J.R. Watkins Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve


What is it: A creamy, slightly stiffer than butter, heavy-duty moisture treatment ($8.99) that forms a glove-like protective barrier on crackly dry hands and feet. Particularly important this season as nail art has taken on a new form of creative expression, wouldn't you say?

Why it matters: Thick on application, I like how this salve is super-greasy, which is a good thing for winter. When slathered over feet, you can cover with cotton socks and awaken to the softest skin ever thanks to the blend of Canola and Sweet Almond oil. Beeswax gives the salve some light structure, but just enough to help it spread evenly as the salve warms up to your touch. The retro tin packaging is cutesy enough for the nightstand reminding you spread the salve across any rock hard cuticles to prevent those unsightly hangnails that hurt.  Remember: the skin on the cuticle is much more delicate and requires a product designed to deliver heavy moisture with a gentle touch. Rub the salve gently into your cuticle until it has been absorbed onto both the cuticles and nail. A plus: brittle nails also seemed to liven a bit when the salve was used across bare nails.

Why it impresses: A sprig of Lavender must be hidden deep within the salve as the herbaceous freshness is all too pleasing when popping the tin open.  It’s enriched with Wild Chamomile (a tad different than the Roman variety), which has a greener bent than its chemically sweeter cousin.

The Final Word: Restrained and relaxing, the portable salve brings an herbaceous crispness to raggedy nail beds and more.