I once read in a study that people wash their hands, on average, 8.6 times a day. Women 10 times a day even. How often will that be now? It is extremely important but it’s not quite as pleasant for the skin on your hands. I’m sure the majority of people realise that by now. So I’ve got a few tips to keep your hands in good condition.
Updated March 2020
Make sure you find a good hand cream. Put one next to the sink, in the toilet and, if necessary, next to your bed. Apply it straight after you have washed your hands and repeat this throughout the day. The more times the better because a cream only lasts for a couple of hours and if you wash your hands then it will be even shorter…
Please don’t waste money on those lovely fragrant hand creams, they will only ensure that your hands stay dry. You need substances in your hand cream that retain moisture and substances that, as it were, leave a protective layer over the skin so that less water is lost. Ingredients such as paraffin, squalene, dimethicone, borage seed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and safflower oil. Alongside these, glycerine, urea, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, panthenol, ceramides and cholesterol are very suitable for retaining the moisture and helping the skin to recover.
Product advice for hand creams
I have also asked you through social media to let me know which products you like. I have had great reactions, thank you very much for that! I’ve looked at all of your tips and made an overview below of all the products which I thought had a very good ingredients list. The senders’ comments are also included. I’ll begin, though, with my own favourite.
My Repair Cream
It gives me satisfaction to read that I’m not the only one that likes this cream so much. I have received lots of comments from you that it is so fine. Especially now. It absorbs in straight away, gives immediate relief and repairs damaged skin very quickly. Don’t just think about skin on the hands but also the skin affected by wearing face masks. I hadn’t even thought about that last comment, so I also received messages about that. Someone let me know about this via Instagram: ‘The Repair Cream is the only thing that works’. And: I use the Repair Cream now. I still have some dry patches but no longer any discomfort’.
I am so pleased with those messages! And also a little proud. The Repair Cream is not for everyday use. I have added lots of extra soothing and barrier repairing substances. You don’t normally get that in other products (You can read more here). There are also very good creams in the list below. But they consist mainly of fat, which is what is actually needed now, but they miss things like ceramides and oatmeal which really benefit me.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands
I’ve come across this one several times. ‘Doesn’t sound very feminine but it works extremely well. Fragrance free’, somebody informed us via Instagram. Another person said this about it: ‘…is very good for severely dry hands’. Apparently this hand cream is available online or from shops like Boots. The only thing that I don’t like as much is that they have added diazolidinyl urea, a slightly old fashioned and irritating preservative.
But if you use this product and it works for you, then by all means carry on.
Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Cream
This hand cream is a lovely base cream. It has enough moisture retaining ingredients. It contains parabens apparently, so if you would rather not use those then I wouldn’t choose this one. Fokje told us about this cream via Facebook: ‘It absorbs in fast, is not greasy and your hands are well hydrated. We also used this in my last job at a laboratory.’
My own Body Cream
Funnily enough I also received several messages that my Body Cream works really well on dry hands. Now that we are working at home and travelling less, it’s quite handy to have a litre bottle next to the wash basin. Anita told us: ‘I am a hair stylist and your Body Cream is great for my hands.’
Intensive Repair Cream by Neutral
Danai told us on Facebook: ‘I now use the Intensive Repair Cream by Neutral for my wrecked hands and it is super! It’s quite greasy so you need to have a bit of patience letting it absorb in but so far it’s my favourite. Good luck, look forward to seeing your blog!’
I think this is a lovely base cream, full of oils that help the skin keep moisture in. You can get this one from most supermarkets and pharmacies or online apparently.
Pure oils and creams
‘Everything helps actually, so I apply some coconut oil. Works great!’ one person said via Instagram. And that is definitely an option too. Other favourite oils of mine are abyssinian oil, jojoba oil and rice bran oil. Because I need some extra healing and protecting ingredients, I often apply a layer of Repair Cream first.
Also, the ‘simple’ products such as Vaseline, lanette cream and cetomacrogol ointment (not only available from the pharmacy, but also online) are mentioned tips. Anita told us on Facebook: ‘If you’ve got extremely dry hands then apply a thick layer and put cotton gloves on at night before you go to bed, and in the morning you’ll have skin like a baby’s (advice from a dermatologist).’
In addition, some other good creams which have been recommended: Decubal Hand Cream (but it doesn’t look as though this is available online any more, perhaps in the pharmacy), Eucerin Repair Hand Cream 5% Urea, Gloves In A Bottle, La Roche Posay Cicaplast Hands, Zarqa Hand Protection Cream, Dermolin Hand Cream, Neutrogena Hand Cream and CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream.
Hand mask for at night
It isn’t comfortable walking around with very greasy hands during the day, but at night, you won’t notice that. Research has shown that the higher the fat/oil content in a moisturiser, the more effective it is against dehydration and irritation. So apply a good amount, of one of the creams in the list above, onto your hands at night and then choose either the old fashioned pot of Vaseline or a pure plant oil (my favourites are abyssinian oil, jojoba oil and rice bran oil) and apply it over the top. That is truly the best night mask. And you don’t have to wash this mask off. Not until the next day…
And lastly, don’t forget the SPF!
And if you go outside….. Don’t forget an SPF for your hands too! You can use the same SPF that you use on your face.
So I hope this can be of help in the coming time. Have you got any more tips or experiences to share? Please let us know here. We can all benefit from them.
Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology