Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Happy Hands

Don't hide your hands like Hepburn!

Since being in Paris, I wash up a lot more often. Not only because eating is such a ritual at any meal in France, and inevitably involves endless cutlery and crockery, but also because washing up is the nearest I can get to having a bubble bath. I only know a tiny handful of people who have the luxury of a proper bath. The Poodle dreams of laying in a Jo Malone Dark Amber scented bath, all warm and toasty until my skin is irresistibly soft and smooth.

All of this washing up, and with the cold winter air outside has somewhat made me develop a hand cream obsession. The slightest dryness or discomfort is enough to send me into a frenzy of moisturiser hunting! If I see one, I buy it, and if I don't buy it, I at least try it! And now I'm going to blog about it! But it's all for a good cause. If hands are the first thing to give away your age, then this Poodle is a good 10 years older according to mes mains!

So what can I recommend for perfect paws? I have recently developed a penchant for bergamot which is widely used in aromatherapy to relieve stress, insomnia and depression - the ideal uplifting ingredient for these dark and dreary January days. Any cream that contains this delicious ingredient is sure to get both me and my hands happy...

Liz Earle Hand Repair
This one is a good old favourite of mine - mostly because of its bergamot, neroli and lavender fragrance but also for its super skin friendly ingredients -beta carotene and a healthy dose of vitamin E - both rich in antioxidants - the magic ingredient for skin repairing - much needed at this time of year! From £8.25 for a 50ml tube, the ideal handbag size.

L'Occitane Bergamot Tea Hand Cream
This shea butter enriched hand cream from French Provence is £12.50 for 75ml and is delicately fragranced with Bergamot. Sinking in rapidly it instantly makes hands softer and smoother and also does wonders for your cuticles.

Neal's Yard Remedies - Garden Mint & Bergamot Hand Lotion
Harder to come by in Paris, but one of the most beautifully fragranced, natural hand creams known to ladies is Neal's Yard Garden Mint & Bergamot Hand Lotion which is in a 200ml pump - (and only £10.50 at that)! An added bonus is that you can keep this one in the kitchen in between rounds of washing up and pump natural goodness back into your skin as soon as the dishes are out of the sink. This light lotion also has jojoba, shea and evening primrose and leaves hands looking lovely and smelling delicious.

Ortigia Bergamot Hand Cream
This Sicilian brand has great taste in packaging and ingredients! Their Bergamot Hand Cream is very dense, rich and nourishing and is perfect for heavy duty washer uppers in Paris and beyond! With a fine uplifting fragrance, and of course plenty of olive oil (it is Sicilian after all) it is a reliable hand helper at 19€ although one word of advice is use a small amount because it can be a trifle greasy. Available from


  1. When I lived in Paris I was obsessive about washing my hands too- probably all that time spent on the metro... Thanks for sharing these great finds- I love a good hand cream!

  2. I cannot make myself take a bubble bath for we are in a drought and to use the water like that would make me so guilty - not restful at all!
    My Mother told me once that sometimes actresses will hide their hands for they have stubby fingers --- and some do! I am not sure about Audery but have a look at Catherine Zeta Jones's stubby sausages! LOL
    I like crabtree & Evelyn's shea butter handcream in rosewater or the citrus!

  3. The Daily Connoisseur - definately agree with your metro mains, glad you liked the post!

    Lady Jicky - I had a look at Zeta Jone's hands and they are surprisingly unelegant compared to the rest of her otherwise perfect self!


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