Before having children, I had lovely hands! I had time to have the odd manicure, and they just didn't need too much looking after for the skin, cuticles and nails to stay looking nice.
Fast forward 8 years or so, and since having my first baby, my hands have been dry and sore, with cracked skin in places, and I have even had eczema develop around my fingers where my rings are (which I have never suffered from before on any part of my body).
The reason for this change? Well, after you have your baby, you are washing your hands after every nappy change. So not only does the soap dry your hands out, having your hands in water all the time doesn't help either. Also things like washing Bub's bottles everyday if you don't wear washing up gloves (like I am in the bad habit of doing).
A study of healthcare workers published in 2012 by the NCBI showed that frequent hand washing is strongly correlated to hand eczema (Source www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22486567). The National Centre for Biotechnology Information also highlights the importance of washing hands because "washing hands is the best thing you can do to prevent the spread of germs" and they go on to recommend "using hand lotion after washing hands to prevent your skin from getting sore" (Source www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804454/).
Changing soiled nappies is of course a potential source for germs, and so its absolutely imperative to wash our hands afterwards. No wonder us poor Mums end up with hands with such red, dry, sore, cracked and not to mention ugly skin!!!
I find my one saving grace with this situation is to really be conscious about using a good hand cream many times through-out the day, and last thing at night before I go to bed. In the past I picked up any old hand cream from the supermarket or chemist shelf. But you know what, these chemical filled creams end up making the problem worse not better, even the ones advertised as being for very dry or problem skin. So, sick as I am of sore dry skin, instead I have been using some gorgeous creams all handmade here in Australia with natural ingredients... with fantastic results I'm happy to say.
Divine Infusions Soothing, Protecting, Healing Balm
The Divine Infusions Soothing, Protecting, Healing Balm is a multi-use Balm that is not only able to be used for a hand cream, you can also use it for an after-shave balm, as a nappy cream, on Psoriasis and Eczema, as well as heaps of other recommended uses. I have been using this divine Balm at night before I go to bed a lot as it is a beautifully rich 'butter' that only has a very light scent of Coconut, so its perfect to put a thick layer on at night. I have also been using this to great effect on my heels at night. Containing ingredients like virgin coconut oil, macadamia wax, olive butter, shea nut butter, and calendula and chamomile oils, you can see this is a nutrient rich Balm that is only made with completely natural products. The Divine Infusions Balm starts at $25 for a 100ml jar (+P&H). If you have any questions or would like some more information why not head over to the Divine Infusions Facebook page.
Nikki T Olive Leaf, Kakadu Plum and Mango Butter Hand Cream
The Nikki T Olive Leaf, Kakadu Plum and Mango Butter Hand Cream is an 'Overnight Nourishing and Regenerating' cream that comes in a very handy pump bottle. This is a very light and quickly absorbed cream that I have actually been using during the day as well as at night (I like the pump pack on my desk to use when working). The list of this cream is very impressive, with ingredients like organic Australian macadamia oil, sweet almond oil, organic avocado oil, olive leaf extract, Kakadu plum extract and lavender floral water (just to name a few!!). Note all the Australian products in the ingredient list, how exciting to see this! The cream has a lovely scent, woodsy and floral and very Australian. The Nikki T Hand Creams are handmade in Bondi and sold on etsy for $22 for a 75ml tube (+P&H). If you have any questions or would like some more information why not head over to the Nikki T Skincare Facebook page.
Embalm Skincare Hand Cream
The Embalm Skincare Hand Cream comes in a gorgeous little glass jar, and is what I would describe as a whipped cream. The Embalm Hand Cream is 100% natural as well as bring suitable for vegans (although not for use in pregnancy as it does contain Lavender, Lemongrass and Spearmint Essential Oils). As this cream is lovely and thick, it feels wonderful on especially dry hands, and the scent is refreshing and uplifting with the yummy Spearmint smell. Suitable for use at any time of the day, it contains ingredients such as Rose distillate, Rice Bran oil, Shea Butter, and Vitamin E. Yum! The Embalm Skincare Hand Cream is $27.95 for a 20g pot (+P&H). If you have any questions or would like some more information why not head over to the Embalm Skincare Facebook page.
I'm really excited to finally have hands with soft moisturised skin again, thanks to finally realising I DO need to put in an effort to taking care of my hands, and to staying away from the commercial hand creams that just seem to exacerbate the problem. A big thank you to the wonderful ladies out there who are making such beautiful and effective skincare products!
Do you have sore dry hands? What steps do you take to stop it happening?