I bought Soap and Glory’s Great Shakes right before my year of No Buy started, and I’ve been using it pretty regularly at work since.
The package, as with all Soap and Glory products, is a nice bright pink color. It’s a standard flip-top, squeeze-tube bottle that sits lid-down, leading to a bit of unfortunate gunk-spillage into the cap. Otherwise, the packaging is serviceable and not unattractive.
One thing that's always baffled me a bit about Soap and Glory products is that their outer cardboard packaging is often vintage-themed (as shown below), and then the products inside look modern. I'm not saying I don't like it, but it seems like a strange move to not streamline the outer and inner packaging.
Ingredients listed on the front include glycerine, fennel and lotus flower, but the first five listed on the back of the bottle are less flowery – Aqua, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate. I read a profile a while back on a hand model who said that water and alcohol were terrible ingredients for a hand lotion, and yet I can’t seem to find many that don’t carry it. So either she was talking about a particular alcohol or, as the rest of the article indicated, she was a bit nuts.
Onto the product itself: the cream is very faintly-scented (an informal trial with a handful of my co-workers has shown that it smells different on everyone’s skin, but for me it’s a very light herbal smell) and comes out in a thick (but not paste-y) white consistency. While my hands don’t feel super greasy with it on, they still feel more greasy than I’m really comfortable with – especially as I’m at a keyboard most of the day and don’t like the slick feeling of the keys when they’re coated in a bit of the lotion. It sinks into the skin pretty quickly, however as soon as you go to wash your hands, you will find a considerable amount of a cloudy, milky liquid draining into the sink.
The issue with Great Shakes, ultimately, is that I’m just not sure it’s doing much to soften my hands. It makes them look brighter, smoother, more toned and more even (which is nice, since I tend to have a lot of redness around my knuckles and joints), but they don’t feel particularly soft. It’s a shame, because I love almost everything else about this – the lack of a large, offensive smell, the speed at which it sinks into my skin, the minimal greasiness, etc. But at the end of the day, a hand cream should leave your hands softer – and I can’t say with any real conviction that Great Shakes does so.
This would probably work much better as a summer hand lotion, since the soothing/smoothing qualities would be helpful on hotter days, but this is definitely not a winter cream, and I may have to retire it until the warmer months.