Hand Creams

PUBLISHED: 23:05 14 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 20 February 2013

hands need to be well nourished to stay smooth and soft

hands need to be well nourished to stay smooth and soft

As you draw up a seasonal plan of action to keep your skin looking and feeling good, spare a thought for the first beauty casualties of winter - your hands, writes Julie Penfold

As you draw up a seasonal plan of action to keep your skin looking and feeling good, spare a thought for the first beauty casualties of winter - your hands, writes Julie Penfold

Using a hand cream is often the last item we include in our skincare itinerary yet, during the winter, incorporating a hand lotion into your daily skin care regime is just as important as moisturising your face and body. Just like the skin on your face, hands need to be well nourished to stay smooth and soft. Our hands are made up of a thin, delicate layer of skin which, along with our nails and cuticles can become dry and chapped very easily in the winter, as cold weather, rain and changes in temperature affect the skin's barrier function. Using a hand cream not only helps to keep skin hydrated but also works to protect skin and prevent signs of ageing. Hand creams, lotions and oils that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera, Vitamin E, macadamia oil, sesame oil and jojoba oil all work to help keep skin looking healthy and youthful. Skin ages faster on our hands - on average five times faster - than other parts of our body, because of daily exposure to cold weather, hard work, and lack of hydration. Simple everyday washing, cleaning and using household products can all contribute to dry, brittle, undernourished hands. To avoid damage to hands, it is best to apply a thick layer of a rich heavier moisturiser twice daily in winter as a minimum. Applying a hand lotion adds an extra layer of moisturiser, helping to form a protective layer over the fragile skin on your hands. Taking care of nails and cuticles is vitally important so do ensure when applying lotions, that you nourish the nails and cuticles liberally. Cuticles are essential to healthy nails and can become dry and cracked in winter so it is very important to keep them hydrated. With thousands of hand creams on the market, you may find a trial and error approach works best to find the cream, which sits perfectly on your skin. Armed with a hit list of key ingredients, vitamins and benefits we were actively seeking from hand creams, we have chosen our pick of the hand care bunch to assist with fighting the elements and keeping hands, soft, supple and looking youthful this winter. Bio Etic's Organic Hand Cream with Aloe Vera (75ml, 10.25) is a deep penetrating antioxidant hand cream which rapidly sinks into the skin leaving it feeling wonderfully soft. Containing organic sesame oil, organic honey and shea butter to help nourish and regenerate the skin, and nail area, it protects and repairs damaged hands providing sheer moisturising bliss. A'kin Unscented Intensive Hand, Nail & Cuticle Treatment (25ml, 6.99) is a rich magic cream perfect for anyone with sensitive fragile skin and specifically created to provide nourishment to sufferers of eczema or dermatitis. It is a rapidly absorbing, deeply moisturising cream with healing ingredients including Vitamin E and Vitamin B5, together with shea butter and jojoba oil, helping to calm, soothe and restore even the most badly-cracked weather worn hands. For those seeking a hand cream which can be worn without compromising your perfume smell, this is just the ticket. Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment from The Body Shop (75ml, 8.00) is a rich thick moisturising cream which acts as a powerful barrier against the cold via its main protective ingredient Vitamin E. Panthenol. This works to strengthen nails alongside shea butter which softens skin and cuticles. The unique ingredient in this treatment is the addition of rose hip oil, which helps to repair the skin's moisture barrier, helping to restore moisture, smoothness and suppleness. The lingering smell of rose petals on your hands is simply irresistible and will make you want to reapply repeatedly. Naturetis Nourishing Hand Oil For Dry Skin (15ml, 21.00) is a highly concentrated ultimate treatment for hands seeking moisture, protection and regeneration. Rich in lily flower extract, which regenerates and eliminates age spots, sesame oil renowned for its anti-ageing properties, plus jojoba oil which restructures the epidermis, macadamia oil which regenerates weakened skin cells and apricot stone oil which stimulates oxygenation and revitalises the skin - it is luxurious pampering for hands. And just remember a small amount goes a long way with this highly concentrated treat for hands. Help your skin weather the cold this winter by giving your hands some tender loving care with the right hand cream and spread a little goodness from hands to cuticles.

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