I have really started looking after my skin in the past few months. Fortunately, my mum got me to start cleansing and toning my face just before I hit puberty, so it is as normal for me as brushing my teeth, but in the past six weeks I have switched up my usual products and started a strict routine. The catalyst for this change was noticing how dry the skin on my hands were, and that I actually had some rough patches on my index fingers. I never used hand cream before, or really taken notice, but as my 30th rapidly approaches, and that I now work with my hands 7 days a week, that had to change.
I decided to go to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway as I knew it had a good range of medium and high end places I could try out all the products available, and I wanted time to speak to the beauticians and assistants about my needs. I think I tried every single hand cream in the Mall from Molton Brown to Lush, but the one that stood out the most was L'Occitane (which incidentally was the first shop I went in, isn't that always the way?).
I knew I wanted a thick hand cream that could repair the dry patches and nourish my skin, and that I could use over night. I can't really apply hand cream throughout the day as I am picking up small pieces of jewellery and working with glue and doing intricate work so greasy paws is something I need to avoid. The very lovely people at L'Occitane recommended that I use their one minute hand scrub first. Made up of brown sugar, shea butter, almonds and grape seed oil you scrub your hands for one minute to remove all the dead cells build up.
Once scrubbed for a full minute you rinse and then pat dry so as not to remove the oils. I literally cannot explain how soft your hands feel just after doing this. I couldn't stop making Andrew touch them and exclaim 'FEEL HOW SOFT THEY ARE'. I use the scrub every three days or so as recommended.
The next product given to me was the Shea Butter Hand Cream. This does look and feel like sudocream I won't lie to you, but it smells really nice, not too over powering. I use this every night and it does take a few minutes to set in, but when it dries it doesn't leave any grease and you can feel how soft your hands feel instantly. When I do the scrub I do it at night right before bed, then I put a fair amount of the hand cream on and rub in, but not so it sets too quickly and then put cotton hand gloves over top overnight.
I have been using the hand cream every evening without fail for six weeks, and I have noticed a considerable amount of difference in how soft my hands are, and there has been no cracking. However, the dry patches on my fingers seem to come back, I don't know if that is because I am just using them so much that very light callouses are going to form, or if the Shea Butter is right for repairing it. Like I said I must stress I work with my hands all day, so if you are desk based or don't chop up metal and acrylic all day then I cannot recommend this enough. When it runs out I might return to L'Occitane to see what they say as I want to continue using their products.
I did also get some Shea Butter foot cream too, and to be honest it feels just the same consistency as the hand cream! I use it the same day I do my gloves. You can get cotton gloves and socks here on ebay for around £5.00, this is the cheapest I have found them, and I recommend hand washing them once a week, as when I have put them in the washing machine they shrunk a bit!
What hand cream do you use? I am always up for tips, let me know on my twitter @CharlotteBHC