Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, Part I

Disclosure: I got these products free from BzzAgent.

Product Claims:

When it comes to protecting hands from the rigors of daily use, Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream is the first choice of fishermen and manicurists alike. What makes this Neutrogena classic better than the rest?
  • Just one dab repairs 7 signs of damage: dryness, chapping, splitting nails, dry cuticles, scaliness and roughness
  • 2012 Good Housekeeping Seal award winner
  • First hand cream to heal with concentrated glycerin
  • Keeps Manicured hands looking beautiful
  • Long-lasting
  • Glycerin-rich
  • Concentrated
  • 2oz product good for 200 uses
  • Available in Original and Fragrance-Free
  • Suggested retail price of $4.99 per 2oz product
What I'm interested in:
  • a small amount undoes skin damage and improves look and feel of nails
  • extends the life of manicures
  • pretty cheap at $5, though you only get a moderately sized tube for that price
  • glycerin is a "skin-identical product"
I started testing this product at a particularly good time. I had just spent 10 days at home with my family, in an extremely dry climate, with very hard water, and without access to my usual hand creams. My nails and cuticles were a mess. Take a look, if you can handle it!
Not fucking pretty. Photo was taken first thing in the morning,
before I had moisturized or even showered or washed my hands.
My test of this hand cream has already begun. I'm using this product exclusively on my hands for a week, once or twice a day minimum, and I'll show you the results next week. I'll post my first impressions in a couple of days.

Here's some information about glycerin from Paula Begoun:

"[I]n part, glycerin works because of its ability to attract water from the environment and from the lower layers of skin (dermis) increasing the amount of water in the surface layers of skin. Another aspect of glycerin’s benefit is that it is a skin-identical ingredient, meaning it is a substance found naturally in skin. In that respect it is one of the many substances in skin that help maintain the outer barrier and prevent dryness or scaling.
Humectants such as glycerin have always raised the question as to whether or not they take too much water from skin. Pure glycerin (100% concentration) on skin is not helpful and can actually be drying, causing blisters if left on too long. So a major drawback of any humectant (including glycerin) when used in pure form is that they can increase water loss by attracting water from the lower layers of skin (dermis) into the surface layers of skin (epidermis) where the water can easily be lost into the environment. That doesn’t help dry skin or any skin type for that matter. For this reason, glycerin and humectants in general are always combined with other ingredients to soften skin. Glycerin combined with other emollients and/or oils is a fundamental cornerstone of most moisturizers. (Source: Skin Therapy Letter, February 2005, pages 1-8) What about products touting their high levels of glycerin? There is no research showing higher amounts of glycerin have any increased benefit for skin. The research shows a combination of ingredients including glycerin, dimethicone, petrolatum, antixoxidants, fatty acids, lecithin, among many others, are excellent for helping skin heal, reduce associated dermatitis, and restore normal barrier function if used on an ongoing basis (Sources Clinical Experiments in Dermatology, January 2007, pages 88-90;American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, April 2003, pages 771-788; Journal of Molecular Medicine, February 2008, pages 221-231; British Journal of Dermatology, July 2008, pages 23-34;Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, January 2008, pages 39-45)."

So we'll see! I'll report back soon. 

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