9 January 2018

Winter Hand Heroes (ft. Trilogy, Leaves of Trees, Satya + Paula's Choice)

The weather’s rebounded nicely the last couple days, but before that we were stuck in a record breaking cold spell for quite some time.  Cold weather, for me anyways, immediately translates to dry hand problems, since it seems like the moisture gets sucked out of my hands as soon as I step outside.  Needless to say, I’ve learned a few tricks to surviving Canadian winter over the years.

First, the biggest thing for me is consistency.  I can slather on rich occlusive balms before bed and they do a great temporary job, but I also need products that I can reapply and work with throughout the day.  That means: nothing too greasy, oily, or overly fragranced.  My current lineup includes four stellar products to suit all my daytime hand needs.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll likely have already seen some of these mentioned over the last couple months.  


I recently cracked into my second tube of the Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream, which I discovered in the middle of my blogging lull last winter, and it just might be the very best hand cream I’ve used to date.  The cream is made with hydrating aloe vera, humectant honey and glycerin, moisturizing coconut, marula, and rosehip oils, and soothing oat kernel, chamomile, and calendula extracts.  It packs a serious moisturizing punch and also creates a non-greasy, dry-to-the-touch protective barrier on the skin.  I notice a big difference when I remember to slap this on immediately before venturing out into the cold.  The scent, described as a blend of sweet orange, amber, and vanilla, is sweet but mild and not overbearing or sickly.  


Technically the Moisture Renewal Booster is a face oil, but, as I've discovered over the last couple months, it’s also pretty magical as a cuticle treatment.  The unscented Booster is made with a blend of nine plant oils including favourites like jojoba, argan, and cranberry seed, and it also includes added ceramides and cholesterol.  These two C’s, the building blocks of a healthy skin barrier, are fantastic for repairing and rebuilding damaged skin, so it only makes sense that they would work equally well to heal dry and dehydrated cuticles.  In addition to healthy cuticles, the plant oils also help keep the nails flexible and supple, and therefore less prone to brittleness and breaking in the cold.

Frankincense-infused argan oil and cocoa butter create a deeply nourishing base for Leaves of Trees’ Frankincense Argan Lotion, made locally here in Toronto with just eight simple ingredients.  The lotion, which is waterless, offers the rich benefits of a balm but skips over the greasy, can’t-touch-anything phase.  The lotion sinks in quickly, does a great job reviving dry winter hands, and offers some anti-aging benefits from the argan and frankincense oils too. Plus, it smells lovely -- mild, earthy and calming.  


I received this mini Organic Eczema Relief from Social Nature in the fall and it’s basically lived in my purse ever since.  It’s a solid salve/balm made from just five organic ingredients: beeswax, sweet almond and jojoba oils, colloidal oatmeal, and calendula, and it works for a lot more than just eczema.  I wouldn't consider it a moisturizer as much as a healing salve, so it's best for fixing chapped or irritated skin.  Basically, it’s a great heavy hitter if my hands are in especially rough shape or if I’ve not kept up with the other products for a day or two.


The Bottom Line
Clearly I take hand care pretty seriously in the winter and these four have been doing the trick for me through our recent cold spell.  Honourable mentions go to warm gloves, non-drying hand soaps (Ground Soap and Everyday Shea have been my go-to's) and to drinking lots of water and consistently taking omegas (these are my favorite).

What do you do to combat dry hands in the winter months?  
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