As I was perusing Sali Hughes’s recent article about hand creams, I realized that I’ve used and experimented with a lot of hand cream over the years. As someone who is dedicated to taking care of my own skin, the hands need to be treated well.
I do frequently wash my hands and am susceptible to the dreaded hang nails. If you do not take care of yours hand, they will become dry, red, and even crack and split. Hands can also reveal your age faster than any other physical attribute.
I put on hand cream throughout the day, but most importantly, I put some on before I go to bed especially in the dry indoor climate during winter.
Some years ago, I was a waitress and had to wash my hands constantly. It’s one of the many reasons I won’t go back to that job. I do wash dishes daily and not always with gloves. My hands can get dry easily in winter, but I am lucky enough not to suffer from eczema or dermatitis though many of the below hand creams have been reviewed and endorsed by those who do.
Here are some tips that I’ve found worked for me:
- The best time to put on hand cream is immediately after you’ve washed and dried your hands as this seals in moisture.
- Always wear leather or wool mittens/gloves in cold weather. I put hand cream on before going out as a double preventive.
- Wear gloves during gardening, dishes, canning preparation (acidic fruits), and whenever possible.
- Pay attention to cuticles and the surrounding areas as this prevents hang nails. This thin skin area gets driest the fastest.
- Other ways of keeping hangnails at bay is to regularly push the cuticles back with an oil and always cut (never pull) them when they appear and moisturize afterwards.
- Put a strong hand cream on before bed and if your hands are extra dry and cracking, wear moisture gloves. You can buy household cotton cleaning gloves instead of the specific moisture ones to save money.
Now for the feature attraction, some of my favourite hand creams.
The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector
For years, I always tried this cream on whenever I was in The Body Shop. I’ve never been a massive Body Shop fan, but this hand cream is their best selling product for a reason. I recently bought it during their January sales so I was able to score it for $10CAD rather than the usual $20. A little goes a long way with this one! It is pungent and not very pleasant, but it works extremely well. This is my night time hand cream and my hands and cuticles are always smooth the next morning.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
This has been my staple for years. A couple of my old flatmates knew I loved this brand and stocked me with two tubes of it. Too bad it’s quite expensive in Canada. It has a nice scent, rich and absorbs well. 20% Shea Butter can’t be wrong.
Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter
The best cream I’ve found so far for preventing and dealing with winter hangnails. Very rich and moisturizing. I also like the citrus scent. I loved this product so much that I repurchased it which can’t be sad for a lot of products I own. The only preventing me from doing so now is that it costs $16.95CAD up from the $11.95 from four years ago. I’m now looking for an alternative cuticle balm.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
A little goes a long way as this is a high glycerin formula. It’s light, fragrance free, lasts a long time and best of all, cheap! I don’t even think they sell this in Canada, but I used this in the UK and brought some back. When you see it, pick it up as I think it’s one of the best and cheapest on-the-go hand creams.
Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Creams
These hand creams are decent and smell lovely. The Shea butter and Gardeners hand therapy are nice, and I also like the The Source because of the scent.
Shea Butter, Castor Oil and basically any other pure moisturizing oil (jojoba, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, hemp)
These are just the raw ingredients from the above. I use raw shea butter and push the cuticles back with castor oil (an active ingredient in The Body Shop Hemp cream). Nothing wrong with going straight to the source.
Last but not least, an honourable mention goes to: Favourite Body Moisturizer. If you are prone to dry skin and use a strong body moisturizer, may as well save money, depot into portable container and use it as a hand cream.
Creams I want to try: Aveeno, Burt’s Bees Beeswax & Banana, Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Badger Cuticle Care, Flexitol heel balm.
What are your favourite hand and body creams?