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It seems like my dry hands know no season. In fall, winter, spring, and summer, there are more than enough environmental factors to dry them out. So, a good hand cream is vital. Recently, Tocca sent us a sample of its Tocca Florence Crema de Mano Luxe ($20, amazon.com) and I was excited to see if this luxurious cream could solve my woes. Unfortunately, it leaves a bit of a residue.
Recently, every product I pick up, cosmetic or not, seems to be infused with coconut: water, milk, shampoo, candy (of course), and creams. In hydrating creams it’s coconut oil that is incorporated into the ingredients to give a moisturizing effect. Daily moisturizers need lipids to alleviate the issues of dry skin, and coconut oil, which is composed of long-chain fatty acids (lipids), is a great hydrator (British Journal of Dermatology, 2008). Additionally, it has been shown to have antiseptic effects when applied to skin topically (Makati Medical Center).
Makati Medical Center’s department of dermatology investigated the effects of coconut oil on Xerosis, a skin condition characterized by dry, rough, scaly skin. The results showed that coconut oil improved skin hydration and increased surface lipid levels. The visible improvements were subjective but overall they showed that coconut oil was a more effective ingredient than mineral oil in cosmetic products (Dermatitis, 2004).
A separate study, performed by the University of Kerela, researchers tested the impact of coconut oil on wound healing. The tests concluded that application of coconut oil increased glycohydrolase activities. Glycohydrolase has an indirect link to the production of nicotinamide through the catalyzed hydrolysis of NAD+, according to a 1996 article in Biochemical Journal. Furthermore, a study conducted in 2005 by Draelos et. al., concluded that nicotinamide increases hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum. In short, topical application of coconut oil indirectly hydrates the skin via interaction with numerous enzymes and catalysts.
Matricaria Flower Extract
Most of us are familiar with chamomile tea, which is known for its deliciousness and calming nature. Well, matricaria flower extract is exactly that but with a fancier-sounding name. There have been numerous medicinal uses for this plant extract overtime, ranging from healing wounds and ulcers to treating insomnia (Longwood Task Force, 1999). Matricaria is present in some skin lotions and creams due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial characteristics (Phytotherapy Research, 2006).
In vitro data concluded that compounds of chamomile were very effective against most gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus and Candida, making it an ideal additive to a hand cream. Further In vitro data supported chamomile’s antioxidant behavior by proving it has the ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation via a free radical process (Longwood Task Force).
In a 2005 article published by the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Medicine, researchers said that animal model studies have shown that matricaria extract demonstrates anti-inflammatory actions as well, and they’re not the only ones arguing that. A 1994 article in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology found that topical herbal drugs, including matricaria, had “ample evidence” for inhibiting cutaneous inflammation in human skin. Reduced inflammation, in addition to the antioxidant and antimicrobial characteristics, creates a smooth texture as well as a smooth visual by reducing redness on the surface of the skin.
The world holds somewhere near 275 species of aloe vera, that we are aware of, and only three or four are used in commercial products. The abundance of aloe derivatives along with the unsubstantial evidence proving its usefulness has the FDA concerned, hindering it from being an approved ingredient in cosmetics (Aloe Vera: Natures Soothing Healer). In fact, the FDA has warned the public about the positive “exaggerated claims” made about aloe vera in the past. Essentially, for all the claims about aloe vera’s wound-healing capabilities, the actual studies are pretty inconclusive, explained a 1999 review in the British Journal of General Practice.
Despite lacking evidence in one use, other research has illuminated that aloe vera’s makeup includes beneficial components for the skin. First is the fact that the aloe vera plant is mostly water — 96% water, to be exact (Hello, Hydration!) — which means it can majorly moisturize. One 2006 study showed that this natural ingredient was an effective hydrator, possibly as a humectant moisturizer (Skin Research and Technology, 2006). Additionally, cosmetically-used aloe contains various moisturizing sugars (Journal of Cosmetics and Toiletries, 1980).
Aloe also happens to contain 18 of the 20 amino acids in the human body, providing a protein overload, which aids in building healthy skin.
Overall Rating: ***
I am a stickler when it comes to hand cream. I have certain stipulations that it must follow: absorb quickly, work vigorously at my calluses, and leave no greasy or slimy residue. Out of those three, Tocca Florence Crema de Mano Luxe only fit one of my preferences.
It was full of hydration and actually did make my calluses softer. It was the slow absorption and residue that became my problem. It took about five minutes to rub in, and even then, it had a greasy feeling that made my hands feel clammy all day.
Coconut oil and aloe vera hydrate, and chamomile is said to help calm inflammation — a combination that’s great for hand cream. But while Tocca Florence Crema de Mano Luxe can save super dry hands, I felt that the residue was more than I could stand throughout my day.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Vegetable Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Isocetyl Stearate, Steareth-2, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limonene, BHT, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Benzoa