Hand cream is the one beauty product I often neglect to use, even though I should. Whose hands aren't improved with a good, moisturizing hand lotion and yet, like so many people, I find the constant presence of moisturizer on my extremities annoying. Hand cream gets in the way of daily life and makes itself known when my attention should be elsewhere. I don't want my avocado toast to taste of cocoa butter, or my laptop keys sticky. Oh, and I definitely don't want greasy fingerprints on my bags.
Hands are tricky things, especially when left to their own devices: Ceaselessly returning to the body's surface, where they make all sorts of moral and social mischief—plucking at scabs, picking at noses, straying toward "things" they shouldn't. But it was only after a quick chat with natural beauty expert, makeup artist and herbalist Jessa Blades, that I started thinking about them and self-care a bit differently.
"After the FDA made the makers of antibacterial hand-sanitizing products submit data on safety and effectiveness, we've started to see a shift back towards good old-fashioned soap and water hand washing. Hallelujah I say! Our skin needs more TLC: We expose our hands to the sun, treat them harshly, make things with them, type on fingertips mercilessly...rubbing in lotion is way to poignantly pause, take a minute and breathe deeply into your spirit. Try massaging them, focusing on pressure points and praise them for the heavy lifting they do!"
I approached this article with strict criteria: does this cream a) make my hands look and feel better, and b) make me forget I'm wearing it? The seven below answered yes to both questions and will seamlessly slot into your beauty routines. Slather any on after hand-washing, or whenever hands feel parched. Ramp things up once a week by first washing hands in a body scrub (I currently love Black Chicken Love Your Body Polish) but ignore the packaging and use on dry, not wet, skin before rinsing off.
Massage Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40 with Sea Buckthorn into hands, paying attention to knuckles and fingertips. It's non-sticky formula and firming peptides deliver UV protection in one stroke, plus sea buckthorn oil helps hyperpigmentation caused by UVA/UVB rays. (From $12)
Osmia Organics Vanilla Shea Hand Cream Organic is a yummy blend of redness-reducing aloe vera juice, rich but fast absorbing organic shea butter and vanilla. Its regenerative powers can help heal even the most miserable, cracked hands so they'll be fortified for the next day's worth of wind-whipping. ($24)
Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream is rich in inflammation-reducing fatty acids, making it the ultimate anti-chap multi-tasker. Pomegranate juice stimulates cell renewal and keeps your hands baby soft and protected. Dab it on liberally and often or (and this is a little secret of mine) dot it on cheekbones for an instant healthy glow—yup, it's a brilliant illuminator! Sssssssh...($12.50)
Save The Planet
Help support Neal's Yard Remedies' Save the Bees Campaign whilst being kind to your hands. Enriched with organic honey, Bee Lovely Hand Cream is sky-high in Fairtrade Brazil nut oil and sunny, spirit-lifting orange essential oil. I guarantee this tube won't last you long! ($15)
Think of Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream as your kindred spirit, protecting hands from the elements and fighting the good fight—the malic acid in organic green apples helps with dark spots, discoloration and nourishes nail beds. ($12)
Captain Blankenship Avocado & Peppermint Hand, Cuticle & Foot Balm soothes rough hands and cuticles in a jiffy. A heady blend of avocado oil, calendula, shea butter, wild harvested myrrh and rosehip seed oil will hydrate your thirsty skin—and chill you out too. ($24)
Invokes Tropical Climes
Juara Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm smells like you're in the Tropics thanks to lots of coconut, candlenut and buriti oils. The trio works synergistically to reduce the appearance of fine lines, plump tired skin and help fade age-spots. ($20)