Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date
– William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
The harbingers of Autumn are, for me, riotously colored leaves, my fancy turning to Shakespeare’s meditations on aging (and eternal youth), Brach’s Candy Corn and the scent of a bee’s posterior.
You see, as the brisk winds pick up and the humidity plummets, Chris and I pull out our favorite hand-care treatments to stave off chapped knuckles and cracked, bleeding fingers. Chris’s go-to product has always been Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, and the stuff really works – but my is it redolent.
Not wanting to smell like the hind section of a bee (or like Chris), I swear by L’Occitane’s 100 percent shea butter, which has a pleasing and mild nutty scent. But my is it expensive ($39 for 5.2 ounces). (Apparently, Bob and Glen are blessed with good skin genes – as far as I know, they don’t require regular application of hand treatments – or maybe Chris and I are just wusses.)
But now we have a new favorite – O’Keeffe’s Working Hands (and I also like the company’s Healthy Feet product). From O’Keeffe’s (very good) web site, one can order three 3.4-ounce jars of Working Hands for $21 plus $8 shipping – far less than what I’ve been paying for 5.2 ounces of shea butter. And, it’s singularly lacking in odor – which is great, except now I have to watch my mouth. I can no longer tell by my nose when Chris is right behind me in the shop.
What’s different about Working Hands? Heck if I know. But the product web site reads, “[It] contains a high concentration of Glycerin that draws in and retains moisture which is necessary for skin to heal. Another key component is Allantoin, an odorless, non-toxic and non-allergenic skin-protectant derived from the Comfrey plant. It removes dead skin cells to allow for better penetration and absorption of moisture and moisturizing ingredients.” And, it’s concentrated, so you need only a little dollop to fully treat both hands.
Honestly, after years of fighting with dry, split fingers every fall and winter (and even sometimes in the spring and summer), I really don’t care what’s in it; I just care that it works, and at a reasonable cost. Now if Working Hands only got rid of wrinkles…for that, I’d pay a lot more.
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