Thursday, December 5, 2013

winter hand care

My hands tend to run on the dry-side because I’m constantly washing them (a certain two-year old may have something to do with that). But then the winter hits and it’s a vicious combination of over-washing, cold & dry weather, forced heat and wearing gloves- they just zap any residual moisture right out of me.

When I worked in a spa, performing facials & body treatments, I paid very close attention to my hands. I mean, who wants a calming face massage by someone with calloused hands? No. No one does.

The good thing about doing all those treatments is that my hands were immersed in product all day. Not only was I exfoliating a client’s calves with a luxurious salt scrub, but my hands became silky soft too. And when I applied a collagen face mask my hands also benefited.

So you see, I’ve learned a few things along the way and here are 6 tips to keep your hands touchable-y soft all year long.
 Hand Care Tips:
1. After you wash & dry your hands, immediately apply hand cream (this rule really applies to any part of your body) because the pores have opened and the skin is clean, so this is the perfect “surface” for moisture to absorb. 
2. Don’t overdo it with hand sanitizer. All that alcohol will strip any ounce of hydration from your hands. These are fine to use in a pinch but when you can, wash the old fashioned way and follow with a hand cream.
3. Exfoliate! Get that dead skin off and all those hand creams will actually absorb. Pretty much any face or body scrub will work. Or if you want a real multi-tasker, this H2O+ product is for hands and feet- it will moisturize and exfoliate because it contains glycolic acid. 
4. Bed time is the time to really take care of your hands. This is when you pull out anything that says “rich” or “balm” on the label. For extra-dry, rough patches, use a salve. If your skin is cracked, use a healing ointment like Neosporin. 
5. Don’t forget those cuticles! Remember those face oils I talked about? Spare a few drops for your cuticles and massage the oil into them. 
6. Travel size hand cream is a must. Public restroom soap is the worst and will turn your hands into Death Valley if you don't immediately moisturize.  

Now that we've discussed how to hydrate those digits, here are some of my personal favorites that will help you on your quest for soft hands!

The All-Day, Everyday Lotions:
Caudalie/ ~H2O+
I love the soft citrus scent of the Caudalie hand & nail cream. The H2O+ hand & nail cream is a clean, not-quite powdery scent. Regardless of the scent, both of these hand creams are perfect to wear during the day because they absorb and dry. Like you can still turn door handles and open a lip gloss.

Extra-Rich & Hydrating:
L'Occitane/ Deborah Lippmann
The Deborah Lippmann & L'Occitane hand creams will absorb, they just take a little more time- these are super emollient for dry hands. I keep the L'Occitane in my nightstand so I can let it absorb all night.

The Healing Salves:
First Aid Beauty/ L'occitane
These feel wonderful massaged into a really rough patch of skin, or even cuticles. You could apply them allover your hands if you wanted, but I would only advise doing that when you are about to sleep- that way they can sink in.

The Mini Traveler's:
Bliss/ Soap & Glory
These pocket-size hand creams give you no excuse- there's always room for a hand cream in your bag!

I find it really helpful to moisturize throughout the day because it prevents my hands from getting overly dried out. Basically, this type of maintenance prevents me from having to do damage control (ie, cracked hands, bleeding cuticles, etc.). Any hand creams you've had success with?


  1. Thanks for the tips. I learned I should really exfoliate my hands and then use cream! My hands thank you!