Sunday, October 9, 2011

Super Supply Sunday: Julep Hand Creams

Hello Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Super Supply Sunday here at The Polish Lab. Before we get started, I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to hand cream. Yes, my obsession extends beyond nail polish to all things related to manicures and hand care. Now that you have that piece of info, you'll understand my excitement when I received a new hand cream from Julep this month: Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener. I already had Julep's Everyday SPF Hand Cream, with SPF 30, and I was curious to see how the two compared. Let's take a look, shall we?

Everday SPF Hand Cream, SPF 30: I'm a loyal sunscreen wearer, and I already owned a great hand cream with sunscreen, but it comes in a big, glass jar. Not exactly convenient for tossing into my handbag, so I was excited to give Julep's more portable hand cream with sunscreen a try. Now, I prefer a thick hand cream--something that leaves my dry hands feeling as if they're protected. Julep's hand cream is actually more of a lotion. It absorbs well, and although some may prefer its lighter texture, it's not what I was looking for. I like that it's free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, and the absence of these ingredients will appeal to many who prefer a more natural product; however, this hand cream is not free of chemical sunscreens. Although zinc oxide 3% is one of the active ingredients, Everyday SPF Hand Cream also contains the chemical sunscreens ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and oxybenzone. I'm not opposed to using chemical sunscreens, but if I can find a product I like that contains only a good dose of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, I'll take it over an equally good product with chemical sunscreens. My main objection to Everyday SPF Hand Cream, therefore, is not its contents, but its texture. Another deterrent is the price: $28 for 3 fl oz (89 mL). Because members of the Julep Maven program receive a 20% discount on all products, I can purchase Every Day SPF Hand Cream for $22.40 I'm willing to pay a high price for products I love, but this is not one I like well enough to purchase again for even a moderate price, let alone an exorbitant one

Glow On Age Defying Hand Brighener: I love skin brightening products, and I sometimes apply my facial brightening products to my hands. Glow On contains African plant extracts that are "clinically proven to block melanin production and reduce hyper-pigmentation." I'm always skeptical of such claims, whether clinically proven or not. But it can't hurt! And if it actually helps my hands stay even-toned and, well, pale, so much the better. What I found intriguing about this particular product, however, is its illuminators that add radiance to the hands. Keep in mind my hands are very dry. Dryness equals dullness, so give me something that enables me to get my glow on, and I'm a happy girl.

But how about the texture? Although it's similar to the Everyday SPF Hand Cream, it leaves much more moisture on the surface on my skin than I would have expected from a thinner hand cream. Overall, I love this product. The only change I'd like to see is the addition of sunscreen. Why have two hand creams--one with sunscreen, one with brighteners--when you can have one product that protects and brightens? When I asked Julep this very question, they told me it was a great idea, but because the FDA considers sunscreen a drug, the process for registering a product with sunscreen is both long and costly. Of course, having two separate products also increases their potential sales. I'm not implying this consideration factors into Julep's reasoning for keeping the products separate. I'm simply being pragmatic.

Am I likely to purchase Glow On again? I'm undecided. I love it, but it's even pricier than Everyday SPF Hand Cream: $32 for 3 fl oz (89 mL), or $25.60 for those in the Julep Maven program.

Conclusions: The thinner texture of Every Day SPF Hand Cream may appeal to some, but not to those of us who want a thicker cream. Glow On, on the other hand (no pun intended), does a better job of moisturizing the hands, with the added benefit of providing skin with radiance, but--like Every Day SPF Hand Cream--it's pricey. Very pricey.

Some additional thoughts: Think you only need sunscreen on your hands during the summer months? NO! Please protect yourself by wearing sunscreen year round. Here are some links to some info on why it's so important to wear sunscreen, even during the winter months:

There are literally hundreds of articles that cite the need for use of sunscreen during winter months. That UV radiation is still potent in the Winter is not an opinion; it is a scientific fact, so please protect yourself!

Finally, here's great info from The Skin Cancer Foundation on UV radiation and the use of sun block that applies to all times of hear. Discusses the different types of UV radiation and sunscreens.

Thanks for joining us here at the lab for a Super Supply Sunday. Until next time, sending you lab love!



  1. Curious Allison, why would you prefer an SPF even in the winter? I know the sun still shines, in some places, but here in California, when the rainy season hits, we can go weeks with no sun, just rain! Blah-So, why would i want to wear an SPF in the winter?
    Thanks! I love Juleps hand brightener as well!
    Debbie ; )

  2. Debbie--PLEASE were sunscreen year around. The sun shines year round, even though it may seem not to! Most UV radiation goes right through the clouds--and it's not even the UV radiation that causes tanning/burning that's doing the most damage. Here's a link to a little article that gives sun care facts:
    Here's another:

    There are literally hundreds of articles like this out there. In fact I'm going to insert some of these links into the post! My father had melanoma and my mother's had skin cancer. I'm not taking any chances!

  3. Love this post Allison. From my research the whole skin lightening/brightening claims are pretty much all bogus. The chemicals may work but they have such small quantities. I had a hormonal pigmentation problem and looked into it. Only deep peels or lasers actually have any effects. Kinda like the wrinkle-reducing effects of retinol - they don't work at cosmetic doses.

    As for SPF, I buy fancy facial SPFs (Clarins, Elizabeth Arden etc) for cheaper than the Julep so I really can't see myself buying these. So I just use face SPF on my hands and whatever lotion.

    Debbie, I wear SPF when it's not sunny and even wear SPF indoors! A huge percent of UV rays penetrate even through glass. I used to not wear SPF in London but I would if I moved back there now. So yes Allison is right! It's worth taking a few seconds to protect yourself.

  4. Ace the only thing I've found that's helped spots is a facial peel I use. It doesn't work 100%, but it's helped (Suki renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel). As I said, I don't by into claims, so I'm not at all convinced on the "African plant extracts" in Glow On, but I do like the light-diffusing properties. Just makes my hands look more radiant, even though it's only a temporary fix.

  5. I still can't see wearing an SPF in the winter! I have a coat covering most of my body. Espescially when it rains. So why apply chemicals to my skin that isn't exposed to daylight?
    Curious in California ; )

  6. Debbie, the skin on your hands and face *is* exposed to daylight in the winter! No, I don't put it on areas of my body that are covered with thick clothing, but unless I'm wearing gloves, I have it on my hands. And it's always on my face. The most dangerous UV radiation passes right through the clouds. Even on rainy days and indoors, you're still being doused with UV radiation. Again, this is not a matter of opinion, it is a fact. If you're not comfortable wearing a chemical sunscreen, wear a physical block like zinc oxide.

  7. I like this Allison, this post is so informative. I think people need better knowledge of skincare like we were talking earlier on FB. Debbie, I know what you mean but the world is changing so fast due to climate change. The sun is not what it used to be and the atmospheric layers don't provide much protection any more and we are living longer and having more sun exposure generally - so overall there is enough UV that the "chemicals" are the better alternative. Allison I am curious to try the glow cream now. I have a facial moisturizer like that and I know what you mean.