Apparently, you can tell the true age of a woman by looking at her hands. So I’ve devised a plan – or should I say, a hand cream recipe that will keep ’em guessing for longer. The skin on the hands is difficult to keep moisturised, because it is thin and has relatively few oil glands. Therefore, it is important to use a cream that readily absorbs into the skin. Many products contain alcohol for this very purpose – to make creams with a lighter texture which absorbs quickly. However, if you’ve read my quick facts, you’ll know why I don’t recommend applying alcohol topically to the skin every day. Instead, this recipe incorporates two water-based ingredients to lighten the cream to a texture that is easily absorbed – glycerine and aloe vera gel.
COST & SHELF LIFE
Cost Price: R40 per 100g
Lasted me about: 1 month (using every day)
Estimated shelf life: 1 month (stored in an airtight container away from moisture and direct sunlight). If you add 0.5ml of Geogard 221, the shelf life will extend to 3-6 months.
*Costs accurate at time of writing, and based on the best retail prices I’ve found.
Cost: Adding aloe vera gel makes this hand cream a bit more costly than my other standard moisturiser recipes, which only require a nourishing oil and beeswax.
CHERRY ON TOP
Texture: this recipe has more of that “cream” texture you’re used to. It’s light, quickly absorbed and doesn’t leave an oily residue.
- Natural Soap: Acts as an emulsifier in this recipe to ensure that the water-based ingredients and oils do not separate. I highly recommend making your own soap from beeswax, as beeswax soap makes a great emulsifier in this recipe. However, you can make any soap with a 0% superfat (here is my 0% superfat soap bar recipe). You can also buy any natural soap, but since you cannot know the superfat of a store-bought soap, you may find that some soaps work better than others. Generally, the more cleansing a soap, the better it acts as an emulsifier. So if you are going to buy a natural soap, buy one that is meant for household cleaning rather than skincare. My retail recommendations: Pure Simple Castile Cleaner and Earthsap Dishwashing Liquid.
- Sweet Almond Oil: One of the best oils for dry hands and it is more easily absorbed than thicker oils like olive oil etc. It is also less greasy. It is rich in essential nutrients and healing vitamins including vitamin E and A. It helps rejuvenate dry, lined hands and brittle fingernails (buy here).
- Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects the skin from further sun damage and helps to decrease the signs of lines and wrinkles. (buy here)
- Glycerine: Treats and prevents dry, rough skin. It is an emollient i.e. It will soften skin and draw moisture to it. (buy here or buy vegetable glycerine here)
- Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel. It contains antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. (buy here)
- Beeswax: Creates a protective barrier over the skin. (buy here).
- Best essential oils for dry and neglected hands: Rose, Geranium, Patcholi, Lemon, Sandalwood, Carrot or Carrot Seed. (buy here)
I managed to find sweet almond oil, vitamin E, glycerine and aloe vera gel all at Dischem. Plus Dischem sells essential oils too. Not sure where to find other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you. If you are pregnant or new to using essential oils, please read how to use them safely.
Which natural remedies keep your hands soft? Please share in the comments below.