My friends always refer to my bathroom as Sephora on Orchard when they visit, and with good reason. The combination of products amassed by both my roomie and me is quite astounding, taking up—literally—several shelves. Sometimes we buy stuff and never even use the products (or use them once or twice). It's silly... but isn't that the same situation with groceries? In any case, spring cleaning came a little (ok, a lot) early when I couldn't find a small disposable bottle I remembered buying months ago.

Incidentally, I stumbled upon some Ahava products I picked up in Israel at the Dead Sea, which I had totally forgotten I had bought. What's great about Ahava is that it's the only product line indigenous to the Dead Sea region (coined as the Earth's largest natural spa), rich in minerals that benefit the skin. With that said, I was disappointed with the hand cream for men.

What I don't like about this cream is that it says it doesn't leave an oily residue but my hands felt quite slippery for almost twenty minutes after application. In fact, I wanted to wipe the hand cream off after application. The main reason it's so greasy is that the top ingredients (from ethyhexyl palmitate to glycerin) give the feeling of softness with emulsion but there's really nothing here to lock in and retain the moisture. Ultimately there was little absorption as mostly emollients make the hands feel soft.

I can't say that I wasn't impressed with the Dead Sea when I went last year. The concentration of the salts is so high that you naturally float, and several people come from all over the world to cure physical problems like psoriasis and bone deficiency. The salts in this sea are beneficial because they contain 27% of various salts (as opposed to normal sea water's 3%). This is unusually beneficial because it's a high balance of salts derived from various elements, including magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides. So, you're getting bang for the buck by combating stress (yes, sea salts in general are great for this in a hot bath), detoxifying, slowing skin aging and relaxing muscles.

With that said, it's not effective in a hand cream if combined with other ingredients that outweigh the dead sea minerals and basically scratch the surface. I have to give props to the hand cream for containing extracts like panax ginseng root, gingko biloba leaf extract and ginger root extract but I can't help but feel it's a marketing ploy considering they are at the bottom of the ingredients list (think of it as a sprinkle of salt on a main entree).

Though I am not a fan of the hand cream, it's not totally useless: my roommate has been using it on her legs after shaving.

Ingredients in Ahava Men's Hand Cream

Water (Aqua), Ethyhexyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) PEG-20 Stearate , Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water Distillate, Sea Salt&Water(Dead Sea Water) , Fragrance (Parfum), Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Dimethicone, Chlorphenesin , Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Triclosan , Butylparaben, Propylparaben , Allantoin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf extract, Linalool, Dipentene, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-Methyl Ionone, Coumarin, Eugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, FD&C Blue#1(CI 42090).