The frequent hand washing continues in 2021 as we continue to battle the novel coronavirus. We mentioned this in 2020, but regular hand washing, especially with hot water, can dry out the skin on your hands. Add the excessive use of hand sanitizer on top of that and your skin looks like that of a reptile. Now that we are in the middle of winter, the dry and cold weather also contributes to dry skin on the hands.
When the cold weather arrives, many people start applying more lip balm on their lips than normal. Well, your hands deserve equal love and attention. It’s not practical to rub lip balm all over your hands, but that’s what hand creams are for! There is one problem, though, and it’s that most store bought hand creams or lotions contain contain fragrances. Some people don’t like fragrances and others do, but most people are unaware of why fragrances are bad for the skin.
The Problem With Fragrances
You see, fragrances are signature scents, and companies don’t have to list what ingredients are in those blends for copyright reasons. That means that some fragrances can contain non-FDA approved ingredients, or ingredients that are considered unsafe by the EPA. Fragrances are in about 50% of beauty products and they contain myriad toxic chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances, cancer, and skin irritation.
Fortunately for you, the hand cream in this article is free of fragrance blends, but the cream does smell delicious. You’ll find a brief explanation of how the ingredients benefit your skin below.
Known as the “Pot Marigold,” the calendula plant is native to the Mediterranean, but it grows abundantly around the world. The plant contains natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, and it has been used in alternative healing practices for years. If you suffer from dry or itchy skin, calendula is an excellent ingredient for you. It helps to soothe and hydrate the skin by promoting the growth of collagen, an essential protein for your skin.
When it comes to ingredients that nourish dry skin, shea butter is the first one you need to know about. It’s a moisturizing emollient, meaning that it helps to seal in moisture in the skin by establishing a barrier on the skin. Don’t worry, it won’t clog your pores! According to several studies, shea butter contains palmitic, linoleic, and stearic acids, all of which help to strengthen the skin’s barrier to help it hold moisture.
Lavender Essential Oil
The first rule of thumb about essential oils is that you should not apply them directly on the skin. You have to mix them with carrier oils or incorporate them into a recipe with other skin-soothing ingredients that help dilute the oils. Lavender essential oil has a wonderful aroma and it works to nourish all skin types. Many reports found that it works to brighten and moisturize the skin, making it great for anyone experiencing dry skin. It also has wound-healing properties, which is beneficial if your hands are cracked, dry, or have little cuts from all the hand washing.
DIY Hand Cream
Ingredients For Calendula Infused Oil:
- Calendula flower
- Olive oil
- Glass Mason jar
Instructions For Calendula Infused Oil:
- Fill your Mason jar about 3/4 of the way with calendula flowers. Pour in enough olive oil to fill the Mason jar.
- The amount of infused oil you make will depend on the size of the Mason jar, but you only need 1 tablespoon of infused oil for the hand cream recipe.
- Cover the jar and store it in a cool, dry place for six weeks. Don’t forget about it.
- After six weeks, strain the oil through a cheesecloth into another jar. Discard the flowers.
Ingredients For Hand Cream:
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1 tablespoon calendula infused olive oil
- 6-10 drops lavender essential oil
Instructions For Hand Cream:
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into a container and store in a cool dry place.
- Apply a small amount to your hands and rub it into the dryer areas. You should only need to apply it once a day.