The winter time is the period of the year when two things of my routine are more important than in other seasons — my body lotion and hand cream. These two are indispensable for me, growing up with atopic dermatitis and still dealing with very dry skin, I can’t go outside without a hand cream. Even if I do, I need to find a way to hydrate my hands throughout the day. Otherwise, they will be dry and flaky as if I had a peel done on them. The winter time is the worst because my hands show very easily whenever I neglect them, e.g. by not wearing gloves, with flare-ups of eczema on my hands. So finding the right hand cream is crucial for me and these two are my staples.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains – The Cicaplast line is one of the most chosen for healing the skin. I think every skincare lover knows the Cicaplast balm, it’s multipurpose and does what it says on the tin. This hand cream is one of the best for dry hands out there (also the lip balm from the Cicaplast line is marvellous), I have been using Cicaplast Mains for years. It contains 30% of glycerine giving the cream its thick texture. Glycerine is a great humectant, especially for people struggling with dry skin and contrary to hand creams with mineral oil, at least in my experience, glycerine based hand creams do not leave a mask-like film (I mean they absorb nicely). Though this cream creates a sort of barrier on your hands, it’s not greasy and disturbing, and you don’t transfer it on everything (if you know what I mean). Moreover, there is 4% niacinamide in the formula, which increases the ceramides’ production in the skin, meaning better skin barrier and hydration. There’s also shea butter and dimethicone to keep your hands moisturised. It’s a very simple hand cream, but it does the job. It’s fragrance-free, there’s nothing irritating, just like in the entire Cicaplast range.
The cream is suited for everyone, and I am sure if you try it, you will like it. I prefer to apply it right after washing my hands, the cream absorbs faster, and I limit the loss of moisture by locking-in water in the skin. This hand cream helps me a lot with my eczema flare-ups on my hands. Quite often, I use it as a hand mask, too. I basically smear a thick layer of the cream, and then I put on cotton gloves (you can get a pair anywhere, but if you can’t find any a clean pair of socks will do the job). The next day my hands are plump and moisturised — of course, it doesn’t give me a free pass from not using a hand cream the next day, but a couple of masking sessions improve the condition of my hands. This hand cream has a pretty thick texture and it will be very useful for anyone working outside or in cold conditions, e.g. in cool warehouses, as the high content of glycerin will keep your hands protected from the cold (don’t forget about gloves).
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol (feelunique.com)
La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast Mains retails for €7.80 at feelunique.com.
SVR Topialyse Mains is another excellent hand cream. I enjoy the entire Topialyse range, I use most of the items from it, from the Topialyse Cleansing Oil to this hand cream.
Although this hand cream has a lighter texture compared to the LRP’s hand cream, it hydrates my hands pleasingly, too. Topialyse Mains also helps with my eczema a lot. The exceptional formula of this cream is in 1/4 a fatty phase which combines omegas 3-6-9, 7% shea butter and other oils. All the goodness to keep your hands soft and moisturised. Omegas are quite popular in SVR’s moisturisers like in the case of Sebiaclear Hydra, and I understand why. They are just marvellous at nourishing and strengthening the skin. I take omega supplements for my skin because I find them helpful in hydrating my skin (there is also research proving the benefits of omega supplementation). If you aren’t into supplements, then opt for skincare with omega oils, your skin will be grateful.
This hand cream contains quite a lot of oils, but there’s no mineral oil. It soaks in beautifully, leaving no sticky residue on your hands (it’s not that I don’t use products with mineral oil, they are just not my preferred ones). If you aren’t into very thick hand creams, I reckon this would a better option for you; it’s runnier, but also very moisturising. For this reason, I take this hand cream everywhere as it absorbs faster than Cicaplast. It’s simply more convenient to use on the go. Just as above, this one is also suitable for everyone, and you will not be disappointed with this cream. And don’t worry about the fragrance at the bottom of the list, there is hardly any in this product. It smells nice, but I don’t think it’s the fragrance per se.
Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Peg-100 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp Copolymer, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, 1,2-hexanediol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, O-cymen-5-ol, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (fragrance). (feelunique.com)
The SVR Topialyse Main costs €6 at feelunique.com