My hands have been feeling the cold recently and were in desperate need of some TLC. The winter weather coupled with the fact that I spend most of my day washing and cleaning after my two little munchkins causes a real moisture deficit in my hands leaving them feeling unbearably dry and uncomfortable.
I can never find a hand cream that I feel completely satisfied with. Most of them are packed with ingredients that I don’t have a clue about. They’re unnecessarily perfumed and just sit on the surface of the skin providing temporary relief.
Also, wanting to do my best to protect my family and myself from dreaded lurgies, during cold and flu season, I wanted something with antiseptic properties. The only alternatives are alcohol gels which aren’t exactly moisture replenishing.
For these reasons, I decided to make my own cream from simple pure ingredients. During university and my early career of practicing pharmacy, making creams was commonplace, so I was glad to put these skills back into action.
I used five natural ingredients. It was so simple to make and the results were amazing.
Coconut oil currently seems to be the magical cure to every beauty, health and life problem. Having said that, I do love it! Not only does it taste amazing in my morning smoothies, but it feels and smells divine on the skin. As coconut oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, it’s a wonderful moisturiser for dry skin whilst also providing excellent anti-aging properties. It also contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties as shown by various scientific studies, hence is a great ingredient to have in a hand cream.
Shea Butter is an ivory coloured fatty extract from the seed of the Shea tree which only grows in Africa. The extract is an all natural vitamin A cream, high in healing and moisturising properties. Shea Butter has been used for centuries for its amazing ability to hydrate, renew, repair, and protect the skin against harsh climates. Hence it is the perfect cream for the cold winter months. The Shea butter I used was originally from Ghana.
Sweet almond oil
This divinely smelling oil derives its benefits for the skin from its rich vitamins A and E content. It can attribute its anti-inflammatory properties and wound healing properties to its high concentration of oleic and linoleic acids. Sweet almond oil has great emollient properties which allow it to readily absorb into the skin rather than sit on the surface.
This dark green emerald oil is truly a treasure with its high concentration of sterolin, which softens the skin and reduces age spots. It contains antioxidants like vitamins A, D and E which also allows the skin to be suppler, particularly good for dry or aged skin. Avocado oil is an excellent ingredient for a cream, because of its very high skin penetration and rapid absorption.
Tea tree oil
I decided to add tea tree specifically for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great natural antiseptic, whilst helping relieve really dry chapped hands.
Voila! The finished product
I love the finished product with its slight avocado green tinge and wonderful nutty, tea tree oil infused aroma. The first day I found myself applying it quite liberally and often as my hands were really dry (and also because I couldn’t get enough of its gorgeous smell). My hands seem to drink up this nutrient packed cream. Since then, however, I’ve hardly had to use it, as it’s really improved the texture of the skin on my hands. I may even start using it as an overall skin moisturiser because I love it so much. For future batches I’d like to experiment with other essential oils that I love, like lavender and lemon.
This simple natural cream has definitely provided that much needed TLC to my dry winter hands.
100g pure Shea butter (100%)
10g almond oil
10g avocado oil
3-6 drops of tea tree oil
1) Mix the shea butter and coconut oil together in a pestle and mortar.
2) Add the avocado and sweet almond oil and mix it all in.
3) Once you’ve ensured all the ingredients are adequately mixed, add the tea tree oil and mix again. Tea tree can always be swapped for another essential oil of your choice e.g lavender or lemon.
4) Store the cream in the fridge to prolong it’s shelf life. I carry a little with me wherever I go in a smaller container.
Always do a small patch test to check you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
Nisha Patel is the co-founder of natural health star and is a Pharmacist with over 16 years of experience. Her main interest lies within natural preventative healthcare and her focus if often prevention rather than treatment. To read more about Nisha click here
If you don’t want to make your own hand cream this winter, why not try one of our nourishing hand creams, available in our natural health shop. They all contain wonderful ingredients and will really help to combat dryness.
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