Reviewed by Jaysie

Because of the recent holiday season, I was able to test Ellen Sirot’s Complete Day Cream for Hands ($50) in two different climates and with two different water types: the dry but moderately cool winter atmosphere and extremely hard water of the desert, and the below-zero dry/damp temperatures and slightly hard water of the Chicago area.  The Complete Day Cream performed similarly in both locations but whether it deserves wild applause remains to be seen.

After using this product for a little over a month, my over-50 hands feel nice and smooth but they still look over-50.  I must ask the question “Is it better to feel good than look good?”  Considering the price of the Day Cream, I was hoping for a hands-down winner in this category of skin care but no such dramatic result is apparent to the naked eye.  My hands are typical for an older woman who did not start putting sunscreen on them until a few years ago.  They are freckled, wrinkled, and with a snakeskin texture that is most obvious in the winter.  I always wear rubber gloves when doing a big cleaning job that involves hot water or cleaning chemicals, but I don’t reach for gloves whenever I wash a tomato or rinse utensils in the press of preparing a big dinner or baking a cake, and I don’t have a job that requires repeated hand washing.  I use a salt or sugar scrub on my hands about once a week and apply hand cream several times a day.  All in all, my fair skinned hands have been mildly neglected, but not abused.

The ingredient list for the Day Cream made me hopeful even though I thought the word “Complete” was mis-used since there is no sunscreen in it, among other things.  A tidge of titanium dioxide near the bottom of the list doesn’t really count and the lack of an SPF number on the product indicates the company saw no reason to put the product through the paces required to make a sunscreen claim.  The formula relies on amino acids, a couple of oils (evening primrose & linseed), and a popular humectant (sodium hyaluronate) to improve the skin and there is a smattering a vitamins (A, B, and E) in rather pedestrian forms.  One skin lightener, alpha arbutin, appears in the middle of the very long ingredient list which means it is not a front-line warrior against age spots.  All of the good elements intended to build collagen, moisturize, and supply antioxidants are mixed into a concoction of thickening agents to make application easy but I have to question how well they penetrate the skin so don’t do The Wave just yet.

A few cursory tests were interesting.  If you put your hands in water right after application, the formula will liquify into a slippery-slick coating that takes awhile to wash away.  If you use more than the pearl-sized amount recommended in the directions and you keep rubbing to get it all into the skin, the cream will pill.  I was able to determine that it was not dead skin creating the tiny balls all over my hands.  These two tests convinced me that Complete Day Cream seems to be more geared to sitting on top of the skin, providing a lightweight shield and smooth surface rather than feeling like a deep conditioning healing therapy.  Because of its many water-binding properties, this Cream is probably at its highest and best use right after your hands have been in water when the product will act as a sealer.  Also tested was Sirot’s “fingerprint-proof” claim.  This is true when it comes to handling paper, but you must wait if you don’t want to leave scene-of-the-crime prints on glass, mirrors or shiny metal.

While Sirot’s Complete Day Cream hasn’t had me clapping for joy, it’s handful of quality ingredients and protective characteristic leads me to think that long-term use could be a boon to aged hands like mine, but if I don’t see a marked difference in appearance by the end of the bottle, I would not purchase a second time.  Younger hands may benefit more from this formula.  A product at this price point and with a model-perfect endorsement should deliver faster, noticeable results to the older hands praying for a wonder cream.

Ingredients

Water, isostearyl isostearate, hydrogenated polyisobutene, propylene glycol, steareth-21, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, pentylene glycol, PCA dimethicone, phytostearyl/decyltetradecyl myristoyl methyl beta-alaninate, sorbitol, steareth-2, evening primrose (oenothera biennis) oil, linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, alpha arbutin, panthenol, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, sodium pca, urea, trehalose, sodium lactate, arginine, aspartic acid, pca, glycine, alanine, serine, valine, proline, threonine, isoleucine, histidine, phenylalanine, silica, mica, titanium dioxide, boron nitride, polyquaternium-51, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, triacetin, hydroxyethyl acrylate/acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, squalane, polysorbate 60.