Need a ‘hand’ in deciding what to use this winter?

Dear Miss Beauty Nerd,

With a young baby to take care of, I have to wash my hands a million times during the day. Now that the colder weather is here my hands are horribly dry. Yet anytime I use a hand cream I find it gets WORSE. I’ve heard that it’s the Cetyl Alcohol that causes this. But EVERY product I’ve ever checked on a hand cream contains this ingredient. Is this just a conspiracy – getting the relief for a few minutes by applying the product, but ensuring that it dries your hands out even more, thus needing to apply more? What product should I try that will alleviate this horrible problem?

ps. It’s not just my hands either – we’re talking legs, feet – and face. But the face brings me to my next question… I need to buy a face cream – the weather is making my face feel extremely tight and horrible. I just bought a new cream for Fall which isn’t giving me enough moisturizer. Biotherm Skin Vivio. (I use Aquasource in the warmer months.) I was going to buy Skyn Iceland Biospheric Cloud Cream which I have been using for the last couple of winters but I wanted something for anti-aging this year. Anything to recommend? I have combination skin, very sensitive. I break out horribly from products like Clarins and Lancome. Anything too active gives me welts. =(


Hi L!

Cetyl alcohol should not be the ingredient that causes your hands to dry out. Quite the opposite, in fact. Cetyl alcohol is an emulsifier and is added to formulas to improve the emolliency on the skin. Which soaps are you using to wash your hands? Products that are heavy in sodium lauryl sulfate may have a drying effect, but they are also very effective at cleaning. Usually products with the secondary surfactant cocamidylpropyl betaine is a more gentle surfactant so may not be as stripping to the skin. I’m not sure what kind of hand creams you are using either, but I really like the Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream. I find that it absorbs nicely into the skin – hopefully this would work for you too?

Also, especially with the weather getting colder and drier, remember that it is not only about what you apply topically. Make sure you also stay hydrated by drinking lots of water… or I like drinking tea because of health benefits as well!

Now, to your face cream question! If you want something heavier, you should actually try Biotherm’s anti-aging line. Biotherm Reminerale is my FAV! I think you may be ok with Biotherm, it doesn’t tend to be too active. If you are really sensitive though, they also have BioSensitive which apparently now contains phyto-omegas 3 and 6. The other one that I was using for winter is the Remede Alchemy Night cream. It’s really expensive, but so amazing in the winter!

And since you are a chic and fabulous new mommy, you may also enjoy my friend, Olivia’s blog: Mommy Modernista. She has great tips and is definitely MY stylish mommy icon!


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