Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter (review)

The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter
I am writing this post with lovely soft hands that smell faintly of absinthe. Until recently, I had only two mental associations with absinthe: First, I knew that Patsy Stone’s mother in Ab Fab used to drink rather a lot of it. Second, that a shot of it caused one of my college friends to vomit into the pot of a fake palm in a bar when we were teenagers. Neither are particularly pleasant thoughts and the last place I expected to come across absinthe again was in a hand cream. 

The most noticeable thing about this cream - or ‘hand butter’ as The Body Shop call it - is the lovely buttery texture. It is thick and soft and melts into the hands leaving only minimal residue. I’m not going to say that it absorbs completely, and - yes - it does create a little stickiness (not greasiness). But, it’s only a very mild stickiness--one that I can live with, and, actually, quite like. With such a rich hand cream, I think that it’s comforting to have a little residue because if it were to absorb completely then there wouldn’t be any product left to soften the top, outer layers of skin. For that reason, this isn’t a hand cream I’d put into my bag to use in the office when I’ve got to handle paperwork straight afterwards. Instead, I use it right after washing the dishes or coming inside after gardening or tinkering with my bike. Within minutes, however, it the stickiness is gone and my hands feel comfortable and moisturised. In terms of moisturising effect, it’s positioned in the range below the hemp products which are their richest and, actually, their best selling product. 

The thing about this hand cream is that it purifies and conceals odour and, despite the richness of the formula, leaves the hands feeling fresh. I cook with a lot of garlic so that is a wonderful bonus. Like many products from The Body Shop, this hand cream has a heavy dose of fragrance. It’s not clear how far the absinthe scent is natural (from the extract it contains) or artificial. On first application the smell is quite sweet but in my opinion smells best after a little while when the product has had time to settle onto the skin. 

Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter contains moisturising shea butter, cocoa seed butter, humectant (that is, it binds water to the skin) glycerine, sesame seed oil, absinthe extract which has a skin conditioning effect, plus other moisturisers. There are also artificial colours and quite a lot of perfume and butyl methoxydibenzoymethane which absorbs ultraviolet light (however, this isn’t a sun protection product). This product is simply a moisturising and purifying product and there aren’t any resurfacing or anti-ageing ingredients. However, a lot can be said for having well-moisturised and conditioned skin! For those of you new to The Body Shop’s range, it is cruelty free (which means it isn’t tested on animals) and some of the ingredients are fair trade. If you want to know more about the fair trade suppliers and where the ingredients come from, click here
The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter

A little on the packaging: It is a 100 ml screw-top tub which is small enough to fit into a bag if you want to take it out and about. It can be used for up to twelve months after it has been opened. You can, of course, recycle the packaging after use. It retails at £11.00. 

As it goes, this is one of my favourite hand creams. For £11.00, it is hard to beat. I’d only advise to shy away from this one if your hands are extremely dry (in which case you might like to try their hemp range), if you are looking for something natural or organic, or if you want brightening or refining ingredients or sun protection. If you can afford it, a luxurious alternative would be La Prairie’s Cellular Hand Cream, one of my all-time favourite products. 

Edit: Something I have noticed since originally writing this review is that if you use too much it goes a bit gloopy and forms lumps. For normal use this isn't a problem, but sometimes I like to slather it on and let the skin absorb what it needs whilst giving myself a hand massage at the same time. 

Neutralises odour
Artificial colours and a large dose of fragrance
Easily absorbed
Works well


Brand: The Body Shop

Website: www.thebodyshop.co.uk

Size: 100 ml
Price: £11.00 (£11.00/100 ml)

Manufactured: United Kingdom

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil/Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Parfum/Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Linalool, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Disodium EDTA , Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene, Citronellol, Citric Acid, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 42090/Blue 1.

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