The down side of working from home for a few days a week is the temptation to keep getting my hands wet -a bit of washing up,  soaking the washing, a wipe around the bathroom or a quick swish across the  kitchen table. All terribly boring but worse than that, these activities seriously compromise your skin barrier. I’m talking cracked fingers.

I don’t know about you but every winter I end up with deep crevasses on my fingers as they struggle to keep up with the dry air, indoor heating and repeated wetting.  Actually scrap the winter part of that sentence, I have cracked hands now and it is only Autumn and that’s why I started looking for something to soothe my broken skin.

Fancy hand creams with beautiful aromas are no good when you have a big problem. The fragrance irritates and the frilly texture is either too lightweight to be of any use or too sticky to do anything more than put up your dainty feet and wait for the product to un-stick its self.  I am too busy and too cranky for either scenario, I just want something that works.

So, what should you look out for in a high performance hand cream?

  • Texture – there is no right or wrong with this one, it is about personal choice and usability. I prefer a product that takes a few minutes rather than hours to rub. This gives me the confidence that it is going to work without the inconvenience of wet and oily hands.
  • Smell – perfume is best avoided  for high performance hand creams  as perfume in cracked fingers stings. However, aroma introduced by active ingredients such as essential oils may be less problematic, especially if you are not usually allergic  to it.
  • Actives – Moisturisation and barrier building ingredients are really important here as are some skin fortifying vitamins and extracts. Ingredients such as Urea, Glycerine, Hyaluronic Acid,  Heavy Vegetable Oils, Lanolin, natural waxes, vitamin E, calendula and rosehip are good to look out for. 

I have tried a few in my time and after a particularly bad bout of hand-stress took to peeing on my hands (recommended by my dermatologist).  However, having now reached an age that smelling of pee is viewed in an altogether less innocent light I was recommended to try this Australian icon product – Du It.

Du It Tough Hands

This hard-working product uses urea as a key ingredient – yes that is the same chemical as you find in your pee. Urea is often used in medical products to rehydrate the skin as it is a great humectant .  It is also a natural component of the skins own moisturiser which means adding a bit more enhances the skin’s barrier function.  All good stuff if you are suffering from cracks and itchiness.

So, if you are a sufferer of cracked hands I recommend giving this a go, it’s far more ladylike than peeing on yourself AND it is Australian made!