What about our hands!

hands
Image by Mike Blackett, make-up by me

My poor old hands, and when I say old – they look old, much older than what they are. We use our hands for pretty much everything and they are exposed to so much. Cold weather, sun damage, constant washing, hands in dirty dishes, bath water and housework; all taking their toll on our hard working hands. Add in COVID and a sanitiser at every door and it’s a recipe for even drier hands.

We can spend so much time and money ensuring our complexions look as youthful and fresh as they can, but what about our hands. They’ll give us away if we don’t look after them too.

I feel like this year has definitely been the year of the hand soap. Most brands have now bought out their version of one, along with a sanitiser. However they’re definitely not all the same. There are some that will dry my hands out within just one use – it’s often the ones that foam the most and contain SLS –

SLS and SLES are both surfactants (basically helps with bubbles and cleaning) and detergents found in LOADS of beauty products. They are cheap and makes things foam, therefore makes people think it is working and cleaning things well. However they are known skin irritants and many people choose to avoid. We choose to avoid and don’t have these at home, but of course we come across them at other times. And of course the amount of times we’re washing our hands at the moment, the more susceptible to irritation they are too.

It’s not just the SLS, we’ve found many of the more ‘natural’ ones do dry hands too (also some ‘natural’ ones will contain SLS, always check labels) We’ve always found that bar soaps are the best for us. We’ve still tried our fair share of those too – some seem to dissolve within a week, some go all slimy..

Our top 4 are –

1. SKIN ALCHEMISTS

This is a lovely treat soap that I was kindly gifted. Theresa, the brand founder made it when her daughter’s eczema got worse during lock down 1 because of an obsession with hand washing. This resinated so much with me – we went through that phase too, as I’m sure so many families did. There are eight soaps – we’ve got the original Gentle Goat’s Milk, Oats &
Honey which is great for ultra sensitive skin and perfect for my daughter to use too. The other seven bars are vegan. I don’t know that much about soap so found this really interesting – “Mass manufactured soaps are typically made in a day. The cold processing method usually takes 4- 6 weeks, but due to the high percentage of organic extra virgin olive oil used in this collection of soap bars, the SKIN ALCHEMISTS curing process takes 8 weeks. This results in a very hard bar which lasts longer and has a smoother, more creamy lather. All soaps are made from a base of organic extra virgin olive
oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, sunflower oil and castor oil.”

2. Dr Bronners

A staple in our house and has been for years. We love this bar of soap that lasts for ages and holds its shape pretty well. It’s the one that we always end up coming back to. My favourite is the almond. I use the liquid soap for cleaning my make-up brushes too.

3. Eco Warrior

I picked this up in my local Boots and really loved it. Again it lasted well and held its shape, and didn’t dry our hands out – I’d buy it again for sure.

4 – Beauty Kitchen Vegan bar soap

We’ve recently re-bought this one and liking it a lot. It keeps its shape well and the smell is lovely – we’ve got Botanical Bliss (I went on a day out to Holland and Barrett and treated myself to the soap, hand liquid soap and shower gel!! I’d been stealing the rest of the family’s!!)

It’s also about remembering to moisturise. A cream at every sink is helpful, one in your bag and one by your bed. (I wish I was this organised!!) Some of my favourites are –

Nourish Kale Anti-ageing cream – this is currently my go-to and comes around with me in my bag (although I need to remember to apply more!!)

Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely is one of my favourites although at the moment I’ve got the Wild Rose version sitting on my desk which is lovely. I’ve also recently had the Hand and Nail cream by Zero which was really nice – quite lightweight but great used frequently throughout the day.

Before bed I’ll use something richer, at the moment I’ve got a plethora of balms sitting my by bed. A did a round up of some of my favourite balms for Conscious Beauty Union if you fancy a read.

FEB 2021 UPDATE – Adding these two into the mix – I’ve recently been trying these two from Beauty Kitchen and they’re fab. The Seahorse Plankton 60 second Manicure is lovely for giving hands a treat – it gently buffs with Himalayan sea salt and then nourishes with gorgeous plant oils and extracts. My hands feel so lovely after using it – definitely smoother and softer. You don’t have to moisturise after it but if you did want to the Ultra Restore Hand Cream is a new favourite.

When applying a hand cream really take the time to massage it in. It’s so easy to just quickly whack it on without thinking (and definitely great to get it on), but it can be great to take a mindful moment and really think about how you’re working it into your hands. Our hands hold so much tension – more than what we realise so much of the time. Everything we do is with our hands and our fingers, when I give facials I always give a hand massage, and I find the tension there is a lot! Just spending that little extra time massaging in a hand cream can really relieve tension, and feel really good.

How do you look after your hands? Is it a regular part of your beauty routine?

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