Lotions, Balms, and Creams oh my!

Posted in Accessories at 5:50 pm by Jennie

I was knitting the other day and had rubbed on some new balm I picked up at my LYS and my mom said, “What in the world is that smell?” So pretty much from the look on her face, yeah, the balm is stinky. LOL I really am okay with the smell since I’m use to balms and creams made from all natural ingredients. The funny thing to the incident is that I had used the same stuff at work and a coworker walked into the break room and said, “why does it smell like Raid in here?” I just about laughed so hard since it was me. Anywho, I got to thinking, I have tons of hand stuff maybe I should post little tid bits about them just in case someone out there was interested. And I will definitely let ya’ll in on which hand balm caused all this…

Well…here’s what I could find lying around:

lotions and balms

I don’t think its too much? Do you? I do have a thing about my hands being dry. I can’t stand it! Especially since I work in the hospital and I wash my hands just about a million times a day. So I need tons and tons of lotions. And since my love affair with knitting, well, that enabled me to buy more creams. Wool dries my hands out even more especially when I am in love with a certain pattern and have to knit it all up asap.

(I’m always on the look out to try new stuff, so if you use something awesome, cue me in on it. puhhleeasssee!)

I’m gonna try something new, seeing as how this is gonna be a long post, I thought I’d give you the chance to decide if you want to read more about the items . So if you’re interested than…

Okay up first is Badger


This is sold in a mini tin that says it can be used for your lips and is also a body balm. I think it’s really cute. It does a pretty decent job on my cuticles, but isn’t thick enough for me when I use it on my lips. If that makes any sense. lol It smells pretty good if you’re into Lavender and Orange.


L'Occitane shea butter

This is pretty fancy stuff. A bit pricey too. I had heard about how awesome this brand was on one of the knitting boards so of course I had to have some. I think I paid $36. It has actually lasted a long time (going on 6 months and still 75% or more left). A little goes a loooooonnnnggg way. It can be greasy if you put a lot on, which is what I tend to do. But it stays on pretty long when I knit. I love the smell. I kinda like to put in on before bed and I don’t know if it really does, but it seems to help me sleep.

My least favorite… Bag Balm

Bag Balm

Someone had said this was really good for knitter. I found some at CVS and it was under $5 so what the heck, right? Wrong! Okay, before I bash it, I’m gonna say it does moisturize well. But, it does not smell nice. Smell is a big thing for me and this one is a stinker. What should I expect from an item that was designed for treating cow udders. Oh well, that’s me, trying weird things.

Speaking of udders…Udderly Smooth was also created for use on udders

Udderly Smooth

I can go either way with this one. The smell was kinda okay and not okay at times. I didn’t like the smell at first but a lot of my coworkers liked it so I shared. hehe. I purchased this at Walmart. It was really cheap too, less that $2.



Hmm, greasy stuff. Kinda expensive for something that’s pretty much vaseline. A little under $7 at Walmart. I use it at night when I want to wake up to softer hands. I don’t use it for knitting since it’s really greasy feeling.

Gold Bond Ultimate

gold bond lotion

This stuff smells really good, especially the “healing” one. It really does soften up my hands but can be greasy in the beginning but once things settle it keeps my hands pretty moist when I knit. I really don’t mind the greasiness. Available at Walmart for I think under $6.

Surgeon’s Skin

Surgeon's Skin

I learned about this brand from a post on the Knitter’s Review forum and went to the site. Picked up a few different kinds and I like this stuff. There are a lot of scents to choose from. The creams do keep my hands really moist and soft. Here’s the link. The beeswax moisturizing cream is my favorite but get the one in the jar, the original smell is a nice power clean scent. Once again, this stuff is greasy too, but let it set and you’re good to go for a long knit session.

Heal My Hands

Heel my Hands

I’m sure ya’ll have heard of this brand. Many yarn sites sell it. I really wanted to try some and I’m glad I did. My first solid lotion item. It comes in a hard cake. Very nifty. You just rub the cake and the warmth of your hands melts it, then you rub your hands some more. LOL. Lavender mint smells nice if you like the smell of lavender. I actually like the Ultra more because it give off a thicker feel. I don’t think I can explain it right, but yeah. The Ultra’s only drawback is that it doesn’t smell good. But I can live with it since it really does a good job at keeping my hands soft.

And finally, the Knitter’s Little Helper Hand Balm

Knitter's Little Helper

This is what I picked up at my LYS. I think it does it’s job. My hands are always really moist and soft when I rub this stuff on. When I opened it I was expecting it to be something like a lotion cake but it’s actually a thick whipped moose like cream. I don’t mind the smell at all, but it seems to affect the non-knitters out there. So be careful when using in a public place, this stuff has a pretty strong smell.

Thanks for reading my novel! And as always I ya’ll!



  1. Trish said,

    I have tried all different types of lotions. I have 4 different kinds sitting next to my knitting chair and several more types through out the house. 🙂
    Nice review. I already knew about bag balm. My grandma uses it all the time on her hands…Yuck! It works but smells bad enough I’d rather have cracked hands.
    I haven’t tried Heal My Hands but I’ve been wanting to try it.
    Right now I’m using the scented Bee Bar I bought from the Loopy Ewe. It’s become my favorite knitting lotion. It comes in unscented for those who don’t like or want a lotion bar with scent. The bonus is that the unscented bar doesn’t smell funky. 🙂

  2. kc said,

    ha! my coworker and I were talking about lotions today! we went to bath and body works (I had a gift certificate from Christmas still…) and I have finally come to the conclusion that I just don’t use lotions very much. the one I use 90% of the time is this Curel Healing stuff (can’t remember the actual name) and I love it. That and my Oil of Olay facial lotion. I have quite a few bottles that smell nice… but I don’t know, I’m just not a lotion person! When I was younger, I *hated* putting lotion on. It made me feel dirty or something, hehe. I’d always wipe it off!

    That being said (and that was a lot to say, sorry! haha) this is a lot of good info though! The only thing I could possibly add to your list is perhaps the Burt’s Bees Hand Salve. It’s a bit pricey for the big container, but it smells nice and herb-y and feels pretty good 🙂 (but I am a mere novice compared to you! hehe)

    Oh, one more thing (yeah, someone is talkative tonight) lavendar does have relaxation properties, so that L’Occitane really might be making you sleep better 🙂

  3. Jen said,

    I never had dry skin until I moved to Holland – the wind from the sea is a killer.

    I LOVE L’Occitane. We have a shop devoted to their products here. The stuff is pricey, but it works and lasts. I have a face cream of theirs that is truly a miracle worker. They have this lemon verbena hand cream that comes in a purse size that I can’t live without.

    I have a couple of salves that I got for climbers – to smooth gnarled hands after being on the rocks all day. They smell completely awful, but then usually it’s still the nicest smell at the campsite after a day sweating in the sun. 😉

    The Body Shop sells a line of products called Body Butter – they come in about three “strengths” (read: oiliness). I use the strongest one on my legs in the winter when they get dry and itchy.

  4. becky said,

    I love Burt’s Bees Hand Creme (the jar is better on hands than the bottle) also all natural.

  5. Chrissy said,

    Thank you so much for the reviews. It’s so hard to tell what you’re going to get when at the store. I know that it’s always helpful to have a little lotion guidance.

  6. Grace said,

    Wow! Thanks for all the great info! In the winters here in Boston my hands dry out like crazy, and I use either plain old cheapo Vaseline Total Moisture or the expensive but AWESOME Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter. I really love that stuff and it smells great too. They also have unscented if you don’t like perfumey lotions.

  7. zehava said,

    best cream i ever bought is entirely made by hand by some lady in Alberta (it’s actually a “body butter”, but we mainly use it on our hands around here). she has different scents to choose from (our favourite is French Vanilla), goes on smooth and isn’t all greasy. here’s her etsy address if you want to check her out: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=55298 . shipping sucks because Canada Post sucks, but i’m telling you, it’s so worth the sucky shipping she has to charge.

  8. Zuleika said,

    I’m the same way with lotions, balms, lip gloss and hair products.
    Ha! That raid comment is hilarious! Thanks for the reviews. I’ve been thinking about buying some balm from the shop down the hill. Mostly because it comes in a cute container. I have a thing for cute and portable containers. Anyway, I’ll let you know if it works when I try it out. You can never have too many body products! 🙂

  9. Shannon said,

    My SP just sent me something called wool wax creme. and it is a delight. So non-greasy and light feeling, but it makes my skin feel so smooth. It’s from Montana and a search online will bing it up right away. I will definaltey get more when this runs out.

  10. Jennie said,

    Oh my goodness. I just want to thank ya’ll for sparking my interest in creams again. So many goodies I have to go check them all out.(6)

  11. kat said,

    great lotion review. we like lotions at my house too. my boyfriend uses some really smelly stuff that works great but clears the room. his mom bought it in mexico. i use some fancy stuff called beurre karite from pre de provence.
    thanks for the nice comment you left on my blog!

  12. Nora said,

    Great review – thanks.

  13. Alex said,

    Thanks for this! I wash my hands a lot at work too. I currently use the Bee Bar, but I haven’t tried much else.

  14. Dotty said,

    A great review! Some creams are so expensive that it’s hard to make the decision to buy & try.

    My current favourite hand cream is Glysomed (green tube or jar). It’s got a lite chamomile scent. It feels incredibly sticky (not greasy) the first minute or so but once it’s absorbed into the skin, you don’t notice it at all. Even hubby likes it and he has to be forced to use hand cream (his hands get incredibly chapped from bike riding).

  15. Anthony said,

    Trish & Knitters –

    If you would like a free sample of Heal My Hands – contact me healmyhands.com and mention this post.

    Let me weigh in with a couple of moisturizer thoughts for you. Soft skin starts with your soap and diet.

    Try avoiding soaps that contain laurel or laureth sulfates. I fined them too strong for most people, stripping your natural oils. I am fond of old fashion solid lye soaps that incorporate goat’s milk. The latic acid in the milk acts as a soft peel of dead skin.

    Consume as many omega oils as you can – amazing what a spoon of flax seed oil every day will do (takes 30 days to notice). Fish oils are great too if you eat meat.

    In our experience petroleum based moisturizers tend to dry your skin worse than before you applied. Like strong soap – they leach your own oils away. This includes mineral oil.

    My favorite moisturizing ingredients – organic jojoba, lanolin, and organic cupuacu butter.

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