Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hand Helpers

I can usually tell what season we're in by the condition of my hands. These days my hands are extremely dry and cracked.  It must be winter.  With all the dyeing I do my hands are exposed to a lot of water, and water makes a bad situation worse.  I know the situation is really bad if I pick up a skein of yarn, and the yarn snags on my cracked fingers.

This fall I decided to conduct a little experiment.  When I was out on the fall fiber festival circuit, I picked up a few hand products. There are a lot of interesting hand helpers out there - some more well known than others.  Over the last few days I've been sampling them, and I thought I would share my findings.

Let me start with my faithful, tried-and-true remedy for severe cracks. This is a product I've used for many years.

Super Duty Hand Care from Sweet Grass Farm.  Super Duty works like a charm, especially on hard-to-heal cracks.  It comes in a cake that you rub on your hands like a bar of soap.  I usually apply extra to the deeper cracks I get around my fingertips.  Super Duty works best if left to soak in and is especially effective if put on before bed. Sweet Grass Farm has expanded their product line from back in the day when I first discovered them.  I especially like their soy candles.

In my wanderings this fall I picked up this little tin.

Calming Therapy from Log Cabin Farm Soap.  This product comes in cake form.  It's not as heavy as Super Duty, so I didn't feel the need to let it soak in.  It's available in a variety of scents or unscented.  I don't think it's quite up to the challenge of my deep cracks, but it has a nice, overall smooth feel.

Just last month I was delighted to discover Long Island Livestock Co. Actually I had a little help from a friend who pointed me in the right direction.

Shepherdess Salve.  This product comes as a thick paste - a good solution for my hard-to-heal cracks.  It's so effective that I'm ready to give it a test run on my equally dry and cracked heels.  Shepherdess Salve contains lanolin and smells like it.  I love the smell of lanolin, but if you have an aversion, this might not be the product for you. They also have a lip balm - Lanolin Lippy.  As the name suggests this is also heavy on the lanolin.

Moving on to lotion . . . 

Handmaid from Soak.  I've been meaning to try this for quite some time and finally snagged a bottle.  This lotion rubs right in without feeling greasy.  I bought the lacey scent - a light, delicate fragrance. Handmaid is handy if you need a quick something to soften up your hands.

Finally, I have to mention a product I discovered a few years ago.

Soy Ball.  Actually they don't make it in a ball any more, but it is available in bar form.  This picture was taken when my ball was new. Now it's nothing more than a little bump that fits in my palm.  The Soy Ball leaves hands feeling smooth and silky.  Again, it's not going to help with stubborn cracks, but it's handy to have and it lasts a long time. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this little experiment and will continue to keep my eyes open for other hand care solutions.  Now I have a variety of products to use, and I'm ready to do battle with the dry, winter days ahead.

1 comment:

Betsy Bouche said...

My favorite heavy duty handcream I ever found was at the NH Wool Arts tour every Oct. It's from The Spinning Bunny:

I used to stock up every Oct. with several jars. I was very disappointed that I didn't see them there as a vendor this year.