My hands are the cleanest they’ve ever been. Not that they were caked with debris pre-pandemic, but the swift shift in hygienic etiquette as part of the new normal has subjected them to more soap and water than a drive-thru car wash. That’s great for decreasing the spread of bacteria and viruses, and, you know, literally saving lives. Though the action is noble, it’s not without its price.
Soap and water work against bacteria and viruses by mechanically disrupting their physical structures and washing them away from your hands. They also wash away the natural oils which the skin produces. Those oils help maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier, keeping the skin healthy and intact. Without that barrier, skin is prone to drying out and even cracking. Not only is that painful, but allows more avenues for which bacteria and viruses to grow. That’s why in this pandemic, now, more than ever, it’s important to keep your hands moisturized.
It’s not hard to find hand lotion, but it is difficult to find one that works for you and your unique skin. Grooming brand Hawthorne knows this. That’s why their range of lotions, soaps and deodorants are customizable. They do this by putting customers through a comprehensive questionnaire to dial in the perfect product specifically for you. Per Hawthorne’s website, they use “study-backed research and tested thousands of different guys to develop an algorithm that identifies the right products for your body chemistry, skin type, and lifestyle with over 95% accuracy.”
It asks you about the type of skin you have, how much you sweat, how often you shower, what your ideal body wash is like, how bad your body odor is and even whether you prefer beer or cocktails (seriously). For what it’s worth, I’m a cocktail guy. Once you’ve taken the easiest test of your life, Hawthorne spits out a series of tailored products based on your answers. Hawthorne doesn’t give you a list of products to choose from. Rather, it gives you one recommended product for each category. There’s no choice paralysis which truly saves people like me a ton of time.
I received their new set of Hand Wash and Hand Soap. First off, they both smell great. It’s a balanced blend of mandarin, cedarwood and bergamot that smells less like soap and more like an actual scent made by a perfumer (it’s because it is). Many soaps use sulfates which is helpful in degreasing and lathering, but also dries out the skin and can also irritate those with sensitive skin. Hawthorne skips that and adds in vegetable-derived glycerin, which is a humectant and actually draws moisture to the skin. The result is a mild soap that really doesn’t leave my skin feeling like they’ve been in the desert.
The matching hand cream is also great. It smells just like the hand soap and feels even better. It uses almond oil and coconut oil, both of which are great for hydration, inflammation and even in preventing infection. Despite the two oils that go into the hand cream, it’s surprisingly light and doesn’t feel greasy at all. Unlike other hand creams, Hawthorne’s doesn’t require a massive glob to get the job done. Just a dime-sized dose is enough. When I use it right after washing my hands with the Hand Wash, my hands feel soft and smelling great.
I’m a big fan of upgrading your skincare products as a way to invest in your health. Your skin is, after all, all over you. So I’m willing to pay up for products that don’t cut corners and are all-natural like Hawthorne’s range of products. As great as the Hand Cream and Hand Wash are, the price is surprisingly low. The Hand Cream on its own is just $13 while the Hand Wash is $15. It might still be a bit of a price jump for some, but compared to high-end brands that charge more than twice that amount, it’s a no-brainer upgrade.