Our hands are constantly working hard for us, whether they’re typing, caring for your kids, gardening or even building, and although I always recommend wearing gloves, sometimes it’s not practical, we forget or there just aren’t any around when we need them. Hard work asides, washing hands and using soap and water can cause just as much damage. So, it’s crucial to have a good moisturizer in your trusty hand care arsenal.
But what turns a mundane moisturizer into an awesome moisturizer?
When buying a moisturizer, there are certain ingredients that win out over others in terms of soothing and soothing properties. As with anything you put on your skin, it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals, and strong fragrances, and try to stick to as natural as possible. Also, there’s no need to worry whether a product is designed for nails or hands – most decent nail moisturizers are great for rubbing in all over. Paraffin manicures are the big thing when it comes to home manicures, but there’s no reason to limit their use to just care for your nails; by allowing your whole hand to be coated in the warm liquid miracle, your skin will feel magically rejuvenated.
As for ingredients, there are certain goodies to look out for when choosing a high quality moisturizer, and they fall into several categories.
First we have occlusives. These are oil-based ingredients and will prevent the loss of moisture through your skin. Humectants draw moisture in from the air to hydrate your skin, and finally emollients coat your skin in a rich, protective layer. Most ingredients belong in several of the categories, and generally a good moisturizer includes some of the following:
- Petroleum jelly
- Cocoa or shea butter
- Essential oils, such as lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, or geranium
The frequency with which you moisturize is as important as the correct ingredients, and I find it easiest to have several pots scattered around the house – one in the kitchen, another in the bathroom and so on. This will remind you to moisturize every time you wash your hands – once you’ve thoroughly patted them dry with a clean towel.
Kara’s Awesome Homemade Hand Moisturizer
This is a tried and tested recipe – I’d love to say it’s been handed down for generations, but I’m gonna take all the credit for this one, sorry mom!
- In a bain marie, gently melt together 1 tablespoon of pure beeswax and half a cup of shea butter
- While it’s still warm, stir in a quarter of a cup of almond oil
- Add essential oils – I find the best ones to use are chamomile, lavender, calendula, rose or geranium. Pick up to three oils, and add ten drops of each.
- Stir them through the mixture
- Before it cools and sets, pour the liquid into tubs
- Allow to cool before sealing
This mixture will keep for two months – longer if you refrigerate it, and should be used after every hand wash, before bed and whenever else you feel the need. Your hands will soon feel super smooth, supple and moisturized – they’ll look awesome too!