Hands horribly dry from all the washing? Here’s how to take care of your digits, keeping them moisturised and happy.

Whilst we lavish care on our faces with an array of lotions and potions to keep signs of ageing at bay, the skin on our hands is subjected to a barrage of harsh soaps, detergents and, currently, the drying effects of alcohol-based hand sanitizer gels. It’s no wonder that our battered digits feel red, dry and irritated.

If you want to pamper your paws between hand washes and put back some of the moisture and nutrients, we’ve created an edit of the most nourishing hand and nail treatments we can find, plus our favourite hand sanitizer to help your hands stay clean and cared for.

This Works

Stress Check Clean Hands Sanitizer, £15

Although pricier than most (but a jumbo 500ml size), this hand sanitizer contains the necessary 70 per cent alcohol levels to be effective in killing 99.9 per cent of bacteria and many viruses. But it’s also packed with moisturising hyaluronic acid to combat dryness and a blend of 100 per cent natural essential oils of lavender, neroli and camomile to calm the mind, too. A joy to use and highly effective between hand-washes, too.


Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil, £14

Rich in 30 per cent Fairtrade, organic Shea Butter, L’Occitane’s no-mess brush applicator oil makes keeping cuticles and nails nourished a doddle. Simply swipe it on and massage it in for stronger, healthier nails. Perfect for keeping on your nightstand for overnight treatments, giving the nutrient-rich oil time to do its work.


Skin Food, £7.95

Not just for hands, Weleda’s Skin Food has an A-List following and has won a cabinet of awards for its intense, nourishing and protective formula. Made with organic sunflower seed oil and extracts of wild pansy, chamomile, calendula and uplifting rosemary extract, this unctuous, hydrating treatment absorbs into dry, chapped hands leaving a protective barrier. Great for getting feet ready for sandal-weather, too. A perfect ‘all-rounder’ beauty saviour.

Nails Inc

Nail Kale Strengthener, £15

Nail Inc has jumped on the superfood bandwagon and diffused its nail base coat with vitamin-rich kale to stimulate nail growth, hydration and give anti-splitting protection – one of the common side-effects of regular hand washing. There’s extracts of aloe vera, lemon, ginseng, pomegranate and grape too, giving deeply nourishing, smoothing and brightening effects. Nails are left healthier, stronger, protected and with a high-gloss finish.


Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, £23

A tube of Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream sells every 30 seconds worldwide. Since its launch in 1979 it has been a constant bestseller, thanks to its rich, nourishing formula. Almost instantly absorbed, it leaves no greasy residue (a hand cream bête noire) and has been proven to help keep mild eczema at bay. The moisturising sesame oil and shea butter base is boosted by Japanese mulberry extract, added to help reduce the appearance of age spots; while myrrh extract is added to strengthen nails. A cult classic that still delivers.


Perfect Ten Self Warming Hand Mask, £10

With a background in medical patch technology, Patchology’s self-heating hand mask uses the same high-tech materials as space blankets to use natural body heat to help the coconut-infused formula better penetrate the skin – giving dry, chapped hands immediate, soothing relief. Great for softening cuticles too, it works fast and offers an immediate smoothing and rejuvenating effect with rich shea butter and antioxidant-rich rosehip oil.

3 Kitchen Staples For Some DIY Hand-Care Treatments At-Home

Lemon and Sugar

Lemon juice and white sugar mixed together into a paste and rubbed into nail beds makes for a great cuticle softener, nail whitener and scrub, all in one.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is full of antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, D and E. You can use it as a simple cuticle oil, or for massaging into dry hands.


Oatmeal contains avenanthramides which are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. If excessive handwashing has left your hands irritated and itchy, try an oat hand soak by adding a cup of oatmeal to a bowl of warm water and leaving hands to soak for 20 minutes. Or try a hand mask. Create a paste using oatmeal and natural live yoghurt and apply topically to the affected areas.

By Lydia Mansi
May 2020


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.