I’d say, “’tis the season for hand cream,” given the cold, dry winter weather—but ’tis *always* the season for hand cream. Since our hands are so exposed to the elements year-round, it’s really important to protect and nourish them. The skin on our hands is especially delicate, and doesn’t produce as much oil as the rest of our body does.
“The hands are very vulnerable because the skin is thin,” Gretchen Frieling, MD, a Boston-based dermatopathologist previously told us. “We forget that we need to exfoliate our hands and moisturize them just as we would our face. Hands also tend to be dryer than our faces because they have fewer sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, an oily substance that helps protect the skin by keeping it lubricated and waterproof.”
Which is where Soft Services’ highly-coveted Theraplush Overnight Repair Treatment ($58) comes in, and how it came on my radar.
More than a hand cream, Theraplush is a “repair treatment” that you put on right before bed that’s meant to restore your hands, cuticles and nails while you sleep. It’s sold out *twice* since it launched in late September, and it’s finally back for pre-order to be shipped this month. We’re grabbing several, since it won’t take long for the treatment to sell out again.
Unlike most hand creams, the Theraplush repair treatment—which, by the way, took two years to formulate—contains .05 percent retinol and 1 percent colloidal oatmeal to nourish, restore, and give your hands that “just-manicured” feeling every single morning.
Dr. Macrene Alexiades, MD, PhD, a New York City-based dermatologist, breaks down the importance of these ingredients, telling us, “retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that impacts cell turnover to the skin. It causes a resurfacing effect, reducing wrinkles, and improving sun damage and brown spots.” Colloidal oatmeal “is soothing and moisturizing,” explains Dr. Alexiades. “Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help provide relief from irritation and balance your skin’s pH.”
Those ingredients set it apart from your typical drugstore hand cream that rely on ingredients like shea butter (which we also love—but by itself it doesn’t target the same issues that Theraplush’s formula does).
My experience using Theraplush Overnight Repair Treatment
When I first put it on right before bed, it immediately felt soothing going on. It’s very thick, but absorbed super well into my skin. It has a bit of a waxy feeling, but not sticky. I’ve been using it for two weeks now, and even after the first day, I noticed an increased softness, especially on the tops of my hands. My cuticles were especially in bad shape (I haven’t had a manicure in ages), and I noticed after a few days (3-4) they were way less ragged. The formula definitely achieves the brand’s “just-manicured” goal.
And the packaging is extremely chic. Like, should win a design award level chic. It’s in a gorgeous case with an airless pump, and it looks like a pretty candle votive sitting on your bedside table. And I love this genius touch: the lid is magnetized so you can store your rings in it. It can honestly double as decor.
It says it’s scentless, but to me it does have a bit of a smell–similar to Greek yogurt. It’s not strong, but I wouldn’t say it’s entirely scent-free. It’s certainly not potent (I’d say it’s very “neutral” in terms of fragrance-free goes), and doesn’t linger at all. I have sensitive skin, and the scent hasn’t been a factor at all.
One thing to keep in mind…
One caveat to keep in mind is that retinols are powerful. ”Retinoids cause photosensitivity,” explains Dr. Aleciades. “Therefore use this product before bed and avoid getting a lot of sun exposure.” So this isn’t the best product to try out on your beach vacation, for example. And of course, always wear sunscreen.
Well, two things. It’s also not cheap. It’s $58 for the case and pod, and $36 for a refill pod. Which isn’t exactly budget-friendly, but think of it more as an intensive repair treatment than your run-of-the-mill hand cream. That said, if your hands don’t need the TLC, the price may just not be worth it for you. But I’d absolutely recommend this if you really struggle with chapped and dry hands, and you find most hand creams aren’t strong enough.
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