Research has shown that people, on average, wash their hands 8.6 times a day. It is actually slightly higher for women; they scrub their hands a minimum of 10 times a day. All that washing is completely understandable when you think that around 80% of infections are spread through contact, but it is not as beneficial for the skin on your hands. Soap and water are an assault on the skin and all that washing doesn’t give the skin enough time to recover. And in the winter months your hands have to endure even more with the cold, wind, rain, low humidity and extra hot showers. Today I’ve got some hand care tips that they’ll stay in top condition.
Be smart and carry a good hand cream in your handbag. Apply it straight after washing your hands and repeat this throughout the day. The more the better, as cream only lasts for a couple of hours, and even less if you are washing your hands… Please don’t waste money on those lovely smelling hand creams, they will only leave you with dry hands.
It is important that a hand cream contains substances which retain moisture and substances which put a protective layer over the skin, so that less moisture is lost. Look out for ingredients such as paraffin, squalene, dimethicone, borage seed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and safflower oil. To retain moisture ingredients such as glycerine, urea, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, panthenol, ceramides and cholesterol are very suitable.
Going about your business with very greasy hands during the day isn’t a pleasant feeling. Research has shown that the more oil there is in a moisturiser, the more effective this is against dryness and irritation. So apply an oil rich cream over your hands at night and choose an old fashioned pot of Vaseline or a pure plant derived (vegetable) oil (my favourites are abyssinian oil, jojoba oil ad rice bran oil) to completely revive the skin on your hands.
HAND CREAM PRODUCT ADVICE
Below are three effective and affordable hand creams to help you through the winter. Be aware: there are no sun filters in these hand creams! Make sure that you start applying a sun protection cream daily on your hands (and, of course, your face) from April. I carry my Suncare SPF 30 in my handbag from April onwards, as a matter of course.
• Eucerin – Repair Hand Creme 5% Urea
Alongside glycerine and silicones, this hand cream contains 5% urea. Urea has super water binding properties.
INCI: Aqua, Glycerine, Urea, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Sodium Lactate, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate,Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben Xanthan Gum, Propylparaben
• La Roche Posay – Cicaplast mains
This hand cream contains niacinamide and a high concentration of glycerine. The glycerine makes it more greasy and tacky. It takes a little while to sink in making it a super cream to apply in the evening before going to sleep! However not as suitable if you have a busy day with little time to wait for your cream to sink in.
INCI: Aqua / Water, Glycerine, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/ Shea Butter, Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol
• Decubal – Hand Creme
Alongside a good base of glycerine, lanolin and petrolatum, this hand cream also contains dimethicone, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Another beneficial addition is avocado oil, albeit a small amount.
INCI: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Persea Gratissima Oil, Tocopherol, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate
DIY hand mask (also fine for peeling skin around your nails!)
You will need:
– A vegetable oil (coconut oil, abyssinian oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil)
– A wax or butter (jojoba wax, shea butter, aloe vera, cocoa butter)
– Plastic gloves
Warm the wax or butter and mix it with the oil, massage into your hands, put the gloves on and you are ready for bed. If that doesn’t give you baby soft hands the following morning, then I don’t know what will…
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)