Beauty: Handy hints for winter survival for hands
They work hard, plus there’s nothing more ageing than a wrinkly pair. Alice Ryan compiles an emergency care kit to help your hands survive winter
Nature Republic California Aloe Vera Hand Cream, £7.50 for 50ml, naturerepublicuk.com
Super-light on the skin - it’s got an almost gel-like texture - this aloe vera-enriched cream is also seriously swift to absorb, leaving your hands feeling hydrated yet instantly dry to the touch. That, coupled with the cute, desk-friendly container, makes it the office-worker’s dream: you can soothe your air conditioning-sapped hands without getting greasy fingers all over your keyboard. A top-seller for Nature Republic, the plant-powered K-Beauty brand, the price-point is also impressive.
L’Occitane Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil, £14 for 7.5ml, L’Occitane, arc, Bury St Edmunds and Rose Crescent, Cambridge
This is one of my personal hero products. Packed with shea, famed for its nourishing ability, the oil is applied with a nifty little brush, which allows you to reach every nook and cranny of raggy cuticles. It makes hands look immediately perkier and more polished, while regular use makes cuticles visibly smoother and nails tangibly stronger. The cherry on top? The shea is fairly traded from women in Burkina Faso.
Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen Hand Cream, £36 for 50ml, Space NK, Trinity Street, Cambridge
Formulated with vegan collagen - an ingenious complex of corn, soy and wheat protein, which mimics the structure and performance of animal collagen - this new Genius cream is exactly that: genius. Also containing Algenist’s signature alguronic acid, derived from algae, it plumps skin in front of your very eyes and, thanks to antioxidants and vitamins E and C, also evens its tone, blurring blotches and age spots. A small pump goes a long way, melting into skin like butter into hot toast.
Floris Hand Treatment Cream Trio, £45 for 3 x 75ml, John Lewis & Partners, Grand Arcade, Cambridge and florislondon.com
As you’d expect from a great British perfumer, founded in 1730 and with a pair of royal warrants to its name, Floris’s Hand Treatment Creams are known for their delicate yet distinctive scents: Chypress (bergamot, neroli, patchouli), Cefiro (lemon, jasmine, nutmeg) and Rose Centifolia (rose, juniper berry, orange blossom). They’re far more than a pretty face, of course: blended with aloe vera, vitamin E and sweet almond and jojoba oils, they’re also a proper pick-me-up for parched skin.
VOYA Handy to Have Reparative Hand Creme, £17 for 75ml, voya.ie
I’ve only recently discovered VOYA, the cruelty-free Irish skin and spa brand which founds all its products in wild seaweed, said to soothe, smoothe and stimulate, and I’m smitten. This cream also contains olive leaf extract which, believed to accelerate healing in damaged tissue, targets papery skin and fine lines, while lavender, rosemary and lemon essences couple sweet scents with cooling, calming qualities. More than 90% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Leighton Denny Expert Nails Renovate Intensive Nail Repair Cream, £12 for 10ml, leightondennyexpertnails.com
If your nails are damaged, ridged and/or brittle, this is your knight in shining armour. Using the rougher side of the buffer provided, gently even the surface of each nail, massage in a dot of cream, then seal and shine with the smooth side. Continue to use the cream, not the buffer, twice daily and within a fortnight your nails will be happier, healthier and prettier-looking to boot. Containing a shopping list of star ingredients - including avocado and rice bran oils - the cream protects as well as repairs, by creating a clever water-repellent film.
Leighton Denny Expert Nails Time Repair Anti-ageing Oil, £12 for 12ml, leightondennyexpertnails.com
Thanks to a hefty dose of rosehip oil, said to hydrate and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, Time Repair is a three-in-one treatment, getting to work on skin, nails and cuticles, too. Massage a couple of pumps into your hands once a day before cream - I like to use it before bed - and it works like a facial oil, giving your routine a nourishing super-boost.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan