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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Shea Moisture Zanzibar Marine Complex Replenish & Rejuvenate Hand Cream

I adore Shea Moisture, as I know many of you do,, so when I saw this new hand cream on the Ulta site ($5.99, 3.2 oz.) last month, I had to get it (you can also get it for the same price at Target). So let's see how it's been working for me!

Shea Moisture Zanzibar Marine Complex Replenish & Rejuvenate Hand Cream
with Black Pearl Protein & Sea Buckthorn Oil
(retail: $5.99 3.2 oz.)

From the Ulta website:

Zanzibar Marine Complex Replenish & Rejuvenate Hand Cream is a nutrient-rich long lasting treatment for the hands. Absorbs quickly to infuse skin with moisture while brightening and toning. Our exclusive blend of oils and marine extracts including Carrageen (Red Algae) provides all-day hydration to replenish and protect natural moisture reserves. Helps comfort even the driest hands. Zanzibar Marine Complex is a blend of Kelp, Carrageenan (Red Algae) and other Marine Algae Extracts that hydrate, nourish and protect skin. Black Pearl Protein is a symbol of timeless elegance. Helps moisturize and nourish skin while protecting against environmental effects. Sea Buckthorn Oil contains fatty acids, Phytosterols and vitamins that protect and nourish the skin. 

SheaMoisture fights poverty! 10% of SheaMoisture Community Commerce product sales go to women-led businesses, to support communities that supply ingredients for our products. We help fund training and infrastructure to help them manufacturer their own high quality goods in their countries, and get fair prices for their goods and labor. This helps them to earn a better living and support their families, making a better life possible within their communities. It's not a donation. It's an investment in a fairer world.

It's kind of hard to see the ingredients in my pics so here's the full list from the Ulta website:

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin (Vegetable), Carrageenan, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Algae Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Plankton Extract Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Sodium Benzoate *Certified Organic Ingredient

Made in the USA

First, I love that this product has a teal blue streak running through it--it reminds me of toothpaste and I don't know why, but I kind of love that! In the tube, this product is very thick and it takes a bit of muscle to squeeze it from the tube. I have to press pretty hard on the tube to get it out, but I have a fix for that. I have been unscrewing it from the base, where the hole is bigger. I find that it's MUCH easier to squeeze it out of the larger hole because there's less resistance.

As for the texture, it's AMAZING. Yes, it's quite thick coming out of the tube, but the moment you start to work it into your skin, it immediately turns from a thick cream to a thick liquid. It reminds me of a whipped product; the moment it hits the warmth of your skin it breaks down and it's super easy to spread across the skin.

I find that I need about an inch-long strip to cover both of my hands. Actually, I need about an inch of product if I'm squeezing it from the smaller hole; if I remove the cap and squeeze from the larger hole I need about a half an inch. Either way, I need a tiny bit more product to coat both of my hands that I do from other hand creams in my stash, but I'm perfectly OK with that because this hand cream feels absolutely luxurious on my skin. It spreads so easily and it absorbs quickly, but it leaves a nice protective coating behind. It feels similar to the L'Occitane Shea Melting Honey Whipped Hand Cream ($12, 0.59 oz.), if you're familiar with that product. It's not sticky or tacky, but it feels just a tiny bit waxy. I'm super picky with hand creams and I can't stand weird residue on my hands, and this one doesn't bother me in the slightest. It feels wonderful on my hands, as long as I don't overdo it. If I apply too much, then it does tend to feel too heavy. So start small and add more as needed.

One application leaves my hands looking and feeling so smooth, soft, and hydrated for hours. This product lasts through one hand-washing for me, and sometimes two. I find myself reapplying about twice a day; once in the afternoon and once before bed. I've only been using this product for about a month now, so it's too soon to see if there are any real, long-term effects. But so far my hands generally feel a bit more hydrated when I'm using this product on a regular basis, even when the hand cream has worn away.

And finally, let's talk about the scent. I am NOT a big fan of aquatic/marine scents. Most of them tend to catch in my throat and make feel like I need to cough. But this is not one of those scents. To me, the marine note in this hand cream is softer than most. It's fresh and clean, but not heavy. And it's mixed with a very soft, floral, powdery note, which I adore. There is also a raw shea butter note here. Together, these notes combine to form a scent that is clean, soft, fresh and powdery, but there's also a slight earthiness to this scent due to the shea butter. I truly love the fragrance of this hand cream and it makes me happy every time I use it. I would consider the fragrance level medium. It's not a strong, in-your-face fragrance, but I definitely smell it during applcation and it lingers on my hands for a few hours (although I do have to put my hands right up to my nose to get a whiff of it after about 20 minutes).

FINAL VERDICT: Love, love, love. The texture is amazing, the formula is soothing and hydrating, it doesn't leave a weird finish on the skin, and the scent is absolutely beautiful. The only thing I can find fault with here is that it's difficult to squeeze this product out of the tube but like I said above, you can just unscrew the lid and squeeze it from the larger opening and that makes it a lot easier to dispense. If you're looking for a new, affordable hand cream, I highly recommend giving this one a shot.

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'd love to know what you think if you try it! :)

  2. I liked this one but once I tried the Manuka Honey dry skin recipe one I never looked back!

    1. Thanks! I've had my eye on a few items from the Manuka line! Can you tell me how that one differs from this one?

  3. G, would you consider the scent neutral, as in not feminine? Mr. Kelly has hands like sandpaper {{{ shudder}}} and requires hard core hand cream. He refuses to use most hand creams based on their overtly perfume scent. He's working his way through the last of the Hemp Hand Protector ($20 for 3.3 oz) that I bought him from the Body Shop. It would be nice to find something more affordable.

    1. Try the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula unscented. That cream is glycerin based. Its amazing.

    2. Oh gosh, this is so hard to answer! I feel like it's RIGHT on the border of leaning a little more feminine. Only because it does have a soft, powdery, floral note mixed in with the marine note. I think that if YOU also are potentially interested in this product, then get it and if Mr. Kelly doesn't like it, at least you can use it. It's just too risky for me to say that he'll for sure be OK with scent. I asked Mr. G and he thought it was a little bit "too much" for him but he's really no help because he tends to dislike ANYTHING with fragrance, and he barely likes lotions to begin with (even when unscented).

      Here's an idea though: if Mr. Kelly doesn't like this scent or you don't want to risk it, Shea Moisture also makes a hand cream in their African Black Soap line ($5.49 at Target for 3.2 oz.) and I know for a fact that scent is neutral (many men enjoy it). Like the Zanzibar hand cream, the African Black Soap hand cream formula also has a high concentration of butters (shea butter is the third ingredient and it also contains coconut oil, olive oil and mango butter). I hope that helps and please do keep me posted?

      PS: another affordable option might be the Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive hand cream for men. I have had very good luck with Gold Bond lotions and while I haven't tried this one, I purchased the multi-purpose lotion for face/body/hands in this line for Mr. G and he can actually tolerate the scent and enjoys the formula (which is saying a lot considering what I said above)! Here's the link if you want to check it out:

      I tried the lotion for face/body/hands that I bought for Mr. G and it has a fresh, clean scent but I don't think it's heavy duty enough for really dry hands. So I would definitely consider the hand cream instead.

    3. Randi, I was thinking about suggesting that one too, but there's something in the dry-down of that formula that is a tiny bit funky to me (sort of a slightly powdery, tacky feel?). But again I'm so picky with hand cream residue; others might not notice that at all! :)

    4. Thank you so much Randi and G for the suggestions. I bought him the Neutrogena Norwegian formula and he said it was too greasy. It didn't dry down quick enough for me either (I'm a nurse, so I'm usually walking down hallways trying to get it to dry before I've got to chart etc.). I do sometimes use it at night and it's good stuff. I haven't repurchased it though since I make my own Shea butter, beeswax and lanolin lotion for overnight. My hands are so fried from the constant assault of hand washing with hospital soaps and hand sanitizer.

      I'm heading to Target today so will look for the African Black soap line product. I'll also pick up the Zanzibar. At the price point for those, it's worth trying both of them. Sounds like he might use the one from the African Black soap line one and if he doesn't like the Zanzibar one, it will go in my nursing bag. Thanks for the detailed explanation G. I really appreciate it and it helps so much. I never would have noticed either of these products without your mentioning them. I'll let you know if it passes Mr. Picky's standards ;-)

    5. Hey Kelly! Has he ever tried O'Keeffe's Working Hands? It's like a weird paste, and a little goes a long way. I take ceramics and live in the harsh north, so my hands were always dried out and beginning to crack. This hand cream saved me! My hands are so soft now. There's no scent, and it feels a little tacky when first applied, but it quickly goes away. It takes about 3 days to see results, but if he applies it every day there should definitely be some improvement. I got mine at A.C. Moore, but I've seen it at tons of places like CVS, bed bath and beyond, etc.

  4. I've been looking for a less costly alternative to my holy grail Bliss hand cream. Thanks for the review!

  5. Oh and another suggestion about squeezing products from tubes: When I can't squeeze any more from the Bliss tubes, I cut off the end and there's a ton still left! I use a binder clip to sort of close the end so that it doesn't congeal and dry out.

  6. I have this in the Manuka Honey scent, it's incredible!

  7. I'm looking for this the next time I go to Target! I have a Shea Moisture Body/Bath Oil and I LOVE it! I could use something stronger for my hands during the day that isn't greasy or oily.

  8. I also would recommend Working Hands! The packaging is a little more masculine looking than other hand creams, and it's a jar rather than a squeeze tube so it's easy to control how much you're applying.


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