Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
My friend Sueanne is the type of person who makes little goodie bags for everyone on trips. She also has impeccable taste and is a francophile to boot, so you can generally expect there to be good things inside.
Two years ago on a trip to Colorado to ski with old college friends and their families, these goodie bags included travel size tubes of L’Occitane’s hand cream. Now, I had brought my own hand cream (which was vastly inferior and shall remain nameless), but it wasn’t cutting it. If you’ve never been in cold, dry mountain air, it can turn your hands into cracked, bloody, useless appendages.
I opened the cream, which, yes, is made in France, and smeared it all over my tortured cuticles. The relief was instant and I’ve never looked back. While I certainly try all the hand creams that cross my desk this time of year, at home I have tubes of L’Occitane handy all winter long. I’ve become convinced that its magical ratio of shea butter and glycerin is perfect. It also comes in several different scents, but I prefer the original, which smells like, well, nice hand lotion.