Our hands are constantly being put to work and exposed to dry, damaging elements like wind, heating and water (who'd have though water could actually strip your skin of oils?!), but for so many of us our hand care routine consists of little more than putting on a bit of hand cream when the mood strikes. It doesn't take long to adopt a really effective and nourishing hand care routine, and with so many effective natural products available it's easy to find products that will get the job done when time and money aren't in abundance!
The Best Natural Hand Washes
Many natural hand washes, while designed to clean the hands, are packed with toxins that actually dry out the skin as you wash. I love using the Bondi Wash Hand Wash in Tasmanian Pepper and Lavender as it contains Aloe Vera and Sunflower Seed Oil to restore lost moisture to the hands as well as Tasmanian Pepper and Lavender for a beautiful, calming scent.
The Cedar + Stone Frankincense & Olive Leaf Hand Wash is another favourite as it works to clean and hydrate the hands and it's also antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antiseptic- all qualities that many people only associate with mainstream hand washes!
The Best Natural Hand Creams
I have so many favourite handcreams and I have one on hand (pun intended) at all times- next to my bed, on the desk, in the handbag, the list goes on!
One that I've used for a really long time is the 100% Pure Vanilla Hand Buttercream, which smells good enough to eat and is packed full of hydrating and anti-ageing vitamins, antioxidants and a combination of Shea, Avocado, Cocoa and Coconut butters for soft, youthful looking hands- don't forget, our hands and necks are the first body parts to show signs of ageing!
For seriously dry hands I love the entire Weleda range, in particular their Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream as it uses intensely active ingredients to restore much needed moisture to neglected hands. It has a really beautiful fresh citrus scent, but the best thing about it is that it uses Sea Buckthorn with sesame oil and pure vegetable oils to support the skin's natural protective oils that our body naturally produces that we strip off as we use our hands each day.
Andalou Naturals A Path of Light® Clementine Hand Cream is another great hand cream that works just as effectively (in my opinion even more so!) than the mainstream brands. It contains a skin-loving blend of ingredients, including Clementine Extract, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter and is easily absorbed into the skin. With powerful antioxidants from Vitamins A, C & E, it shields the hands from signs of ageing and offers a high level of moisture and nourishment while leaving hands with a beautiful sweet orange and citrus fragrance.
The Best Natural Cuticle Care Products
Our cuticles are so often neglected! Dry and damaged cuticles not only give our hands a dry, weathered appearance, but they can also often cause quite a bit of irritation and directly affect the health of our nails.
The Skin Juice Perfect Paws Softening Hand and Foot Cream uses nutrient-rich Superfoods to hydrate and shield hands and feet. Crafted without nut oils, this nourishing cream uses Omega 3 found in botanical seeds to treat the symptoms of conditions such as dry skin and mild forms of eczema. Essential Fatty Acids also assist to cure dry skin and protect from environmental damage. Fast-absorbing and skin-quenching, this cream leaves skin feeling smooth and soft, and repairs cracked and rough palms and heels. Chia, Kiwi Fruit and Pumpkin provide a burst of skin-loving vitamins while Sunflower, Sesame and Grapeseed Oils penetrate thirsty hands and cuticles, and Rosemary helps to stimulate nail growth. Refreshing Lemongrass and Tangerine leave a fragrant fruity smell and antioxidant-rich Raspberry and Cranberry gift anti-ageing benefits.
Badger's Cuticle Care Balm is another tried-and-tested old favourite, containing Shea Butter, Beeswax and CO2 Extracts of Sea Buckthorn to thoroughly moisturise dry and damaged cuticles. This one is a balm that comes in a handy tin, so you just rub it into your cuticles to ease any irritations on the go.
If time if of the essence, opt for a great 2-in-1 like the Lavera Hand & Cuticle Cream which uses Olive Oil, Chamomile Extract and Avocado Oil to hydrate both the skin on your hands as well as dry cuticles.
The Best Natural Nail Care Products
If ease of application is what you're after when it comes to nail care, you can't go past the Weleda Nail Care Pen. This clear formula can be painted onto clean nails and it dries almost immediately, Chamomile Extract, Beeswax, Shea Butter and Pomegranate Seed Oil to hydrate and strengthen the nails and promote growth.
When it comes to nail polishes, using a base and top coat are really important as far as the overall health of the nails. A base coat, like the nails by Nourished Life - Base Coat protects the surface of the nail before you apply any colour, preventing any staining as well as creating a smooth surface for nail polish. A top coat, like the nails by Nourished Life - Top Coat will give your nail colour a beautiful layer of shine to protect your polish for chipping or cracking, and it's 7-free (meaning it's free from the common toxins found in mainstream nail varnishes).
To improve the strength of your nails, I'd recommend opting for natural, toxin free polishes that allow your nails to breathe. The Life Basics range of nail polishes are all 7-free and water permeable, so they actually care for your nails as well as delivering smooth, rich colour!