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Having tried out my fair share of cuticle butters, oils, and hand creams, I no longer have impossibly high expectations for those types of products. It’s only natural that a hand product will not have long-lasting effects – the average person washes his or her hands so often that lotions must be applied constantly in order to keep hands from drying out. However, I recently tested Retrospect Hand & Nail Reconstructor ($36 in the shop), and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a hand cream before.
I’ll start with the basics. Retrospect Hand & Nail Reconstructor is a lightweight, white cream with no discernible scent. It absorbs within 30 seconds and feels surprisingly non-greasy for how smooth and supple my hands were after application.
Here is the most exciting part: it lasts! The Retrospect website suggests applying it two to three times a day, but I only need to apply it in the morning and evening. Even during the winter when my skin gets especially dry, my knuckles have not been sore, dry, or cracked. My hands look and feel better than they ever have.
More importantly, at least to me, is that my nails and cuticles have actually improved over my month’s use of this product. My cuticles are noticeably healthier – they hardly ever crack anymore and I find I trim them less often. My nails also peel and break less and have grown to a length I can be proud of, especially considering how often I paint and repaint them.
Looking at the ingredients, Retrospect highlights Replicine Functional Keratin peptides that claim to “improve nail flexibility, reduce nail splitting and brittleness, while softening and hydrating your hands.”
Overall, I am crowning this my Holy Grail hand and nail product. I have never seen such fantastic long-term results from any other hand or cuticle treatment and will continue to use this for the foreseeable future.
Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Di-PPG-3 Myristyl Ether Adipate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance