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Winter is nevereasy on the skin. Between dry, cold air, moisture-sucking central heating, and stripping hot water, it can zap away softness and dry skin out in an instant. Throw in all the extra hand-washing and sanitizing we’re doing these days, and it’s nearly impossible to keep hands from flaking, cracking, and looking a mess.
Luckily, the right hand cream can do wonders to soothe parched winter skin. Here’s what you should - and shouldn’t - be looking out for.
First thing’s first: how does hand cream reallywork to moisturize and protect the skin? The right hand cream will contain a combination of humectants, emollients, and occlusives, and these ingredients are all crucial if you want your hand cream to work. Why?
Humectants work to draw moisture in from surrounding areas, providing lasting hydration to the skin. Emollients and occlusives, on the other hand, work to seal that moisture in, repairing the skin’s natural barrier and providing lasting protection over time. If you have justhumectants, you’ll notice that your hands might feel moisturized right away, but that the moisture simply doesn’t last.
Similarly, if you apply a product with only emollients or occlusives – like Vaseline, or example – you may notice that your hands feel greasy on top while remaining dry underneath.
In other words, you’ll deal with incomplete, not-so-great moisture.
That’s not the only issue you should look out for. Some hand creams also contain ingredients that can actually hurtyour skin and exacerbate further dryness.
The thought process here? On one hand, some companies want you to need their products, so they include ingredients that make you more reliant on their lotions. This includes things like:
In the same vein, many products often include preservatives, fragrances, alcohols and other no-no ingredients you should totally avoid (you can find the whole list here).
The top no-no’s on our list?
So what shouldyou look for specifically? We recommend ingredients like:
Find all of these ingredients and more in our Almond Butter Sugar High Hand Cream.