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Let’s be honest about something: Many hand creams suck.
The ones on the market, by and large, either leave your hands greasy or don’t penetrate deeply enough to save your digits from the dry skin that plagues so many of us during the winter. I personally had gotten so frustrated with the skincare market’s lack of a great option that I began simply using whatever body moisturizer was in my rotation on my hands and hoping for the best. So when 111Skin introduced its new Black Diamond hand cream last month, I didn’t exactly hold my breath.
But, like many of the other products this high-end British grooming specialist has introduced over the past several years, this stuff works. After a few weeks of testing it in some of New York City’s most frigid temperatures, I’ve found that the cream hits the sweet spot of effective and long-lasting—even after you’ve engaged in a fair bit of the handwashing required during cold and flu season. When you first put it on, it feels like it’s going to be greasy, but as you massage it into your hands it goes deep into the skin to keep them soft and crack-free for hours.
To hear the brand tell it, that’s because of a team of four hardworking ingredients: Vitamin C, renowned for its anti-aging properties; a vegan peptide formulated to help increase the skin’s elasticity; extract from the everlasting flower, those mums that never lose their brilliance, even after you dry them; and the diamond peptide included in all of 111Skin’s Black Diamond products. This last ingredient is meant as an enhancer for all the other actives, and purportedly helps them to stay in your skin longer.
It’s certainly been my experience that I don’t have to apply this cream as frequently as I have with others, but I sometimes find myself reapplying it for the smell alone. It also hits that optimal place that’s neither too feminine for macho guys to think twice before they borrow it from their girlfriends, nor too bold that it’ll clash with whatever cologne you’re wearing. I’m going to have a tube of this stuff on me at least until March—and frankly, I might keep using it after the mercury starts rising again.
Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $75