetrates quickly to hydrate, protect and moisturise hands, if you apply too much it can leave a slightly greasy residue. L’Occitane has designed this hand treatment with very dry skin in mind, working particularly well to restore the natural barrier compromised by water, weather and hard work. The addition of beta-glucan, a humectant, and argan oil, an occlusive, works to reveal a flattering silky sheen and lasting hydration. The 30ml tube is the perfect travel companion to carry around with you for soft, nourished hands throughout the day.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, RRP £25 for 75ml 

 Aesop, established in 1987 by Dennis Paphitis, is a luxury Australian cosmetics brand that carries skincare, haircare and fragrances. Aesop was one of the first to create a scientifically-based botanical beauty range. Formulated with high quality ingredients and well-considered design, this balm epitomises everything that Aesop is known for and does best (style with substance), which explains why it is their most sought-after product. If you’re looking for a spa-like experience upon each application, the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm by Aesop offers a complete sensory package. Formulated with a citrusy, herbaceous and woody blend of fragrant botanicals; rosemary leaf, mandarin and lavender, this hand balm doubles as an aromatherapy session on stressful days, lifting the senses as it nurtures. Though if you are a little sensitive to strong smells, the fragrance it leaves behind is distinctive and rather overpowering. 

Its smooth consistency imparts a matte, yet slightly dewy finish. However, the rich and creamy texture takes some time to absorb when used during the day, so you might want to avoid typing on your computer or tapping on your touch screen immediately after use. Perfect for an overnight treatment, this Aesop balm helps to soften thickened skin (particularly around the cuticles), smooth cracks and restores supple skin for healthier feeling hands.

Leaping Bunny and Peta approved, Aesop is a vegan and cruelty-free brand using natural origin ingredients and only uses synthetic ingredients with a proven record of safety, stability, efficacy and sustainability. Ragged cuticles, ashy knuckles and splitting skin don’t stand a chance against the ultra-moisturising combo of sweet almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter found in the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, while potassium lactate acts as a skin softening and exfoliating emollient.

CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream, RRP £7 for 50ml 

 Founded in the United States in 2005, CeraVe creates products with straightforward, no-frills formulas to target certain skin conditions caused by a compromised barrier. Thanks to the soothing properties of ceramides and the popular humectant, hyaluronic acid (a coveted ingredient in facial moisturisers for its water retention properties), CeraVe’s Reparative Hand Cream is a tonic for rough hands, ideal for moisturising and restoring the natural skin barrier. CeraVe uses a straightforward formula, including niacinamide to seal in moisture. It is one of the best products on the market for hands that are prone to redness and are very reactive to cold and dry climates. A lightweight texture that is absorbed quickly to quench and comfort the skin, providing immediate relief without a sticky or oily sensation. If your skin is prone to redness and very reactive, particularly in winter, you’ll appreciate how fast CeraVe repairs, soothes and protects.

Developed with dermatologists for the purpose of function and efficacy the CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream is non-irritating, non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog pores) and fragrance-free. While CeraVe might not have the aesthetic packaging to make you excited to whip it out at all times of the day, or to display proudly with the rest of your beauty products, it gets the job done. CeraVe’s products are hailed as effective and budget-friendly, however, it is not conscious or sustainable, nor does it prioritise clean ingredients.

What Makes KOBA’s Touch Me Hand Cream So Special

Designed to be all-encompassing, while staying true to our ethos of cruelty-free, vegan and clean formulas, the Touch Me Hand Cream by KOBA skincare relieves and smooths dry, rough and cracked skin, without neglecting your nails and cuticles and without a greasy finish. It’s fuelled by safou oil to naturally improve texture and elasticity, vitamin E to nourish and hydrate, vitamin C to counter environmental aggressors, anti-inflammatory sweet almond oil (a natural emollient) to protect against free radicals and sun damage, shea butter (a humectant) to promote moisture balance, niacinamide to rebuild healthy skin cells and ricin oil (an occlusive) to replenish the skin, strengthen the nails and soften cuticles. This unique cocktail of naturally derived ingredients relieves and smooths dry, rough and cracked skin, boosts collagen production to reduce signs of ageing and offers salvation from everyday external stressors. Touch Me’s formula, fine textures, delicate fragrance and aesthetic yet functional packaging has everything your hand's needs and more.

It’s down to personal preference

When it comes to finding the right hand cream for you, be it by KOBA, L’Occitane, Aesop or CeraVe, your first step is to determine your skincare concerns and the factors contributing to the condition of your hands. The next step is to refer to the key ingredients of each product and seek out what works best for your concerns. For instance, if you’re on the hunt for a product that is specific for dry and cracked skin, seek out humectants like glycerine and occlusives such as shea butter. Are your primary concerns wrinkles and signs of ageing? Then look out for ingredients that are rich in fatty acids which helps to strengthen the skin’s lipid balance and surface layers for smoother, healthier, and younger-looking hands. Finally, for dark spots and discolouration, you want ingredients that protect against sun exposure such as Niacinamide.

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