Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lancome Absolue Hand vs. Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Hand Cream

A hand cream face-off

Last week when I talked about using unloved high end face creams and serums on hands, my friend Tom commented on how important it is to keep the paws from showing signs of aging. Crepey skin, brown spots... not pretty. The thing is that most regular hand creams are good for providing a protective layer from drying environment, but they do little (read: diddly squat) in the anti-aging department. We're lucky if they have an SPF, but mostly they're either overpriced Vaseline or some version of body butter. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we need more.

Enter the high-end creams.

While sometimes it seems crazy to pay so much for a tube of cream that sits next to the sink or in the remote control basket, many of these products actually make a difference in the way one's hands look, and that can be priceless. The two creams I've been testing lately, Lancome Absolue Hand and Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream, are serious players in this field, and both give my beloved Chanel a run for its money.

Lauder Re-Nutriv feels thicker and takes longer to fully absorb. But the soft and smooth feeling lasts longer. On the other hand (ha! I actually did some of the testing simultaneously, one on each hand), Lancome Absolue offers SPF 15, which is a huge advantage.

Both creams perform well and keep my skin texture nice and smooth. Since sun protection is the number one step in keeping hands in great shape, if pressed to choose one I'd go with Lancome, but perhaps I'd feel differently in cold and dry weather.

In any case, don't forget to apply sun block before getting in your car. It's easy to overlook, but one gets seriously exposed to those evil rays while driving.

Lancome Absolue Hand ($42 for 3.4 oz) and Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream ($45 for 3.4 oz) are available from decent department stores and directly from the companies online stores. I got several travel size tubes of both with various purchases at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

Image: amykagawacom


  1. Thanks for this great post. I was looking for the right hand cream. I've been using L'occictaine Shea butter, but for some reason it just doesn't do it for me. Now I will try these.

  2. Tom was right about remembering to attend to the hands, and you are so right about sun being a major factor in the game. I had to chuckle when you made your remark about hand creams being next to the remote or the sink; I have four sinks, two side tables, and one night table which each house a tube/bottle of hand cream. And, lol, a *different* one at each. (Not to mention handbags and bookbags!) Comparison testing available all the time!

    I can't remember if you mentioned this last week, but I know that I am frequently purposely over-generous with my facial moisturizer in the morning, because I use the leftover on my hands. The UV protection is there, the special ingredients for anti-aging.

  3. Good point about the car- I keep a tube of sunscreen in the car not only for my hands, but for my left arm and left side of the face. I've actually gotten a sunburn from having driven all over on a sunny day wearing a t-shirt (exposing more bicep that usual) instead of a polo.

    Katharine Hepburn was quoted as saying "the California sun was my ruin" skin-wise. Ain't letting that happen..

  4. hand preservation has become my new obsession.

    while i wear 70+ spf on my face every day (twice a day) i only recently started wearing sunscreen on my hands. i also use my aha on my hands at night, after i put it on my face.

    i now feel okay about my prevention efforts, but man, it's an uphill battle to turn back hand damage once it's done!
    thanks for the reviews- i will be looking for these products.

  5. I have tried many hand creams,everything from neutrogena(heavy) to whatever drugstore offers and most of what I bought were ok, but didn't do anything for aging, UNTIL, I decided to pay the $45.00 for Lancome's Absolue and I must say it really does work. My hands have taken a really beating over the years(I am 51 years) and recently had to sign for a parcel delivery and couldn't believe how old my hands were looking. Witin one week, I noticed the skin was softer and tighter looking. I used it quite vigoursly in the 1st week, then I slowly reduced applications to once in am and pm. So I am really impressed with this product and will probably keep using it. I am also in the retail trade and have to scrutinize products..this one is well worth the $$$. (just wish it would go on sale!)Cyn

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