Hand Cream Empties

Nivea, Harnn, L’Occitane, Neutrogena, Duft & Doft, O’Keeffe, Flower Garden

During winter, I go through hand creams like water, and this winter was no exception. Unfortunately for me, my favourite was also the most expensive one 😦

Harnn – Oriental Rose Hand Balm

This one was gifted to me. Apparently this is a Thai hand cream and I have no idea where you would buy this except online perhaps. It smelled beautifully of freshly plucked roses and absorbed well into skin.

It applied almost like a gel cream while still being rich and nourishing at the time, which was an absolute treat for rough and chapped winter skin. Would definitely repurchase!

L’Occitane – Shea Butter hand cream

Okay, so this is really hard to see now but it is basically a big silver tube which used to have a paper label on top. Unfortunately, the label got rubbed/torn off at one point.

Out of all of today’s hand creams, this has got to be my favourite one in terms of efficacy and smell. And it better be, considering one tube comes in at $29.o0 online!

Seriously though, this is an absolutely beautiful cream. It felt lovely and soothing on skin and absorbed in this really satisfying manner, it’s hard to describe.

I wouldn’t mind being gifted one of those, though my stinginess would probably not allow me to buy one for myself when there are so many drugstore options out there.

Neutrogena – Norwegian Formula hand cream concentrate

I used to enjoy Neutrogena’s hand creams, but for some reason I am not loving this concentrate. It feels somewhat slimy going on and appears to sit on skin rather than sink in.

As I rubbed it in, it also seemed to ball up on skin. It did moisturise my hands but I just did not think it was cosmetically elegant or much of a pleasure to use, for that matter. It also did not seem to soothe cracked hands as much as I would have liked it to and burnt a bit, but that might just be me.

Scent wise, this is a classic Neutrogena scent. If you have used their lotions and creams before, you’ll know what I mean. I personally liked the scent.

I would not repurchase based on the fact that I did not enjoy the application much.

Duft & Doft – Pink Breeze

It really pains me to write this as this was a birthday gift and it is also a local Korean brand – which I try to support whenever I can -, but I did not enjoy this hand cream at all.

First off, this was not nourishing or moisturising by any stretch of the imagination. The base appeared to be cheapo AF and felt like an afterthought during formulation of the product, rather than an integral part. Still, I would have used this as a base and topped it off with another hand cream so as not to waste it – I hate throwing away things unused.

In this case however, I had to make an exception. The scent is absolutely overpowering. It is hard to describe – pungent and sweet, cloyingly saccharine yet weirdly sharp.

I had to look up what it was meant to smell like and according to the company website, its notes are peach, apricot and peony. Which sounds lovely on paper but unbearably strong in person. I did not even dare passing it on to my friends.

This is not a true empty in the sense of it being finished up. I had to chuck it after a couple of uses. I will be happy keep an eye out for the brand’s other offerings though, which do sound nice. If you are interested in buying Korean, here’s their website (not sure why it’s got a HK signifier since it is a Korean company?).

O’Keeffe’s – Working Hands

I have no idea what I have done with the cap, so here are two photos of the inside and the texture.

For reference, here’s a stock photo courtesy of the company website.

I heard of this in some kind of beauty newsletter I believe. Apparently, this is a cult product in the US, with many people who work with their hands such as nurses being really into it. I even read somewhere that this was particularly good for diabetics who struggle with blood circulation.

Therefore, I feel that my not liking this is not to blame on the product but on me not being part of the target audience.

During the winter, my hands crack and I need a lot of emollient creams. This one just sat on my skin like oily, wet clingfilm without really absorbing. My hands felt… clammy? The texture was a bit funky as well in that it was thick but also watery upon contact with my hands, and weirdly, grainy too.

This was unscented, which I appreciated. Give me unscented products any time of day! As I am getting older, I feel that I no longer tolerate fragrances well very well at all.

Overall speaking however, this was not emollient enough for my liking and felt odd upon application. Again, I might not be their target audience, so do try a tester for yourself.

Flower Garden – Shea Butter & Citron

For some reason, I actually started taking pictures of how this fares lol. This one was available locally at Lalavla, though I have never seen it anywhere else. It seems to be a bit of a no name brand?

It smelled discreetly of lemon and shea butter, which I appreciated. It was a very gentle, almost earthy scent and very unoffensive.

This was also emollient and absorbed in a satisfying manner. My hands felt nourished and cared for. I would repurchase this as this was excellent value for money.

Nivea – hand cream intensive care

This one was surprisingly expensive for a hand cream available from any old chemist? Might be Korean import taxes but I did not appreciate the ₩9,000 price tag for such a small bottle, thus I waited for it to go on sale and drop down to ₩5,000.

This worked okay. My hands felt reasonably nourished and cared for, the texture was pleasant enough to use and it did absorb reasonably well. If I had to choose though, I would probably go for their classic Nivea cream in the tin next time which contains double the product for the same price, and for pretty much the same result.


This coming winter, I will be stocking up on regular Nivea in the tin (not the one pictured here) as its value for money cannot be beaten. Other than that, the Flower Garden one felt surprisingly comfortable and smelled great, so I might put that in the basket next time I go hand cream shopping, too.

I might just have to swallow my pride and loosen the purse strings a bit for that L’Occitane hand cream though. It was seriously delicious and an absolute delight to use. Le Sigh.

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