My dry skin gets exponentially worse during the wintertime, which warrants a seasonal audit of my standby hand lotions. This year, the Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Hand Cream is a clear standout product. In fact, it is the only new hand cream I tried that didn’t make the already-dry skin on my hands burst into red, itchy patches that felt drier than before.
It isn’t just that my skin is dry, sensitive, and highly susceptible to the effects of cold weather. I’m also a frequent hand-washer and rock climber, and all that scrubbing and chalking up does a number on my skin, especially along my knuckles, the backs of my hands, and my wrists. By the end of a regular winter day, my hands are bright red, raw, and cracked. For all these reasons, I’m very picky when it comes to hand cream—and Beekman’s goat milk–based moisturizer passed my selective wishlist with flying colors.
After trying dozens of options (from drugstore best-sellers to culty internet favorites to boutique-y botanical creams) over the years, I’ve found that I need a dye- and fragrance-free cream to appease my sensitive skin, a non-greasy texture that won’t make my palms feel oily, and a moisturizing—yet lightweight—formula that’ll absorb quickly. Finally, it needs to pass a skin patch test. I’ll try a small amount of a new product on the inside of my wrist or, if I feel like living dangerously, the outside (which is more prone to irritation). In a befuddling turn of events, several of the creams I relied on during previous winters failed the patch test this year. So, I decided to try Beekman’s hand cream, having received it once as a gift from a loved one and vaguely recalling that it didn’t make my skin worse. Lo and behold, it was just what I’d been looking for.
How it feels
Despite being labeled as a hand cream, I’d say it’s more accurate to think of this as a lotion, given its thinner consistency and that it comes in a tube rather than a jar. It is super lightweight and soaks into the skin in a matter of moments, but it still provides the rapid relief I’d expect from a heavier cream. Right after rubbing it in, my skin feels more supple and looks less red and cracked. If I have to clean my hands soon after applying the cream, it doesn’t feel like I’m pointlessly washing it off before it’s had a chance to provide hydration. It’s already sunk in and my hands feel smooth even after rinsing and drying them.
In addition to its lovely feel and line-up of nourishing ingredients, including glycerin, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil, this hand cream is truly odorless, much to my easily-irritated skin’s delight. (For those who like scented skin care products, however, it also comes in a range of fragrances including Fresh Air, Fig Leaf, Honeyed Grapefruit, Honey and Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, and Vanilla Absolute.)
How I used it
First, I always dab a little on when I get back from the climbing gym, focusing the cream on my calluses and cuticles. It also helps the crack-prone skin around my wrists feel supple and flexible, so I also put some cream on them before a chaturanga-heavy yoga session. On especially cold and windy days, I use it just about every time I come inside from a walk.
But it comes in handy the most after I make dinner and my hands are extra dry from repeated hand-washings in between handling fresh veggies, raw meat, and other ingredients. I look forward to the instant relief from the cream almost as much as my meal. This might sound like a lot of lotioning throughout the day, but the light formula makes it easy for me to apply it around the clock, without having to worry that it’ll make my hands too sticky to use.