Our hands are without a doubt the most (ab)used parts of our bodies. From doing the dishes to simply walking around with them out in the cold winter air, the poor things suffer. Luckily, there are easy ways to keep your hands moisturised and protected from the elements. Completely naturally and organically, of course.
How to Get and Keep Soft Hands
1. Use a Natural and Mild Hand Soap
Washing with soaps that are full of nasties can really dry out your skin as well as potentially cause you health problems down the line.
The main toxic ingredients to avoid are: Triclosan, Dioxane, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Diethanolamine, Formaldehyde, Parabens, Fragrance and PEG-6. These are carcinogenic, cause toxicity in organs, promote hormonal disruption… the list goes on.
SIDE NOTE: Last year, the FDA in America ruled to ban antibacterial soaps containing triclosan. A lot of people believe and argue that if something is on the market it has to be safe. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It can take decades for an ‘authority’ to officially declare an ingredient unsafe while we unknowingly poison ourselves and our children. Do your research. Governments and big companies do not necessarily have our best interests at heart and that’s just a sad truth.
2. Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise!
When the temperatures drop, the amount of moisture in the air also drops. Cold temperatures and low humidity quickly depletes skin of moisture, leading to dry skin, especially on the most exposed parts. You have to protect your hands from the elements!
I can’t explain how much I love Lavera’s SOS Help Hand Balm. Made with organic macadamia nut oil, shea butter, almond oil and cocoa butter, this hand cream is nearly good enough to eat. It goes on beautifully and leaves your hands feeling totally protected without leaving a greasy film that you can get with other intense creams. The mix of natural essential oils used is also genius because it smells deeeeelish.
I am lucky that my body quickly tells me if I am using something that doesn’t suit me. Mild eczema flares up on my hands. The most recent bout came from using the wipes at the gym. So yes, now I bring my own to wipe down the equipment after I use it. I am that girl. But back to the point, when this happens I use Lavera Neutral Intensive Hand Cream as I found that it is the only thing that helps. The thick texture is easily absorbed and provides immediate and long-lasting relief from the itchy, dry thickened skin.
3. Protect your Hands from Harsh Cleaning Products
Obviously the easiest way to do this is to always wear gloves to protect your skin and prevent irritation from soaps and sprays. But you could also start one step earlier and buy eco-friendly household cleaners. They are better for your health, gentler on your skin and safe for the environment. Method, Bio D and KINN are my brands of choice and are sold at all supermarkets.
WARNING! As much as I love Method cleaning products I do need to say that I stay away from their hand wash as it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is a big no-no. It’s disappointing that a brand built on using non-toxic ingredients uses one that has links to irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and possible mutation and cancer. I guess no-one is perfect. It’s also a great reminder to ALWAYS read the ingredient label. You just never know…
4. Exfoliate with a Home Made Hand Scrub
Much like my lazy DIY lip scrub, my home made hand scrub is just as quick and low maintenance. Grab about a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage it into your hands for a few minutes and rinse off. Done and done! If you’re feeling particularly fancy you could add a drop of your favourite essential oil. Grapefruit is my go to.
5. Moisturise Overnight
If things have gotten really bad on the hand front, I can’t recommend trying an overnight healing treatment enough. Before bed, mix a couple of drops of oil with your favourite hand cream and rub onto your entire hand. I use organic argan oil but any would work – almond, jojoba, even olive oil from your kitchen! Then, put on a pair of cotton gloves to help seal in the moisture. I don’t buy any of their cosmetics but The Body Shop sells a great pair of 100% organic cotton moisturising gloves for only £7. You will wake up with hands as soft as a baby’s bottom.
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