Whether winter or summer, the biggest contributor to dry, rough hands is surprisingly not the weather itself but rather the drastic changes in climate, temperature, atmospheric pressure, UVA/UVB rays and more... essentially everything you can’t see. Your hands are constantly exposed to changes in environment and, other than your heart and brain, are one of the most hard-working body parts so why don’t we protect them enough? The simple answer is that most people don’t think to and, as a result, our hands can become rough, dry, and cracked. Definitely not nice to see or touch, and even worse, they’re one of the biggest tell-tell signs of premature ageing.
So, what do you do when your hands are already at that stage? Is it even possible to restore the sensuously smooth and supple, youthful looking skin that seems so far away?
The answer: Yes, you can BUT it requires consistency, maintenance and, importantly, knowing which products are best to use. It’s not to do with price or brand, or falling for the ‘fairytale’ solution so many brands, celebrities and ‘beauty experts’ sell you. Not all are good – and most of them get paid to tell you their products are great but don’t use them themselves! Seriously!
When selecting a product, you need to consider the ingredients (i.e. what they are, the beneficial properties they’re associated with and where they’re sourced from), and the weight of the product (i.e. too heavy and it may drag the skin or be unabsorbing; too light and it may be short-lasting or poorly nourishing). It sounds a lot of things to consider but once you’ve found the right product for you, you’ll never need to look back.
Here are 4 of our favourites:
OUR FAVOURITE: L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (150ml / £21)
A long-term tried and tested cream that’s won numerous awards. Containing 20% concentrated shea butter, along with a beautifully fragrant and nourishing blend of almond, honey, coconut oil, jasmine oil and ylang-ylang, it’s creamy and indulgent but not heavy, meaning that it absorbs well into the skin, leaving it feeling hydrated and soft without being oily. Plus, not only is it a great product for maintaining smooth skin but if you’re looking for a product that will intensely hydrate already dry and damaged skin, softening callouses so that they can be buffed away to restore beautifully youthful and soft skin, this product works wonders. It may take a 1-2 weeks of using it, especially if you have particularly hard-working hands, but the results are definitely worth the effort. For best results, apply twice daily.
Suffer from Eczema but can’t find any products to successfully help? This product has received rave reviews from both men and women saying that when prescription drug creams and cosmetic treatments didn’t work or were crazily expensive, regular use of L’Occitane’s cream worked miracles, keeping the Eczema at bay and leaving their skin feeling soft, smooth and un-agitated.
SPLASH THE CASH: Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Hand Cream (75ml / £64)
This cream is expensive but it feels incredibly silky and luxurious, and is certainly worth the money. Specially formulated with calendula extract and wax, shea butter, hydrolyzed collagen, rosemary leaf extract, turmeric root extract, glycerin and more, not only is it intensely hydrating and moisturizing, but within just a few regular applications, it completely rejuvenates tired looking hands, leaving them feeling softer, more supple and with younger looking skin than you’ve seen in a while. It’s also very effective for helping to minimize natural signs of ageing, reducing dark spots, brightening the skin and creating a more even appearance. Perfect preparation for the summer.
‘This cream is not a quick fix. For best results, you do need to be committed to using it regularly but don’t be alarmed by the price. A little goes a very long way and when used regularly, you’ll notice a visible difference in even the most difficult of skin types, for any ages.’
‘Despite being deceptively lightweight in consistency, this cream is highly effective and quickly absorbs well into the skin, penetrating it’s barriers whilst providing a protective barrier against environmental aggressors. Say goodbye to rough, dry, or old, scaly-loooking skin…. That’s all in the past.’
BEST BUDGET BUY: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains (50ml / £6.50)
Not only does this product intensely nourish and soften the skin but it also helps to repair dry, damaged or cracked skin, reduce redness, and provides an invisible, wash-resistant protective residual barrier over it, helping to protect against ageing environmental pollutants and aggressors. It’s also paraben-free, fragrance-free, non-sticky or oily, non-comedogenic, 100% hypoallergenic, and fast absorbing.
'Great for people with extremely hard-working hands, or who have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. Highly soothing and anti-inflammatory.'
BEST FOR NAILS: L’Occitane Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil (7.5ml / £14)
An effective, easy-to-use product. Simply squeeze the tube gently so that the oil lubricates the small soft brush, then slowly brush over clean nails, gently applying pressure to the nail so that the oil penetrates it. Then massage the excess oil into the nails using your fingers. For best results, apply the oil daily or before manicuring and a week or so, you’ll have visibly stronger, more nourished, glossier looking nails, and softer cuticles.
‘If you struggle to grow strong nails naturally, or have nails that split, peel or break easily, this is definitely the product for you.’