Hand care

Studies have shown that people wash their hands, on average, 8.6 times a day. Women wash even more often; they clean their hands at least 10 times a day. Very sensible when you think that around eighty percent of infectious diseases are spread through touch, but it is not so kind to the skin on your hands. Soap and water are a harsh assault on your skin and so frequent washing just doesn’t allow it time to recover. And in the winter months your hands suffer even more from the cold, wind, rain, low humidity and extra warm showers. Today, I have got some tips on how to keep your hands in top condition.

Be one step ahead and carry a good hand cream in your handbag. Apply it each time you have washed your hands during the day. The more the better because a cream only lasts for a couple of hours and even shorter when you wash your hands… Please don’t waste your money on those gorgeous smelling hand creams, by doing that you will only keep those dry hands in the same state. It is important that your hand cream contains substances which retain moisture and substances which put a protective layer over the skin to reduce water evaporation. Look for ingredients such as paraffin, squalene, dimethicone, borage seed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and safflower oil. To retain moisture, glycerine, urea, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, panthenol, ceramides and cholesterol are very suitable.

It is not so practical to have very greasy hands during the day, but at night it shouldn’t affect you. Studies have shown that the more fat content there is in a moisturizer the more effective it is against dryness and irritation (Dutch). So, apply a lovely thick cream onto your hands at night and go for the old fashioned pot of Vaseline or a pure plant oil (my favourites are abyssinian oil, jojoba oil and rice bran oil) in order to let your hands completely recover.

Product advice hand cream

Below are affordable and effective hand creams for getting you through winter. Be aware: there are no sun filters in these hand creams! Make sure that, from April onwards, you apply a sun cream on your hands (and, of course, your face). From then on I always have my Suncare SPF 30 in my handbag.

Repair Cream by Dr. Jetske Ultee
This rich Repair Cream helps the diminished barrier layer to recover rapidly. The rich cream contains a unique combination of substances, which naturally occur in the lipid layer of the skin barrier, such as ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids. The right composition means that the substances can also be absorbed. Extra added ingredients such as oatmeal, panthenol and squalane help the skin to recover further and offer protection and relief from irritation, itching and inflammation.

  • click here for the ingredients list:

    Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Ceramide NS, Phytosphingosine, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ceramide NP, Lecithin, Squalane, Ceramide AP, Cholesterol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium AcryloyldimethylTaurate Copolymer, Tocopherol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium AcryloyldimethylTaurate Copolymer, p-Anisic Acid, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 60, Ceramide EOP, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Carbomer, Sorbitan Isostearate, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum

    (Last updated November 2017)


Eucerin – Intensive Hand Cream 5% Urea
This hand cream contains, alongside glycerine and silicones, 5% urea. Urea has fine water binding properties.

  • click here for the ingredients list:
    Water, Glycerine, Ureum, Dibutyl Adipate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lactate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ceramide NP, Lactic Acid, Arginine HCL, Sodium PCA, Cholesterol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Alanine, Carnitine, Glycine, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Decylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene Glycol

    (Last updated November 2017)


La Roche Posay – Cicaplast Hands
This hand cream contains niacinamide and a high concentration of glycerin. The glycerin does make this hand cream more greasy and sticky. It takes a while for it to absorb in. A good cream, for example, to apply at night before going to bed! But it is not recommended if you are busy using your hands all day.

  • click here for the ingredients list:

    Aqua / water, hydrogenated polyisobutene, dimethicone, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii butter / shea butter, panthenol, butylene glycol, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, propanediol, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, tristearin, zinc gluconate, madecassoside, manganese gluconate, magnesium sulfate, disodium EDTA, copper gluconate, acetylated glycol stearate, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, chlorhex. digluconate, CI 77891 / titanium dioxide

    (Last updated November 2017)


Decubal – hand cream
This hand cream contains a large proportion of fats; 23 percent according to Decubal. A lovely mild cream.

  • click here for the ingredients list:

    Aqua, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Glycine soja oil, Lanolin, Cetearyl alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl stearate, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Sodium cetearyl sulfate, Tocopheryl acetate, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed oil, Sodium hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate

    (Last updated November 2017)


DIY-hand mask (also great for the cracks around your nails!)

You will need:

– a plant oil (coconut oil, abyssinian oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil..)
– a wax or butter (jojoba wax, shea butter, aloe vera butter, cocoa butter)
– plastic gloves

Heat the wax or butter, mix it with the oil and massage your hands with it, put the gloves on and you are ready for bed. If that doesn’t give you baby soft hands the next morning then I don’t know what will…

Kind regards,


(Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)

You can also read

Winter, how does it affect your hands?

Cream or no cream in the freezing cold?

Can you become addicted to lip balm?

What to do for dehydrated skin

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