Advice From The Aisles: Curing Cracked Hands
By Kirsten Malzac, Wellness Department
The number one question we get in the Wellness Department this time of year is, “what’s the best product to use on my dry cracked hands?” Well, we're are here to tell you some options depending on the severity of the winter damage and your personal preferences.
Creams & Butters:
Creams, first and foremost, are thicker than your average lotion. They have a richer texture and their ingredients tend to help seal in moisture. One of the Wellness staff favorites is the Weleda Skin Food. The big difference between Skin Food and the other hand creams on Weleda’s docket, Pomegranate and Sea Buckthorn, is the third ingredient down on the list, lanolin, a fat derived from sheep’s wool, which is the secret to Skin Food’s moisture locking formula. If you’d like to support a local company, we suggest you try Wild Hill’s Magical Hand Cream from Chelsea, VT. This simple formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and doesn’t pack an overwhelming aroma. Finally, you might like the fluffy, mousse-like texture of The Orange Owl body butters, also local, which includes their whipped mango butter which helps to create a soft and intensely moisturizing product.
You might only think of salves for healing abrasions, but these salves are formulated specifically for seriously dry and cracked skin. Vermont Bee Balm’s Original Beast Balm uses only two ingredients: pure olive oil and pure Vermont beeswax. The mixture results in a petroleum jelly like substance without the use of petroleum. This locks in moisture beautifully. Wild Hill also makes a Hand Saver Herbal Salve that includes a few healing herbs, such as calendula and yarrow, to support the healing of cracked skin. Then there’s the classic Badger Balm. Castor oil ensures the olive oil and aloe, also in this formula, remain sealed into your skin for lasting moisture.
The ultimate crack sealer:
For some of us, especially those who work outside in these cold winter months, a cream or salve simply won’t cut it. You need a product that will seal the cracks in your dry, rough hands. Vermont Bee Balm makes another product, their Original Bee Balm, which also includes only pure olive oil and pure Vermont beeswax, but this time in a ratio that favors the wax. Scoop some Bee Balm out the tin and you can easily create a lasting seal over deep cracks.
You’ll find these products and more to protect your hands this winter in City Market’s Wellness Department.