Product Review: Okeeffe’s

Feb 19, 2012 by

Product Review: Okeeffe’s

Being a long distance runner has had some interesting effects on my body.  The good has been weight loss (~18 lbs) and waist reduction (2-3″).  The bad has been a few nagging injuries, mostly self-inflicted due to to over training.  Finally, the ugly has been my feet and hands.

Feet, you may have expected, but hands?  Yep.  I’ve always had fairly dry skin, and winter is always tough on my hands.  My old hobby of Jeep tinkering didn’t help, getting oil and grime on my hands then scrubbing them with harsh cleaners.  But in summer of 2010, I starting have a strange problem with my hands.  After long training runs of 2+ hours, the skin on my finger tips would peel off within a couple of hours.  My first theory was some sort of reaction to the Gu gels that I would take during these runs.  So, I quit using Gu and experimented with other stuff.  That seemed to work at first, but eventually the condition  kicked back in, and I’d try some other gel.  When winter came along, in addition to the peeling, I’d get splitting and cracking fingers, not just from running long distances, but just from general use during cold dry winter weather.

So, what was going on?  At one of my trips to the doc (probably in regards to a foot problem), I mentioned the peeling skin problem of my fingers.  He asked if my feet were cracking, too.  They were.  So, the doc tested my thyroid.  The results came back low, so he put me on a test run of thyroid medicine.  The skin issues didn’t clear up.  Once the test run was up, my thyroid levels were fine, but the skin issues persisted.

I have come to the conclusion that the root of the problem was dehydration and stress caused by long runs.  So, I am trying to hydrate better, and the heart rate training regimen I’ve adopted has reduced body stress.

I also have discovered a product that does a wonderful job preventing the peeling and cracking fingers.  It is called O’Keeffe’s Working Hands.  You can find it at Lowe’s of all places and is around $8.  This is a hand cream that feels more waxy than creamy.  The product works to keep moisture in your skin, unlike traditional oil-based lotions that repel moisture.  Here’s the description from their website: One of the unique features about O’Keeffe’s is what’s not in the formulation. We are not an oil-based product because of one simply reason – oil repels moisture. If your skin is dry, cracked or split you need to hydrate your skin. We use glycerin as primary ingredient that does a much better job of drawing moisture in and allowing your skin to heal from the bottom layer up. So I can use it as a moisturizer? Absolutely – though just remember O’Keeffe’s products are quite concentrated. If you are using O’Keeffe’s as a moisturizer, you probably will find that a little goes a long way.

When i first started using it, I applied a bit after each time I washed my hands.  In about two days, the skin was clear and some small cuts were cleared up.  Now, I usually use it before bed and occasionally during the day when the humidity is low and I can feel dry fingertips coming on. I keep a jar on my desk at work and on my night stand.

O’Keeffe’s makes a product specifically for feet as well.  One common foot issue for runners is cracked heels, and I’m no exception.  I have been using this, and it does pretty well there, too.  It has not worked as fast as the hand product, though, because I do no apply it as often.  Lowe’s does not carry this one.  I bought it at a local drug store.  You can click here to locate these products in your area.  Retail is $7.99.



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