Helping Hands…That Are Almost Beyond Repair
That time-honored advice to wash your hands is, without question, an effective way to ward off winter germs and viruses. But it’s also a surefire way to wind up with extremely dry skin. With a number of cold strains already passed my way (having two kids is great!), I have recently stepped up my hand-washing game, scrubbing almost every hour. At this point, my hands resemble those of a professional dishwasher or fishmonger: They’re beaten down and raw. So after some deep research on remedies, here is what I’ve learned and put to good use: First, pat your hands really, really dry after lathering up. Any dampness left behind will evaporate, pulling precious moisture from your skin along with it. (Note: Be sure to slide off any rings, since water can get trapped under them and lead to chapped skin.) Second, you’ll need a nourishing cream. Preferably one that delivers long-lasting hydration, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t make you feel slathered in butter. For me, it’s actually not a hand lotion but a body cream that did the trick. Le Couvent des Minimes Loving Care Body Balm Lotion is blended with Galen’s wax—the old-world equivalent of beeswax—along with calendula to relieve inflammation, and mallow extract to soothe dry patches. Given that it’s meant for limbs, you’d think it would be too greasy for hands, but the texture is amazingly fluid yet not too slippery. Plus, the bottle looks pretty sitting on the sink, right in your line of sight, which is exactly where you should store your moisturizer for a foolproof way to ensure you’ll use it (and often!).
— Kari Molvar