For years women especially have loved having a beautiful, luxurious hand lotion in their handbag, or bedside table. A rich, sophistically scented hand cream that made for a lovely daily ritual and certainly helped as a temporary relief for dry, overworked, over-washed hands.
Nowadays there is a big debate in the hand lotion category, where science has proven that these deliciously expensive hand lotions are not doing what we think they should. Sure, they have moisturizing ingredients that immediately provide hydration to the hands - yes, nobody can deny this. However, overtime they are drying the skin and causing more dryness and cracking without anyone realizing. To understand why this is so, we need to better understand the way our body works.
The body is already complete with a healing system - and when it comes to our skin, it is equipped with plenty of sebum (which is the naturally occurring oil) that keeps the protective layer intact and moisturized. Our body is also designed to respond differently to situations. So if your hands are dry, your body will create more sebum in order to overcome this dryness. If your hands are oily, the body will reduce the sebum in order to compensate. This is where the problem lies.
If we are constantly providing artificial moisture to our hands and body, the body will continue to reduce its sebum production in this part of the body - and therefore, your attachment to this hand lotion will continue endlessly. A little unfortunate and pricey.
So, if our body can produce enough sebum to protect our hands when they are dry, why do they continue to get dry, or worse extremely cracked? Well, the environment in which our hands live gives the body little chance to recover. If you have dry hands, and you wash your hands regularly (everyone), or use harsh soaps, sanitizers, or you work with chemicals, paint etc,, then the body’s recovery system never has a chance to catch up!
What's the solution? A moisture barrier cream or lotion. The barrier creams on the market, or shielding lotions are designed to support the naturally occurring healing processes in your body. They work with your body, and not against it. By creating an invisible shield on your skin - they are not providing artificial moisture or hydration, they are providing a safe haven for your skin to give it every chance to produce enough sebum and, in time, heal the skin condition on hand. It is better to use a barrier cream as it does not actually get absorbed by your skin. Instead it just sits atop it, and lasts through washes until it eventually exfoliates along with your dead skin cells which is when it is time to reapply. This is about 4 hours or so.
Moisture barrier creams are the new revolution in hand lotions - that work as well as professional pharmaceutical creams.