Why is hand cream so important especially in the cold season?
Washing hands, disinfectant, cold air: currently, our hands are under a lot of strain and it's time to treat them. In very unpleasant weather conditions, a simple moisturiser is usually not enough. With an intensive hand cream, the skin is protected, chapped areas are softened again, stressed skin is cared for and redness is normalised.
What should you look for in a hand cream? What ingredients should it not have?
Many hand creams from the drugstore feel smooth, smell good and are quickly absorbed. However, our hands don't need a strong scent and fancy filler ingredients that sound good in marketing. What they need are high-quality ingredients. As mentioned above, fragrances should be avoided, as well as drying alcohol, as these ingredients only further stress the skin. Alcohols can also damage the skin barrier and promote inflammation and infection. The names for drying alcohol can be the following on the ingredient list: Alcohol Denat, Alcohol, Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol, Methanol, Propyl Alcohol, Propanol, Isopropanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol. "Good" alcohols are: Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Lauryl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Palmitoleyl Alcohol, Oleyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol, C 14-22 Alcohols.
What ingredients should a hand cream have in order to provide particularly good care?
Particularly suitable for a nourishing hand cream are high-quality oils, for protection against wind and cold, such as argan oil, olive oil, coconut oil, as well as moisture-binding ingredients such as glycerin and urea. So in the drugstore, it's worth taking a quick look at the ingredients list, and often the cheaper label brands actually provide the perfect combination of mild and highly nourishing ingredients.
Even a simple DIY of a homemade cream provides wonderful care properties for the skin. With the following ingredients, the skin is particularly well cared for:
- Shea butter - This beauty miracle has so many benefits, so shea butter should not be missing in any hand cream DIY. It has a moisturising and anti-inflammatory effect and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Unrefined shea butter is best suited, as it is easily absorbed and the proportion of active ingredients is high. For this purpose, attention should be paid to an organic as well as a fair trade certificate. Refined butter has a longer shelf life, but products with unrefined shea butter can easily be stored in the refrigerator.
- Coconut oil - If you want a fast-absorbing cream, you should avoid using coconut oil in this DIY or use less than recommended below, as it is very rich. However, thanks to its intensive effect, it provides velvety skin. Coconut oil has an antibacterial, soothing, nourishing effect and also provides a wonderful tropical scent.
- Optional: additional nourishing oils - Depending on taste and nourishing effect, additional oils can be added, e.g. almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil. This makes the cream even more intense, but causes it to be absorbed more slowly and leave a greasy film on the skin.
- Optional: beeswax or candelilla wax (vegan) - For the solid version, beeswax or, as a vegan option, candelilla wax is suitable. This creates a solid product that is easier to store.
- Optional: essential oils - We recommend DIYs without additional fragrances, as the skin does not need them and they can be irritating, especially for sensitive skin. But if you don't like the scent of unrefined shea butter or coconut oil at all, you can of course use essential oils. A few drops are enough, because less is more. However, unrefined shea butter smells a bit like chocolate and the scent of coconut oil is greatly diminished when combined with shea butter, wax and other oils.
All you need is a clean jar for the finished cream, spoons, hand mixers, possibly pots for a water bath and optionally a mould for the solid variety. It is important that all the accessories are very clean so that the ingredients do not get contaminated with bacteria or similar.
First of all, wash your hands :) As mentioned, it is important to work clean. The individual ingredients are not quickly perishable, but it is always good to pay attention to a very good hygiene when doing DIYs.
For the option without wax, it is best to mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer. Here you can simply choose a 1:1 ratio, so for example 3 tablespoons of shea butter and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Additional oils should only be used sparingly, so a few drops or 1 tsp-1 tpsp maximum. Use a hand mixer to create a fluffy, light cream that resembles whipped butter. This makes it easier to portion the cream and simply enhances the skincare experience. Another option is to let the ingredients melt slowly in a water bath, mix them and then pour them into a jar.
For the variant with wax, it is recommended to first let the wax melt slowly in a water bath, then add the shea butter and then the coconut oil. Only at the end should be added other oils, as they do not need to be heated. Once everything is mixed together, pour the liquid into a suitable mould and allow to cool. Again, this can be done in equal parts, so for example 3EL shea butter, 3EL coconut oil and 3EL beeswax.
The creamy version is quite easy to spread on the skin and absorbs quickly depending on the oil content. Otherwise, it has a very good care effect, which can be further intensified with cotton gloves, which you can find in the drugstore. To do this, simply rub more cream than usual into the hands, put on the gloves and leave on for 15-20 minutes. This goes well, for example, while watching TV or listening to podcasts.
The solid hand cream only needs to be held in the hands briefly so that it melts slightly. Then rub in the hands as usual and let it absorb briefly.
The cream is of course also suitable for other dry areas, such as on the elbows, knees or feet.