*updated for additional information in April 2020

Read hand cream ingredients to avoid toxic chemicals.

Hand creams are very important this time of year and vigilance is required to keep our hands from becoming rough, dry, and worst of all, painfully cracked in places.  The frequent hand washing we are urged to do to keep germs at bay makes keeping our hands smooth and soothed a challenge. In the winter, houses are dry and there’s very little moisture in the air.  Our inclination is to turn to moisturizers.  Moisturizers are a great solution to dry skin, but many hand and body creams contain chemicals that actually make our skin drier in the long run, hence creating dependence and overuse.  When you buy a hand cream or body lotion, read the ingredients.  Fragrances and certain chemicals can be very irritating to skin. Try different creams out and see what you might react to.  I love certain hand creams that have some of the possibly irritating ingredients and they don’t bother me at all.

Hand Creams that we use:

Aveeno Active Naturals Intense Relief Hand Cream moisturizes for 24 hours and will last through hand washing.  It is non-greasy, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.  3.5 oz. is $11.25.


AHAVA Dead Sea Mud Dermud Intensive Hand Cream is a cream for extremely dry or cracked hands.  It will not leave a sticky or greasy residue.  It promises to heal your skin. 3.4 oz. is $31.00.


When I spend winter days outside, I use Gehwol Med. Salve for cracked skin or very dry and rough hands.  It is a moisturizing combination of natural essential oils and chamomile, but it does leave a greasy residue.  It is made in Germany.  $23.00 for 2.6 oz.

L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream is very hydrating but not greasy.  It has a natural lavender scent and it is the most popular hand cream in our family. 2.6 oz. is $24.00.


Hand Balm by Yard Etc. is made in Sweden from natural ingredients and organic components.  It contains almond oil and shea butter.  This balm has the herbal fragrance of lemon balm.  There is also Green Tomato, Oak Moss and Dog Rose scents. There are no parabens.  $28.00 for 250 ml.

hand balm from Yard etc

Supergoop! Hand Screen SPF 40.  It contains sea buckthorn fruit, omega-7 fatty acids, meadowfoam and argan oil and plant antioxidants.  The cream moisturizes, improves skin’s elasticity and texture and protects against UV damage.  $14 for 6.76 oz. Reef Safe

Supergoop Hand scream hand creamGinny’s favorite hand cream is Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand Cream.  It is concentrated for dry chapped hands and is fragrance free.  It comes in a handy travel size.  $14.07 for a pack of two 2 oz. tubes.


Ingredients to avoid:


Synthetic colors




Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)



Propylene glycol

Sunscreen chemicals

Source: The Huffington Post and the Environmental Working Group

Use this handy free app to see if a product has any harmful ingredients.  The Think Dirty app lets you scan the product’s barcode, then it will give you information about the product, its ingredients and ‘cleaner’ options if you need them. It tells you where your product falls on the “Dirty Meter” from 0 to 10, every ingredient in the product and why it’s used, the potential health impact of each ingredient and alternative clean products.  If there’s no barcode on the beauty product, just type the product name into the app.  Available for both iOS and Android. Think Dirty has a store with brands that satisfy their high quality standards.


Tip:  putting on an organic greasy ointment-type hand cream and then a pair of thin cotton gloves before bed will really does wonders for your hands by morning!

The DIY Guide to Natural Beauty Products This article from the blog, Homemade Gifts Made Easy, takes an in-depth and well researched look at harmful bathroom products we may be using.  It also offers solutions and recipes to make your own chemical free and natural options.

We’ve added to our list of favorite skin lotions.

Soothing Moisturizers for the Effects of Winter

soothing cream for winter hands

Header graphic credit – http://www.123rf.com/profile_klevo’>klevo / 123RF Stock Photo