Beauty

Handcare Essentials – my favourite products for dry hands

For the longest time I thought it was just Winter when I had to take good care of my hands.

Wrong.

I claim to have ‘old lady hands’ and thus, I have to take care of my hands all year round sadly. My hands can get very dry and my cuticles are a nightmare. You can frequently find me with a plaster over my nail where I’ve picked my cuticle and made it bleed. I’m definitely better than I used to be, but if I don’t look after my cuticles regularly they can get very bad very quickly.

Over the years I’ve tried various hand creams and am now probably a bit of a snob when it comes to what I’ll use. I’ve found very few to actually moisturise without leaving my hands a greasy mess.

I’m probably in a place now where I’ve cultivated a handcare routine that I’m happy with, and when I stick to it, my hands are lovely and soft. Not old lady like at all!As you can see, there’s not a huge amount to it. I can’t be doing with complicated routines and high maintenance items. I’ve pulled together the items with the least amount of effort, but the most amount of impact.

Hand cream

There are so many hand creams that I’ve tried and discarded over the years. There’s very few brands now that I’ll purchase and use. My holy grail when it comes to hand cream is definitely L’Occitane. The formula is perfect – moisturising without leaving your hands greasy and horrible. It comes in a million scents, or just original Shea Butter if that’s your thing. They also have a great selection of minis meaning you can have hand cream literally dotted around everywhere (like I do). At £21 for 150ml it’s not the cheapest, but a tube will last a good length of time.

In terms of alternatives I’m a fan of the Elemis hand creams also, but at only 100ml per tube it works out more expensive than the L’Occitane. My mum loves the Clarins Hand and Nail Cream but again, it works out more expensive than the L’Occitane. One to definitely avoid is Lush hand creams. Super greasy. If I apply a Lush hand cream I then pretty much can’t do anything for at least 10 minutes until it sinks in.

Cuticle Care

This is the big one for me and the one I notice the most when I ignore it. My cuticles get very dry and ragged so I have to look after them. I’ve tried and failed to regularly use cuticle oils and only really found one sure fire way to sort my cuticles out. Once a week I smear this on my cuticles before bed, and put on cotton gloves and sleep in them. When I wake up the difference is incredible. My cuticles are much improved and a lot less dry. If I can do this just when I notice they start to get dry, I can put a halt to half of my cuticles being painfully ripped off due to dryness. If they’re already dry and ragged at the point of using this, then it just stops it from getting any worse. I feel like it also heals the cuts I have a little better/quicker.

I absolutely love Burts Bees products and it’s a shame you just don’t see as much of it around anymore. As an alternative then I highly recommend the Flexitol Cuticle Balm. It doesn’t have the lovely scent of the Burts Bees, but it is slightly easier to use than the Burts Bees. Although it’s called a cream, it’s more like an oil that you have to warm up slightly to get enough to go on your hands. The Flexitol is a cream you squeeze out of a tube and so it’s easier to get along with. I get very similar results with the Flexitol, however the Burts Bees is cheaper and has a lovely scent to it (instead of no scent).

Nail care

I’m calling this nail care as I use both of these items when I’m giving myself a manicure.I’m aware cuticle clippers are naughty and frowned upon. However, I couldn’t live without these Elegant Touch ones in my manicure bag. Sometimes there’s no saving a cuticle and it has to be chopped off before it pulls off and causes a mess. I’ve had these cuticle nippers for years and they’re still as sharp as ever. They’re very easy to use and rarely do I give myself any little cuts when using. These are a must for anyone that suffers with dry cuticles.

I can’t talk about how great glass nail files are enough. I absolutely swear by the Sephora ones. They’re a fantastic quality and they file my nails perfectly. The same sadly cannot be said for a Leighton Denny one I received in an Advent Calendar one year. I’m not too sure whether I received a faulty one but there’s barely any grain on it whatsoever. You definitely couldn’t use it for a full mani. I just keep it by my computer in case of any hang nails. Anyway, back onto this nail file and this has totally changed my nail game. My nails are so much healthier since making the switch to a glass nail file. The edges are smoother and I get a good shape every time I use this. It’s also so much quicker than an ordinary emery board to use.

Handcare essentials – keeping it simple

There’s not a lot to my handcare routine. However, since putting it together the difference in my hands has been obvious. I used to be embarrassed by my hands and nails and hide them away. Now, I happily put gel colour on them and show them off. The big splurge with this is clearly the hand cream but it’s so worth it. I’ve never come across a drug store hand cream that even comes close. If you have, I’d love to know so please drop me a comment!

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