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Additionally, natural skincare brands often source their ingredients fairly and consciously and are kinder to the environment as they reduce the amount of chemical emissions into the air, land and sea.
However, for beauty products to be long lasting, shelf stable, and considered safe for use, even natural options will contain some additives and preservatives. Many brands are figuring out ways to replace these with natural alternatives, so our picks include those that contain only very minimal, if any, amounts of man-made chemical ingredients.
Beeswax is another highly moisturising ingredient, and is great for burns – good news for those kitchen workers! It is a rich emollient and is often used in creams that aim to create a waterproof barrier when skin is fighting a losing battle against the elements.
They are some of the most gentle oils you could put on the skin, and even used by aromatherapists to treat allergies. Rose is also known for healing wounds and scars and is fantastic at rebalancing the oils (or lack of) in the skin, restoring it to a smooth, healthy condition.
If you have ever had a sore skin condition, you will have probably come across lotions based on oats. They are anti-inflammatory and can help to relieve itching, as well as acting as a very gentle exfoliant for skin prone to flaking. Although we know them as a dry grain, they are naturally high in lipids (fats) and when ground to a milk, they'll hydrate whilst healing.
Oranges and cranberries are both high in vitamins C and A and antioxidants, which are known for promoting the renewal of cells, healing damaged tissue and aiding in collagen reproduction. Cranberries also have a high fruit oil content, which is not only protective but very moisturising as older hands become drier.
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit and lemon are also fantastic ingredients to look out for if mature skin looks dull, as they have a brightening effect after use. They are also astringents, which help to tone the skin by way of tightening the cells.
If you are concerned about the inclusion of oils in natural hand creams, try looking for products with water (often listed as “aqua”) as the first ingredient. Almond and olive oils are among the fastest to absorb, so these would be a good choice too.
Finally, cocoa butter is naturally much drier than honey or shea, so pick products with this base for a less greasy alternative.
Parabens are synthetics used to preserve cosmetic products, and have been a hot topic in the skincare world recently, as some believe they have been linked to cancer. However this has not been scientifically proven, and many brands are confident in their use of safe synthetics.
It’s up to you to decide how you feel about these additives, but bear in mind that some creams that are mostly natural will include them. If you do want to avoid them (or have an allergy to synthetic preservatives such as SLS) you will find many plant-based brands that are completely natural.
All beauty products are regulated by the FDA for their safety, however synthetic perfumes have been known to cause irritation for some people, and can damage the skin over time. Lotions with only essential oils eliminate this possibility, so are a kinder alternative whether you are prone to sensitivities or not.
If you would prefer a very natural hand cream, simply look for products scented with these oils instead of artificial fragrances.
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Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream
Fabulous All-Rounder for the Whole Family
The Body Shop
The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector
Heavy Duty Help for Very Dry Hands
Liz Earle Orange Flower Hand Repair
Uplift, Smooth and Restore with Botanical Extracts
Green People Help at Hand Hand Cream
Effective Rescue Remedy for Sensitive Skin
Lavera Anti-Ageing Hand Cream
Excellent Value for Mature Hands
NEOM Organics Nourish, Breathe and Calm Hand Balm
Luxurious and Calming for Mind and Body
Burt’s Bees Almond and Milk Hand Cream
99.9% Natural Oil-Based Hydration
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream
Creamy and Soothing for Working Hands
Weleda Skin Food
Protective, Replenishing Balm for the Whole Body
Aveda Hand Relief
Rich Relief for Stressed Skin
Perfect for very dry and flaky hands, and can also be used on elbows, knees and anywhere else you need an extra boost of hydration – even split ends! It is a thick and oil-based balm, so has quite a medicinal scent, and should be used sparingly if in need of a quick fix. The size of this product also makes it a useful all-in-one travel product.
Whatever time of year it is, it's important to keep on top of your skincare routine to ensure you feel your best no matter the weather! Take a look at our other top picks for keeping your skin smoother than a baby's bottom.
Whatever your skin type or budget, we hope you have found your dream cream amongst our picks!
Author: Natasha Dziubajlo
No. 1: Neal’s Yard ｜Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream
No. 2: The Body Shop ｜The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector
No. 3: Liz Earle ｜Liz Earle Orange Flower Hand Repair
No. 4: Green People ｜Green People Help at Hand Hand Cream
No. 5: Lavera ｜Lavera Anti-Ageing Hand Cream
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