For as long as I can remember I’ve had the hands of a 90 year old man. On one of my very first beauty courses, when learning how to manicure, I was told I had hands that looked like they’d worked. I was eighteen. The most work I’d done was try on clothes in Topshop while pretending to stocktake, so not exactly spinning cotton in an 18th century factory. However, my beauty therapy lecturer was a giant hag so I didn’t pay any particular attention.
Most likely alluding to the fact I chew the crap out of my fingers, making them incredibly ugly. Mincing my cuticles and tearing the skin to shreds, they go from looking normal and ‘nice’, to lumps of raw meat in minutes. Therefore I tend to keep my nails painted to stop me doing it. The annoying thing is it isn’t consciously done.
Sometimes picking and peeling in my sleep, nerves or boredom mean I could be merrily chatting away to someone, or handing money over in a shop and notice a crust of dry blood smeared down a finger or two. Yes. I’m gross.
Anyhow, moving flats a few weeks ago I didn’t bother painting my nails as I knew they’d chip and break. This meant the stress of it all set off a feeding frenzy. Still very much on that cycle even post paint, with the change in weather and temperature coming; I’m back to the Salad Fingers horror show.
So with this in mind I’ve decided I need to get my house in order and test hand creams to help heal, rectify and prevent this unsightly affair.
Finding Yes to Carrots on my quest, I thought I’d give their Moisturising Hand Cream Normal to Dry Skin £7.99 a go. Naturally derived (97%) from glorious veggie extracts as you’d expect, its petroleum, SLS and paraben free. More of a lotion than cream, the sweet smell of the carrots and added Shea butter is really quite lovely.
Moisturising nicely, the tube claims 24-hour moisture and to apply twice a day. However, after washing your hands a few times you definitely have to apply more than that. With the instruction to “clap your soft hands happily” (also written on the tube), I did. Because boy did they feel soft! Not quite thick enough to really get-on-in-there with my vile cuticles, another dollop soon made them look less pink and flaky, and left no greasiness. I rate this very highly!
Needing something cheaper as a work and handbag companion, Nivea Hand Cream Smooth Nourishing with Hydra IQ Anti Dryness with Macadamia Nut Oil £1.51 for dry hands, is also pretty great. Greasier than the first, the smell is soapy and has the typical Nivea feel to it. However I really like it all the same. The Ronseal wood stain of the moisturising world, Nivea never fails to deliver. Not rolling into irritating little balls if you apply too much or too frequently, there’s always enough to extend to elbows if necessary. Just don't try to type or handle any paperwork too soon after applying, or attempt to shake hands pre meeting.
Only time will tell if these glorious spades of mine will eventually give my age away. With dreams of being a hand model dashed, I’m hoping one of these hand creams will prevent the need for hand botox or some sort of hand lift surgery!