I once heard that, “You can always tell the true age of a woman by looking at her hands”. Hmm…I don’t think our secret should be given away that easily ladies. For the most part, many of us enjoy working in the garden, or have to keep our homes clean with a good dose of elbow (and wrist) grease. Heck, every winter my hands must look ten years older! So I’ve devised a plan – or should I say, a hand cream recipe that works just as hard as our work-weary hands. Applying this cream regularly will ensure that you’ll keep ’em guessing for longer.
The skin on the hands is hard 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 uses glycerin and aloe vera gel to lighten the cream to a texture that is easily absorbed.
COST & SHELF LIFE
Estimated shelf life: 1 year (stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight).
Remember: Most of these ingredients have a long shelf life and are common in natural recipes, so you will be left with ingredients for more recipes too.
*Costs accurate at time of writing this blog post. Costs based on the best available prices I’ve personally found.
- Cost: Adding aloe vera gel makes this hand cream a bit more costly than my other standard cream 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 with store-bought products. It’s light, quickly absorbed and doesn’t leave an oily residue.
- 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.
- Glycerin: Treats and prevents dry, rough skin. It is an emollient i.e. It will soften skin and draw moisture to it. (buy 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, and acts as an emulsifier to incorporate all the ingredients in the recipe. (buy here).
- Best essential oils for dry and neglected hands: Rose, Geranium, Patcholi, Lemon, Sandalwood, Carrot or Carrot Seed. Carrot Seed has a high natural SPF, so including this essential oil will protect your hands from the sun too (buy here).
I managed to find sweet almond oil, vitamin E, glycerin and aloe vera gel all at Dischem. Plus they sell essential oils too. Not sure where to find other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.
- 1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond oil
- 1 Teaspoon Beeswax
- 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E
- 1 Teaspoon Glycerin
- 1 Teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel
- 20 - 40 drops Essential oils (depending on how strong you'd like the scent)
- Makes about 40ml. Perfect handbag size.
- In a double boiler, melt the beeswax with a teaspoon of the sweet almond oil.
- Once the beeswax has melted, add the remaining sweet almond oil.
- Add the vitamin E, glycerin and aloe vera gel. Mix thoroughly.
- Transfer the mixture into your container, and add your essential oils.
- Mix well, and continue mixing until the mixture cools completely (should take about 10-15 minutes). This step is important, because the continuous mixing allows for the aloe vera gel and glycerin to fully incorporate into the oils without separating.
- Once cool, let it set in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- Remove from fridge and store away from direct sunlight for up to one year.
- Sweet almond oil -> Jojoba, Grapeseed, Coconut or Olive oil. But I do think sweet almond oil is best.
- Rose, geranium, lemon, sandalwood, carrot seed, patcholi.
- Choose one, or make your own combination.
Which natural remedies keep your hands soft? Please share in the comments below.