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.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.
Maybe something along a more natural bent….http://www.etsy.com/transaction/33188729. Works really good for healing dry cracked skin, and it`s cheap too!
Megan, I’d like to put in a vote for "Udderly Smooth Udder Cream". Contains allantoin, dimethicone, Lanolin oil, and propylene glycol. It really was developed for cows, but works very nicely as a skin cream on people, too, especially for soothing dry winter skin. No odor, and no greasy feel. You can use it on your hands with no fear of leaving spots on wood or anything else. (I use it on my face and neck also – you would never guess my age by looking for wrinkles!) Best of all, Amazon offers it in a SIX-PACK of 12-ounce jars for $27.00.
It works for me! 😉
Another vote for Bag Balm. Found out about it from my wife who makes beautiful quilts. The stuff is like magic, and yes, it is used in the dairy industry to keep cows from being chafed by the milking machines. Walgreens carries it in several sizes. Get some cotton gloves (Walgreens again in the bandage section) slather on hands before bedtime, and put the gloves on over the top to keep from getting salve all over your sheets. My thumbs always seem to split in winter and my hands dry out like crazy. I love this stuff. Wouldn’t mind trying the O’Keefes either though. Never can have too many tools in the toolbox!
I’ve tried Badger Balm, Burt’s Bees, and O’Keefe’s, but nothing has worked as well for me as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E. Yes, it smells like sunscreen, but i put it on my hands when I go to bed at night, and in the morning they’re good as new. Every time I go back and try one of the others again, I’m reminded that — as good as each of them is — Palmer’s works the best for me. You may find it in the Pharmacy aisle, separate from the lotions. You might also find it in the baby aisle, since it’s marketed for stretch marks. (http://amzn.to/aYHVr3)
I’ve tried Badger Balm, Burt’s Bees, and O’Keefe’s, but nothing has worked as well for me as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E. Yes, it smells like sunscreen, but i put it on my hands when I go to bed at night, and in the morning they’re good as new. Every time I go back and try one of the others again, I’m reminded that — as good as each of them is — Palmer’s works the best for me. You may find it in the Pharmacy aisle, separate from the lotions. You might also find it in the baby aisle, since it’s marketed for stretch marks. http://amzn.to/aYHVr3
Oops, I missed the "three" in "three 3.4-ounce jars".
I’ve tried Badger Balm, Burt’s Bees, and O’Keefe’s, but nothing has worked as well for me as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E. Yes, it smells like sunscreen, but i put it on my hands when I go to bed at night, and in the morning they’re good as new. Every time I go back and try one of the others again, I’m reminded that — as good as each of them is — Palmer’s works the best for me. You may find it in the Pharmacy aisle, separate from the lotions. You might also find it in the baby aisle, since it’s marketed for stretch marks. <http://amzn.to/aYHVr3>
Corn Huskers has worked for me for at least thirty years, and no odor whatsoever.
I have used O’Keefes Working Hands for a couple years, and I love it. The main reason I started using it, was because it is made here in Oregon. I don’t know id it is politically correct or not, but who cares? As for carbon footprint, the more carbon dioxide produced means better food for plants.
Call me crazy, but I always use Jojoba Oil as sold by Lie Nielsen. They sell it for tool rust prevention, but it turns out Jojoba oil is chemically almost identical to natural skin oil. It adsorbs quickly and is almost odorless. It helps with wrinkles also, Megan. I have it in my shop anyway, so why not? I use it on my face, beard and hair, too. Don’t yuck, it works. It’s all natural, it’s green, it has a low carbon footprint and it’s domestic, so it’s politically correct in every way.
Like Richard says, Bag Balm works for me.
I remembered about 80% of it. Not bad for class of ’87…
I remember choosing it on the basis that maybe I could use it to impress a girl. Never did, though.
I always thought the ending had a clever twist, though: This poem’s about you, and as long this poem survives, so will you. 😉
Hey! I memorized that sonnet in high school ("Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?…") Haven’t thought about that in **years**!
You Lit. majors are cool… 🙂
Bag Balm works for me. As they say, it’s udderly fantastic.
Thanks for clearing that up JC (there is, however, always the very real possibility that I got a math problem wrong…)
It is 3.4 oz. X 3 bottles so $29 for 10.2 oz.
I haven’t done the math, but is seems to me that $39 for 5.2oz costs less per ounce than $29 (21 + 8) for 3.4oz.
I swear by "Badger Healing Balm" for dry NJ winters – if you like old-fashioned oil/wax finishes like "Tried and True" you’ll probably like the Badger stuff, too.
I’d rather smell like 18th century wood finish than a modern <insert anything you wish here>. Id rather not smell like an 18th century joiner probably did, though.
My wife likes candy corn, too. I, on the other hand, can eat about four pieces before I get physically ill…
Allantoin comes from comfrey, and also from cow urine (it’s a breakdown product of uric acid). Not that there’s anything wrong with cow urine per se, but I thought you might like to know…
I use Moisturel hand lotion. It’s moderately expensive (about $1.00/ounce) but it works better than anything I’ve ever tried. It can be hard to find, but CVS Pharmacy carries it. One caution: The active ingredient, dimethicone (also known as polydimethylsiloxane) is a silicone, similar to the silicones that have been known to wreak havoc with wood finishes, so I wouldn’t apply it immediately before handling raw wood that’s to be varnished or lacquered (shellac or oil finishes don’t seem to care).