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Working in the mountains is great: that cool fresh air, Christmassy happy vibes and gorgeous blue birds days that make it incomparable to anything else. However, what no one warns you about are the über cold, soaking wet, drizzly days where you want nothing more to curl up with a pizza and a Bailey’s hot chocolate and shout ‘f*ck you, Whistler!”.
Luckily those days are few and far between, but when they do happen you often go home with soggy gloves and nasty, wrinkly hands that are sore and cracked the next day. I often get told I have really soft hands & will always have a tube of something in my bag (so you should listen to me cos I’m a hand care pro 😉 ) Here are some handy (ikr) tips and my favourite creams to help prevent and soothe chapped hands.
Have 2 pairs of gloves for work, and another pair for riding
I’m serious, you do need 3 pairs of gloves if you are an outdoor worker. I made the mistake of having 1 pair for both work and riding and what a bloody disaster that was. They were never dry, they smelt VILE and a couple of months in they were duct taped together cos using them for work had literally shredded them. And then I lost one. It was at this point I started to seriously question my stinginess, and yes – I did ski for a couple of days with only 1 glove. But, I want to help you be a better person than me. Have 2 pairs of gloves that you can rotate for work (you can dry a pair on the heater while wearing the other) and a nice pair that won’t get trashed for your off days.
Carry a mini handcream in your bag or pocket
When I first got to Whistler, I had a mini tube of Soap & Glory’s Hand Food. It smells divine, fresh and sweet, signature Soap & Glory, and always makes my hands feel soft. The mini size fitted perfectly in my bag too (it drives me mad if there’s too much crap in my bag and I cant find anything I need). I was gutted when I ran out cos I couldn’t buy any more in Canada.
So I then decided to follow the hype and try out EOS Cucumber Scented Hand Cream. Now I actually think this smells like a cross between watermelon and cucumber, but I like it all the same. It’s kinda tangy smelling. It’s not the thickest cream but it does the trick all the same giving me lovely smelling soft hands, even though sometimes I feel like I needed a bit more. If you’re in the UK like me, then you might find this a bit difficult to find, but it is available on sites like Amazon & eBay (albeit at racked up prices).
Keep a good cream to slather on before bed
Now I’ve picked 3 different creams to share with you to suit 3 different budgets. I’ve obviously used them at different times depending on situation! (rn, it’s the cheaper one!)
To save, go for Nivea Express Hydration Hand Lotion. It’s what I’m using right now and I really like it. It sinks in fast and isn’t the slightest bit oily. It reminds me of the seaside for some reason but I like that shit. My hands always feel lovely when I use this before bed and its really good value for money.
A nice little treat would be The Body Shop’s best selling Hemp Hand Protector. Now this stuff is truly the tits, it’s not a best seller for nothing! Such a thick cream but sinks in fast, and really gets to work on dry skin. It’s a very subtle smell so it can suit anybody. The hemp plant should be appreciated more for its medicinal properties (this is created from the male hemp plant) as it does amazing things and not only for skin!
Anyway, before I go off on a mad tangent, for a super splurge have a little look at L’Occitane’s Lavande Hand Cream. OOHHHH the smell is so good and is ideal for bed. Some people reckon lavender is an old lady smell but I think it’s beaut. You wouldn’t expect anything less than the best, and with this cream that is what you get. Thick and creamy, and ultimately luxurious, you do get what you pay for. I bought this as a gift for my mum, and
used it more myself, kept nicking it when my hands were dryer than Gandi’s flip-flop.
To get the best out of the creams I would also suggest buying some of those little cotton gloves. They are well cheap (can be found for about a quid in a lot of stores) and worth buying – gently heating the skin and locking in the moisture so the creams can penetrate your rough skin properly. Get your Michael Jackson on!
When your hands are red, itchy and all-round rank
You need some heavy-duty fixing gal. Go for either Burt’s Bees Salve, or Liz Earle’s Superbalm. Apply at night time or when you are watching a movie (not Netflix & chill tho) as salves are thick and take a long time to sink in, leaving an oily residue. Worth it though as my hands always feel amazing and 10 times better after a little balm treatment. I always love the smell of balms, reminds me of a spa treatment. Lush!
So that’s just a quick round up of some of my favourite ways to care for your hands in the cold. The main takeaway is to keep mini tubes with you for on the go, a stronger cream/balm for overnight care and rotate those bloody gloves so you’re not exacerbating the issue!
How do you keep your hands soft and smooth during the winter? Tell me your favourite hand care tips in the comments 🙂