Category Archives: hand cream

Vita Coco Coconut Oil – multipurpose saviour

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I am a huge fan of coconut oil as it is a true multi purpose product and is also an all natural product. I don’t always buy this brand but if I am shopping in Holland & Barratt then this is the brand they carry and it is a high quality, organic, extra virgin coconut oil so I am always happy to buy it.

I also love their coconut water to drink so some shopping trips are just to buy a supply of both these to keep me going.

#*~~#*~~#*~~HOW MUCH FOR HOW MUCH ? ~~#*~~#*~~#

I buy mine from Holland & Barratt in the shop but you can also buy from them on line. I’ ve seen it in some grocery stores too. H&B sell four sizes: 50 ml which costs £2.99, 250 ml which at present is half price at £3.49 but is usually £6.99 s if you want to try it get it now. The next size up is 500 ml which is £11.99 and finally the big size which is 750ml and costs £15.99.

It depends of how much you use as to which is best value. I use a lot so tend to go for the big size. You will see why when I explain what I use it for.

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~~#*~~#*~~WHAT DOES VITA COCO OIL LOOK LIKE ? ~~#*~~#*~~

This is called coconut oil but at room temperature is solid. It isn’t hard solid but is certainly not an oil. It does however have a very low melting point and just skin temperate will melt this within seconds.

As a solid this is a whitish looking cloudy product but as it melts it turns clear and colourless.

When you open the jar the smell of fresh coconut really hits you and instantly I am taken to the tropics, I was brought up in the West Indies so the smell of coconut is something that has great memories for me.

This brand is cold pressed and organic so the best quality natural sort of coconut oil you can buy.

~~#*~~#*~~IN THE KITCHEN ? ~~#*~~#*~~

The tag line for this coconut oil is “ Eat it… Wear it …. Swear by it!”

I use mine for frying as it really does help the food not stick to the pan. I cook a lot of Asian food and coconut oil helps the flavour in these dishes too.

Coconut oil was proclaimed as being the healthy alternative to other fats but now they are saying it is worse than butter for saturated fats Coconut oil has 90% saturated fats while butter has only around 64%. However half of virgin coconut oil’s saturated fat is lauric acid. This is a medium-chain triglyceride which they say has a number of health-promoting properties, including helping to improve levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

A Harvard researcher states “ “ I don’t think coconut oil is as healthful as vegetable oils like olive oil and soybean oil, which are mainly unsaturated fat and therefore both lower LDL and increase HDL.”

So everything in moderation as sensible people would say and I use a combination of different oils including the coconut when I want the benefit of the flavour as well as the way it cooks.

Some claim is helps weight loss while others dispute this. Personally I wouldn’t use it in huge quantities until there is a bit more research as heart health is just as important and I can lose weight by eating less and doing more activity.

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~~#*~~#*~~AROUND THE HOUSE ? ~~#*~~#*~~

If I have a squeaking door a little coconut oil will ease that

I use it to apply to my leather sofas as the sun is quite drying on the backs of these and I find coconut oil soaks in well and doesn’t leave a greasy feel once it has soaked in and really feeds the dry leather. It also makes them smell good too.

Anywhere you would use a light oil like on my sewing machine this oil works well as a lubricant.

I have used it to soften my leather shoes and even on leather handbags to keep them soft.

~~#*~~#*~~ON MY BODY ? ~~#*~~#*~~

I have used this as a massage oil and add my on essential oils. I find ones like orange and grapefruit work well with the scent of coconut oil and it is a great massage oil as it lasts well for a massage while some other oils just soak straight in. At at the same time it does soak into the skin during the massage leaving my skin feeling soft, smelling good and my muscles less aching.

Coconut oil is especially good on the feet as it is moisturising yet allows the skin to breath . I often apply this to my feet at bedtime and put on some light moisture retaining socks as this helps keep my feet nice and soft.

I don’t shave any parts of my body except under my arms and the legs below the knee. Sometimes I use my Lush shaving creams and sometimes conditioner but I find that coconut oil does a great job too. I use this especially when my under arms are a bit sore as it lubricates and also soothes the skin. In the bath or shower the coconut oil melts and being a natural oil it doesn’t harm the environment when it goes into the sewage system. Also because coconut oil has lauric acid which is a natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial it also protects your skin if you do accidentally cut yourself.

I often apply a little melted coconut oil to the ends of my hair in between washes as my hair tends to be dry and frizzy. Even in damp weather this helps stop any frizzing. My hair time was the 80s when perms and curly hair was in fashion and I struggle with the sleek look these days.

I also use coconut oil as a deep conditioning hair mask before washing my hair and after this I do still use conditioner but t really does feed my hair and help to keep it softer and it actually looks shiny too. I always use a natural shampoos and conditioners as chemical ones are full of parabens and harsh chemicals that strip your hair of its natural oils.

IMG_4132I know many people swear by cleansing wipes and cleansing waters but I prefer using an oil based cleanser as it is gentler and doesn’t strip the skin of is natural oils. I particularly like oil based cleansers for around my eyes as it then easily wipes off all make up including mascara and doesn’t need scrubbing and rubbing. This coconut oil works a treat . I apply a little coconut oil which has melted on my finger tips and gently massage it in before using a damp warm cloth the remove all the make up and grime. I use the cloth rinsed out several times if I feel I need to. I find the bamboo clothes work best for me. Cleansing with oil works efficiently as coconut oil breaks up the water-resistant ingredients often mascara and shadow and so no scrubbing is needed just a gentle wipe.

Although the price of this coconut oil may seem expensive when you compare it to the price of some natural and other not so natural creams and potions you can buy for your skin it actually works out quite reasonable. You really do not need a lot to get great moisturising results on your skin. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E. Coconut oil, like other natural oils as opposed to petroleum based ones actually goes into the skin rather than lying on top. Because it is absorbed into the skin the coconut oil’s natural antioxidants help to combat the effects of ageing by preventing free radical damage. The Vitamin E also helps cell regeneration, helps fade dark spots and encourages the skin’s ability to produce collagen. This means that my skin feels much softer and smoother and looks healthier , especially hen I apply coconut oil after my bath and before bed. It really isn’t greasy at all as it soaks in really quickly.

When I m cooking I like the fact that when I push the excess off the spoon into the pan I then just massage the excess that is on my finger into my hands rather than having to wash them like I would with some cooking oils! If I run out of hand cream I just pop and get a small pea sized dollop out with a spoon and use coconut oil instead.

I make a great scrub with coconut oil as the base. One which helps with cellulite is just a mix of ground coffee beans finely ground and coconut oil which exfoliates my skin on my his and thighs and leaves my skin glowing and soft and smooth. Another scrub is coconut oil with salt and essential oils or you can use brown sugar instead of the salt and your choice of essential oils that enhance the aroma.
I wouldn’t suggest coconut oil as a sunscreen but if you have been in the sun then I find a mix of aloe vera gel to cool and coconut oil to soak in does help my skin feel soothed and less dry and stop it looking like dried up leather. I apply the aloe vera gel first then the coconut oil as thn thy both get absorbed to do their work.

I sometime apply a small amount of coconut oil under my eyes before bed as it is a great moisturiser and doesn’t sting or run into my eyes and it also helps my eye lashes and eye brows look better too.

I have also used a little coconut oil on my cheek bones and around my eyes to add a nice sheen or glow to my make up. It work well with Benetint on my cheekbones.

Coconut oil makes a great lip salve. I use Lush sample containers and keep some in my hand bag. It “tastes” lovely and is instantly softening and soothing and leave my lips with a subtle sheen. Once again I often apply Benetint first then coconut oil.

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~~#*~~#*~~ANY OTHER USES ? ~~#*~~#*~~

Because coconut contains lauric acid which is not only antimicrobial but also anti bacterial it is perfect for cleansing make up brushes. I clean mine bout once a month using a mixture of coconut oil and an anti bacterial soap. I use a natural one from Lush as it smells great. The brushes I then dry in the airing cupboard if it is wet or in the sunshine when we have any. Keeping your brushes clean means that you will help prevent blemishes from bacteria on a dirty brush. The brushes feel soft and smell great too.

Apart from being great as a hand cream and for softening cuticles you can also use coconut oil around the nail skin when applying polish as then you wont get any polish on your skin. This is best done with a cotton bud as it you get it on your nail the polish will come off your nail too.

I bought some oil pulling oil at great expense last year and when I read what it contained it was actually basically coconut oil. Apparently they have proven with research that coconut oil can kill the Streptococcus bacteria which is what makes your breath smell. So before brushing you teeth just rinse a little coconut oil around your mouth and that should help reduce bad breath. It is also supposed to help whiten teeth. This is based on Ayurvedic medicine, known as gandusha in Ayurveda .
You are supposed to swill the oil around in your mouth for around 20 minutes. It is also supposed to help educe plaque and prevent or cure ulcers and so much more. Check out articles on line to find out more. I was skeptical but I don’t find it unpleasant and if I am home I just keep swilling it around in my mouth while getting on with other things around the house. Anything that might help with my awful teeth I am happy to try. Coconut oil works out much cheaper than the expensive oil pulling sachets which were just a combination of oils. I add a tiny amount of peppermint essential oil as it tastes better and of course I spit out the oil as it is full of toxins and yuk from in between my teeth etc. I spit into a tissue and throw it away as I try not to put too much oil down the plug holes as unblocking is expensive.

~~#*~~#*~~RECOMMENDED ? ~~#*~~#*~~

A whole hearted YES! Even if you don’t want to use it for cooking this has to be one of natures best multi purpose products. I love coconut and use this, coconut water from Vita Coca and also use shredded coconut fried in my rice, I bake with coconut both shredded and dessicated and also use a lot of coconut cream in Asian cooking . It is a wonderful natural product with so many uses . Coconut water from a natural coconut is sterile and has even been used for intravenous rehydration.

I wouldn’t be without my coconut oil and always have at least one jar in my cupboard. We used to use it for cooking in the West Indie when I was a child and I am so pleased it has become a commercial success as it is a fabulous product.

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Neal’sYard Garden Mint and Bergamot hand cream

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IMG_0148[1]Last year magazines were quite generous with their freebies and despite not being a fan of magazine I bought several just in order to get the free gift. I always looked at the price of the magazine and if that was an amount I would be happy to pay to get the “free” gift then I would buy it otherwise not.
I liked this hand creams much I bought four of the magazines which I then gave away but it meant this hand cream was actually not a bad price. These tubes were a good 50 ml size and this size sells for around £19 so you can see why I bought several of the magazines.

There were three scents of hand cream to choose on the magazines this one, a rose scented one and a geranium and orange one. So I chose two of each and abandoned the magazines at various places such as doctor’s surgeries, hair dressers and hospital waiting rooms as I was passing them or visiting.

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~~~&&&~~~ ABOUT NEALS’S YARD ~~~&&&~~~

I have only ever seen Neal’s Yard products in Debenhams or specific high end shops or on line and first came across them in beauty boxes.
Neal’s yard make natural organic health and beauty products and thy started in Covent Garden in 1981 so are a British company.

They state that : “ Our vision was to bring the expertise of the apothecary and our holistic approach to health and beauty to people and communities.” Thirty years ago they were one of a few companies making natural products free from chemical nasties and things like parabens. These days there are so many more companies making natural beauty products so we are lucky to have much more choice.
Neals’ Yard have won many awards over the years for their different products and are much respected in the natural beauty business.

Their products are packaged in simple tubes or old fashioned apothecary bottles and like Weleda their packaging is functional and ethical.

~~~&&&~~~ ETHICS ~~~&&&~~~

Neal’s Yard have very strong ethics and are not only against animals testing in any part of their products, they also believe in fair trade, organic farming, eco packaging, recycling, their factory is an eco building. They have collected a number of accreditation’s logos which cover everything from organic certification to sustainable wild-harvesting, fair trade, packaging from managed forestry, ethical business practice, carbon neutrality, vegetarian status and their stance against animal cruelty .
Compared to other high end companies selling similar products such as L’Occitane Neal’s yard are much more honest about their ethics and like Weleda they are ethical from the start to the finish of their products.

~~~&&&~~~ NEAL’S YARD HAND CREAMS ~th~~&&&~~~
This is one of a number of hand creams made by the company that sell in 50 ml tubes for £10. Three of the varieties I mentioned before but they also have a Melissa one, and some Bee lovely ones plus some had lotions and hand washes too.

All made with natural ingredients and they do smell gorgeous strong and yet natural not chemical and synthetic at all.

~~~&&&~~~ MY EXPERIENCE ~~~&&&~~~

I do love the smell of this one. It doesn’t really smell noticeably of either of the two main ingredients independently but somehow it has a lovely strong citrus aroma which is from the bergamot with a freshness that must come from the mint. It has a strong aroma, herby and not sweet and it really lasts on my hands for ages between hand washes.
It is a white colour quite thick cream but I find it goes in quite quickly into my dry hands. I only use the smallest amount as it is naturally rich and full of natural oils and butters to really nourish the skin.

This has glycerine for softening the hands, soya oil, sweet almond oil beeswax aloe vera, sunflower oil , Litsea cubeba fruit oil, all nourishing oils while the Niaouli leaf oil ( a kind of tea tree),Lemon peel oil, Bergamot oil Palmarosa herb oil, Vetiver oil, Garden mint oil all have medicinal benefits such as analgesic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti bacterial and so on as well as adding to the wonderful aromatic scent of this hand cream.
I find that by using just around a cm of this cream squeezed out onto my hands and then massaged in leaves them feeling much softer , not greasy and smelling lovely. If I have been gardening or doing lots of house cleaning them I use around an inch ‘snake’ from the tube and spend a little longer massaging it in. I then do nothing for around ten minutes and this gives the cream a good chance to absorb and not get rubbed off onto anything I touch.

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After that my hands feel much less dry and look better too, a better colour and the skin doesn’t look or feel parched. Sometimes I spend time giving my cuticles a good massage with this and it does seem to keep them softer so that they are easier to push back.

~~~&&&~~~ BUYING THIS ~~~&&&~~~

You can buy this directly from Neal’s Yard or from some High end Department stores like John Lewis and even M&S. You can also buy it from Amazon but they charge £14.95 where Neal’s yard only charge £10.

~~~&&&~~~&&& RECOMMENDED? ~~~&&&~~~

Yes indeed I would. I would happily buy this at full £10 price and wish I had bought more of the magazines at the time as I am now on my last tube. This s a high quality fair priced hand cream full of natural oils and great essential oils for extra benefits as well as creating that wonderful citrus, herby ,hint of sweet smell that is a really uplifting smell. The hand cream is beautifully rich and healing leaving my hands feeling nourished and soft but not greasy at all.
I really hope they do anther magazine promotion as I will buy the entire shelf !

Gluki Organics – Organic Mother hand and body moisturiser

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Gluki Organics – Organic Mother hand and body moisturiser

 

 

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GLÜKi certified organic Hand & Body Moisturising Lotion with Organic Kalahari Melon seed oil, Aloe Vera, Rooibos Leaf Extract, Orange Peel Oil and other botanical s that contain precious nutrients and essential Omega oils to naturally feed your skin. Rooibos Leaf Extract and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil provide the skin with valuable nutrients and anti-oxidants.

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Organic ingredients are easily absorbed into your skin and also help the skin to start producing its own protective oils again. This is a very therapeutic lotion with Omega oils, vitamins and other micro-nutrients to help your skin feel and look healthier.

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The scent is from the natural ingredients and is a fresh, fruity aroma and truly lovely.

I prefer to use natural products on my skin as it is the largest organ in our body and does absorb all put on it including chemicals. This means that using lotions and oils that contain Paraffinum, Mineral oil or Petroleum Gel can clog the skins pores and stop the skin breathing as well as unbalancing the natural PH of the skin.

This is a really gorgeous lotion for hand and body and is a reasonable price for an all natural product I think.

99% natural ingredients
98% vegetable ingredients from organic farming
47% of total ingredients organic
Smells divine
Moisturises well
not tested on animals – ECO cert
Simple yet effective packaging

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This is a lovely gentle hand and body lotion that sells fruity and not too sweet that is safe for the most sensitive skins and is full of quality and effective ingredients. Contains organic Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Kalahari Melon Seed Oil, Rooibos Leaf Extract and Orange Peel Oil which plant extracts are some of the most valuable and safest therapeutic ingredients for the skin.

All GLÜKi Organics products are also endorsed by Beauty without Cruelty and Phytotrade Africa and are 100% vegan.

Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena & Lavender hand therapy

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Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena & Lavender hand therapy

17044028803_FULLCRABTREE & EVELYN VERBENA & LAVENDER HAND THERAPY

Sometime last year I had a number of different beauty boxes and have collected quite a few small tubes of hand creams which I am gradually working my way through. They are perfect for keeping in my handbag or to take travelling as they hold enough to last quite a few uses yet are small enough not to weigh my bag down too much.

~~~~~~ ABOUT CRABTREE & EVELYN ~~~~~~

Crabtree & Evelyn is a high end store selling bath and body products, fragrances, gifts and also some food stuffs and has a quintessentially English look about it despite the fact it began in New England in the USA. It is recognized as one of the best known and most-respected lines of beauty and grooming products in the world. The company now has more than 350 stores in countries all around the world particularly in the UK and USA.

~~~~~~~ ABOUT CRABTREE & EVELYN’S HANDCREAMS ~~~~~~~

Crabtree & Evelyn have a great range of scented hand creams that come in different size tubes a bit like toothpaste tubes. They come in different sizes 25g, 50g and 100g and the prices are £5 -£6, £9 and £10 – £15. They are not cheap but thy smell gorgeous and do rally seem to moisturise my hands.

Escentual have a great set of 12 of these small 25g tubes in a gift box for £22 which would make a lovely gift for someone and has twelve different scents in the box.

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Their hand creams are available in the following variations though some do come and go and I cannot see my Verbena and lavender one available on their website now.

Gardeners Hand Therapy – Created for hard-working hands, this is an extra-nourishing cream is blended with odour-neutralising herbs.

Pomegranate, Argan & Grapeseed Hand Therapy – A fruity and uplifting blend of pomegranate, nourishing argan, fig and Clementine.

Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy – a lovely fresh scented one blended with citrus oils and a touch of sweet honey.

Summer Hill Hand Therapy a more nostalgic aroma of florals from an English country garden.

Avocado, Olive and Basil Hand Therapy fruity and herby one with avocado and fresh sweetness of basil.

Pear & Pink Magnolia Hand Therapy -A lovely fresh blend of fruit and flower.

Rosewater Hand Therapy – a natural rose smelling one – smells like a rose garden.

Evelyn Rose Hand Therapy – Rose with elements of peach and peony.

Lavender Hand Therapy – Full of scent of English lavender with shea butter.

La Source Hand Therapy – their classic Hand Therapy, smell sort of sea like but nice and fresh.

Nantucket Briar Hand Therapy – an unusual one that combines rose with hints of vanilla and amber.

Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus & Sage Hand Therapy – a combination of Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus & Sage which sounds yummy.

Caribbean Island wild flowers – sounds fabulous and tropical scented

Verbena & Lavender Hand Therapy – the one I have several small tubes of and am reviewing . This is a lovely fresh herby combination of lemon verbena and lavender.

Thy also seem to have some other new varieties as well so plenty to choose from.

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~~~~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~~

I like the durable plastic polylaminate tubes as they don’t crack and split and weigh nothing at all so don’t weigh down my bag. They are very easy to squeeze the contents out all the way to the end so very little waste either. Once finished I recycle them in our usual plastic recycling bin.

I like the fact this is fragranced naturally with verbena and lavender and really smells like a combination of the two herbs. I grow these in my garden and love the fresh scent which I find uplifting and refreshing.

The moisturising element of this hand cream is macdamia nut oil, shea butter and palm oil which I am less thrilled about unless it is sustainably grown and bot palm oil from palms planted on the orang utans former forests .

This dos also have a lot of very chemical sounding ingredients but the writing is so small you will have to explore that yourself as it is giving me eye strain. Here are just a few, Caprylic/Capric, Triglyceride, Distearate, Triethanolamine,Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium, Methosulfate. There are also a number of parabens, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben. so if you have allergies to these then avoid these hand creams.

Some of their products contain animal ingredients such beeswax, milk by-products, and honey and they do list all ingredients on the packaging for you to check if you are vegan or vegetarian.IMG_0010

I do like the way this feels on my hands as it goes into my skin easily leaving my hands feeling well nourished an yet not slippery and greasy like some hand creams do. It is quite a light feeling hand cream and not thick and heavy like Body Shop Hemp for example, it is more the texture of the Body Shop other hand creams. It is however heavier than a hand lotion but is absorbed quickly and leaves your hands smelling lovely and in my case of fresh herbs, lavender and verbena.

If I wash my hands late I can still feel the benefit of the hand cream on my hands and don’t usually have to reapply unless I have really scrubbed my hands when washing them.

~~~~~ ETHICS ~~~~~~

Sadly this is one of many companies who claim to be against animal testing but then add the extra little bit “ Except where necessary by a country’s laws!!!”

Seriously if you are against animal testing then don’t sell in those countries. This is no good enough and is conning people who genuinely want to avoid companies that allow testing on animals especially in those countries where the testing is even more cruel than others.

This is what they actually say:
“Crabtree & Evelyn is opposed to animal testing. We do not test our finished products on animals or conduct animal testing during the formulation process. We do not submit our products for animal testing by third parties anywhere in the world except where required by local law.”

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~~~~~~~ WHERE TO BUY ~~~~~

Crabtree & Evelyn products can be bought through a number of different places on line and in store. They are often in niche gift shops but at prices slightly above others. You can buy direct from their own on line store and through Department stores like Debenhams and House of Fraser as well as Marks and Spencer, Boots, and even amazon and ebay and other on line beauty sites. Prices do vary so my advice as always is to sop around and don’t forget to try the cash back sites too if buying on line and remember postage often has to be added as extra too.

~~~~~~~ RECOMMENDED? ~~~~~~~

I have to admit to quite liking these hand creams and have had a few over the years through different beauty boxes but I am not sure I would go and buy one knowing their dubious claims on animal testing when I know I an buy Weleda hand cream which is 100% natural and no way ever tested on animals for the same price . So I wouldn’t buy it but would use it is I was given it is the short answer.