Beauty, from hand-to-mouth

By Xu Junqian(Shanghai Star)
Updated: 2014-12-11 15:18:56

Winter weather can be hard on hands and lips, Xu Junqian looks at some of the best products to keep you looking fresh in the colder months.

Healing hands

As much as you try to protect your hands in gloves or tucked inside extra long sleeves, they will still be exposed to the harsh winter cold. Before your hands, the "second face of a woman", crack, flake, or even bleed, give them a moisturizing layer of weatherproof protection.

For cracked skin: Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners

100g / HK$ 157.5 ($20.3) (the price is a Christmas special on the company's Hong Kong website)

As its name suggests, the deeply nourishing collection was created for people who like to work in the garden. The product is a best-seller, has won awards and has become a must-have for many housewives, office workers or anyone looking for a thirst quenching hand cream. It is infused with shea butter, a proven natural emollient and moisturizer, which clinical studies have shown to be able to make the skin softer, smoother, and younger looking within four to six weeks.

The scent may appear rather masculine for those used to the fragrance of flora and fruits, but it is by no means unpleasant.

Scented: Herborist Rose Essential Oil Hand Cream

70g / 180 yuan

Arguably the most frequently used skin care product, hand cream can be used like a perfume, especially for non-perfume users. Infused with rose oil and orange oil, the increasingly popular hand cream by Herborist, a Shanghai cosmetic brand focusing on Chinese herbal skincare, not only offers a nourishment for the hands, but also leaves them scented with a pleasant and warm aroma, as if your hands have just peeled an orange or picked a rose bud.

Classic: Biotherm Biomains

100ml / 220 yuan

This simply packaged, classic hand cream has been a reliable staple for generations. Created in 1952, it has had little reason to change. Enriched with hydrating agents and Vitamin F, Biotherm Biomains restores the skin’s natural protective film, as if putting on a nourishing glove. The non-oily texture makes it possible to leave no greasy traces on keyboards or even on eyeglasses. The extra D-Panthenol rich formula is also believed to strengthen nails.

Value-for-money: Wastons Collagen Hand Cream

90g / 19.9 yuan

It's dubbed as the ultimate fighter for dry and damaged skin among all low-budget hand creams, if not the pricy ones as well. The scent is fresh; the texture is light; and the affordable price makes it possible to use it after every hand wash. The only defect is that it's a little bit greasy despite the light texture, but you can't expect peaches and cream within a bottle of hand cream that is cheaper than, say, a 3-km taxi ride, can you?


Nail special: Melvita Argan Oil with Geranium Roll-on

10ml / HK$ 150 ($19.4)

This portable nail oil roll-on works like a magic pen, removing ridges, reducing chipping and splitting and restoring health and shine for the nails and cuticles if used regularly. The staple component, 100-percent organic cold pressed argan oil from Essaouira in Morocco, features a small oil molecule that can penetrate your nail plate and moisturize and strengthen.

It adds a natural shine to your nails even when you are not wearing polish.

Loving lips

These are beauty bullets that make sure you can still rock a supple red lip, and not in a painfully chapped way, during the harsh winter.

Classic: Kiehl's Lip Balm #1

15ml / 85 yuan

This petite toothpaste-like lip balm is one of the world's most sought-after lipcare products endorsed by a galaxy of celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and John Mayer. It was launched 40-years ago by a then New-York-based family-founded pharmacy. There has long been speculation as to when there will be a new flavor of the lip balm released, and now it is finally happening. The now L'oreal-owned skincare brand says a new flavor will be released next year.

Ten years ago, there was a No.2 silver colored UV-resistant following the huge success of balm No.1. But it did not last as it was "too glossy".

Yummy: Ruogu 若谷 Osmanthus Lipstick

5g / 38 yuan

This taobao-based workshop ( is famous for its sour plum juice in summer and osmanthus syrup in autumn and winter. The lipstick uses the same handpicked sweet osmanthus buds as the syrup, enriched with a blend of organic olive oil, sweet almond oil and pomegranate seed oil. It provides an "addictive" layer of sweet and yummy moisture, making your lips and smile finger lickin' good.

Tinted treat: Fresh Sugar Coral

4.3g / 200 yuan

This may be a little more expensive than most lip balms, but it combines two things in one: care and color. The right SPF, for daily urban use, and antioxidant-rich formulation are the first things putting this lipstick on our radar. The semi-sheer wash of coral is the reason it stays.

For chapped lips: Shieseido Moilip

8g / 60 yuan

Swipe it on chapped lips, and you will see why it is consistently a top-seller in Japan, where the competitive skincare market means many products are as short-lived as the country's pink blossoms in spring. Formulated with clinically proved effective lipids including Vitamin B6 and E, the handy rescuer helps lips to seal in moisture and battle environmental damage. What it doesn't deliver is fragrance or dyes, making it especially popular with anyone with sensitive skin.

Pre-polish: Innisfree Green Tea Lip Scrub

15ml / 60 yuan

Whatever type of lip treatment you are using, there is an essential preparation step that could make sure all of the balms and sticks can work wonders: exfoliate. It gets your lips soft, flake-free, lipstick-ready and if used regularly, helps reduce lip wrinkles. Using green tea growing in Jeju Island, which boasts one of the three largest tea plantations in Asia, this scrub pen combines a mixture of edible ingredients including green tea oil for moisturizing and features a special head that can gently massage away the dead skin.


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