Friday, 3 October 2014

Let's Prevent Winter Hands

Once it starts cooling down most people think about hot beverages, long johns, big socks, canoodles and baked goods. Now is the time to start thinking about a serious Canadian epidemic, winter hands. Even Jay Z struggled with cracks in his palms, while watching the long arm of the law. Soon the itchyness, rough patches and full on cracks will start! This doesn't have to happen to you! Estheticians, like most people who have to wear gloves at work, are especially prone to hand eczema (very similar to chapped winter hands), so let us help you out.

Step 1: SLS Free Soap

As you know all products in Saul's are SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate) free. It's a very cheap detergent that will aggressively strip necessary oils from your skin. A small step you can take to help keep the skin on your hands happy is by replacing your soaps with an SLS free option! You'll quickly notice your hands won't feel as tight or dry after washing. With this in mind, it's important to look critically at your dish detergent, if it is full of SLS then at least wear gloves while washing dishes.

Our recommendations are:

Meow Meow Tweet Lavender Lemon Bar Soap ($15) : Meow Meow Tweet offers handmade in Brooklyn bar soaps, all with an exfoliating component to them (in this case lemon peel which is great for cutting garlic and onion scent and brightening your skin!). The exfoliating will help get rid of excess dead skin meaning any lotion you do apply will get right to the skin that needs it. This soap has olive oil, coconut oil, crushed lavender buds, lavender and lemon essential oil and shea butter. They're beautifully and responsibly packaged as well!

Whish Body Wash (available in Almond, Pomegranate, Lemongrass, Lavendar, Coconut, Key Lime [seasonally] and Blueberry. $27.50): These liquid soaps come in a generously sized pump bottle, they work well by sinks (there's one in our washroom!) or in the shower. They sud up nicely without using harsh detergents and will last you a very long time.

Andalou Natural's 1000 Roses Soothing Shower Gel ($16) :  This product is from a line we're slowly introducing! They're non-GMO, full of lovely stem cells and responsible ingredients. Their shower gel has Alpine Rose stem cells, a rose water and rose essential oil complex and pomegranate amongst a plethora of other anti-ageing and calming ingredients. This gel contains the most anti-ageing and active soothing ingredients of all our washes but comes in a squeeze bottle, not a pump, so might need to be transferred if being kept by a sink.

Step 2:  Moisturise

It's an obvious one, I know, but you want to pick the best blend for both healing and non-stinging ingredients when it comes to dry hands. It's easy to pick up some cheapie hand cream and not realize it contains pesky petrochemicals that might cut down some stinging but also don't offer extra hydration or nourishment. Products strong in butters and oils will help protect and rebuild the skin though! For those of your who hate the feeling of butters or oils, there are options, they're not as effective but they will help save your skin. 

Our absolute fav product for serious dry patches is Brooklyn Grooming's Vegan Tattoo Balm ($26): Eliss became obsessed with stuff while doing renovations at the shop. Her hands were in quite the state and this stuff would heal up cuts and rough patches effortlessly. The unrefined hempseed oil is nutrient rich, with candelillia wax to protect the skin, there are also anti-fungal essential oils (crucial if you have cracks in your skin) and rich shea butter. A little goes a long way with this tin. This product is formulated for the most exposed unhappy skins, it won't further irritate or sting chapped hands. Easy to carry around in a purse or pockets!

Aromatherapy Associate's Renewing Rose Massage and Body Oil ($68.80) : This award winning oil has an amazing mixture of jojoba, coconut, evening primrose and rose oil. We use this oil in our facials for hand and arm massages, wonderfully scented you only need a little bit with. You can also put a few drops in your bath for an aromatic and conditioning soak.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Soothing Body Lotion ($16) : This is a lighter consistency than our other recommendations, so for day to day a lot of people will find this easier to keep up with. Much like the wash this beauty has lovely stem cells to heal (and fight the effects of aging), there's also aloe, vegetable glycerin (fights dehydration), argan oil, rosehip oil and shea butter. 

Whish Hair Inhibiting Gel (available in almond, lavender, pomegranate, lemongrass, coconut, blueberry and key lime [seasonally] $28): This is the lightest option for people who hate the feeling of oils/lotion on their skin. If you've read our blog post on the hair inhibiting gel then you know we love it as just an all over body skin hydrating product as well. It contains a small amount of retinol to renew the skin, hyaluronic acid for treating dehydration, panthenol which is healing, aloe and shea butter. It will over time slow down hair growth and thin out hairs, so if you are extremely attached to your robust knuckle hair, you won't like this stuff. This gel is great if you have lot of doorknobs you constantly need to open because it will not leave you with slippery hands! 

Step 3: Protect

Listen, we're the last to judge on this. Eliss hates wearing mittens or gloves, when it gets really cold though cold dry winds will take hydration from your skin. So please consider a pair of gloves, long sleeves or deep pockets when it really cools down. Wear gloves when washing dishes or using chemical cleaners (like bathroom and mirror cleaners). Avoid going to town with alcohol heavy hand sanitizers when you could wash your hands instead and don't use the hottest water possible. If you find that just putting on lotion is stinging your hands then you've crossed into severe dehydration and that's not as far as you think from cracks in your hands, which leave you with one less protective barrier from bacteria!