Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, Part II

Disclosure: I got these products free from BzzAgent.
Final Thoughts:

Here is my hand and nails after using this hand cream exclusively, two or more times a day, for about 10 days. I took this immediately after applying the cream.

Smoother, but still the same peeling nails and hangnails.
Better, but the poor quality of this photo also sort of airbrushes out some of the problems. It's hard to photograph your own dominant hand! Why did I decide to do that? Here is the before shot, for reference.

This is what my tube says on the back: It is so concentrated that only a small amount instantly leaves dry, cracked hands noticeably softer and smoother after just one application. Used daily, it heals and helps keep dry skin from returning.

So what do I think about that? Well, a small amount did make my hands feel "noticeably" smoother after the first use, but it wasn't because my skin itself was softer. It just left a smooth film on the surface. It never felt greasy, though, which I appreciated. I could pretty much immediately go about my business without feeling like my hands were slick and gross. The unscented variety was also truly unscented - another plus. No smell at all. The original variety, which has scent, is very, very subtle. Unless you are extremely sensitive to fragrance, you should be fine with that one too.

After several days, it did improve my skin, but no better than any other hand cream I've used. I never really felt like my hands were being deeply moisturized. They remained kind of shriveled and almost calloused feeling, though my cuticles improved. So I don't know what I think about the use of the word "heals" here. That's just what my hands are like in the middle of winter, and this didn't fix it. After a few days, I wished that my testing period was over so that I could go back to my old hand cream. This just wasn't doing it for me.

The other marketing claim that the Neutrogena campaign put out was that this would "extend the life of manicures". I'm not sure exactly what that means. It certainly didn't make my nail polish stay on any longer than usual. And my nails still broke and peeled just as much as they usually do. So I'm going to say it failed on that account.

I wonder if this stuff would work better in a more humid environment. If one of the ways glycerin works is by attracting moisture from the environment, it wouldn't have had much opportunity to do so, in the parched, furnace-heated air of my house in the winter. Maybe that's why the Norwegian fishermen were more into it than I was.

Overall, this is a decent product. Not great, but fine. I think it would work well in conjunction with another hand cream, but I would prefer to just use a single product that smoothes the surface of my skin AND provides moisture that soaks in. I'll be going back to my trusty Avon lotion. But if you're not already using something that works well, this could be an upgrade.

I'd give Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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