Gardeners spend their time digging, weeding, planting and picking. Often the hardest work is done when the weather is cold and even if your hands are covered in a pair of gloves, the bitter weather sneaks through and plays havoc with your hands and can leave skin looking worn, chapped and dry. Although skin can cope with a little toughening up every now and again, in the long term, you need to protect your cells from premature ageing.
All natural and environmentally conscious, here are 10 of our favourite hand creams that we think are especially beneficial for gardeners.
Herbfarmacy Working Hands Cream (100g/£16)
Herbfarmacy has been growing organic herbs on their farm in Herefordshire for over 30 years. Their working hands cream boasts a powerful combination of essential oils such as lavender and rosemary with soothing herbs such as marshmallow and comfrey. It instantly soothes dry hands, leaving them soft and smooth. herbfarmacy.co.uk
Humble Rose and Frankincense Hand Lotion (285ml/£10)
Presenter and environmentalist, Kate Humble is behind this new range, which aims to provide luxurious products that refrain from having a detrimental impact on the environment. Her products are natural, biodegradable and without parabens or SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), which is believed to have carcinogenic properties. This Rose and Frankincense Hand Lotion has a lovely smell – rich but not overpowering. Your hands are left feeling slightly waxy but not sticky or greasy. This is a good everyday hand product. humble.theofficialwebshop.com
Crabtree + Evelyn: Gardeners Hand Cream (100g/ £15)
Fragranced with green clover, lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme, this ultra-rich hand cream is a firm favourite among gardeners because of its ability to quickly nourish worn hands. Crabtree and Evelyn offer a whole range of protective products for gardeners, which show their understanding of the amount of work our hands go through to keep our gardens looking great. crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (75ml/£19)
Kiehl’s started out as an apothecary and then a pharmacy in East Village, New York. They sell many products that are targeted solutions to common ailments, such as acne and uneven skin tone, drawing on years of experience and using naturally derived ingredients. This is one of the more medicinal hand creams on the list and one of the most intense. The hand salve is thick and it takes a while for the cream to soak in, but once dry your hands feel as though they have gone through a beauty treatment. The fragrance may not be to everyone’s liking but if you’re looking for a deep treatment, this is it. kiehls.co.uk
Beefayre ‘Bee Kind’ Rosemary and Neroli (100g/£12.95)
Hand made in England, Beefayre donates 3% of profits to bee conservation and research. They sustainably source all ingredients and ensure their packaging is low impact on the environment. Parabens, sulphates and animal testing are strictly avoided and their products are organic where possible. This Bee Kind hand cream uses both cocoa and Shea butter and includes vitamin E. beefayre.com
Neal’s Yard Citrus Hand Softener (50g/£15)
Originally based in Covent Garden, Neal’s Yard is known for its holistic approach to beauty products and their commitment to organic ingredients. This Citrus Hand Softener is lovely to put on your hands and its strong citrus smell is refreshing (although could prompt a ‘marmite’ reaction from those who dislike the bitter scent of peel!). Your hands feel instantly soft, although slightly greasy. This would be a good cream to apply before bed or after a bath when you have the time to let the cream sink in. nealsyardremedies.com
Noble Isle Rhubarb Rhubarb! Hand Lotion (250ml/£20)
Noble Isle is a quintessential British brand that sources its ingredients from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Set up in 2011, Noble Isle has quickly established the brand as a ‘cruelty-free’, one-stop shop for natural, British, body care. The forced rhubarb in this Rhubarb Rhubarb! Hand lotion is sourced from a sixth-generation rhubarb farm in the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle. It has a wonderfully fresh fragrance that lingers on the skin but never becomes too overbearing. It leaves your hands feeling soft and pampered. Perfect as a light moisturise, it doesn’t perhaps give quite the intense, healing treatment of other products mentioned here. nobleisle.com
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (75ml/£19)
Aesop was established in Melbourne, Australia and aims to make products of the finest quality, only using ingredients from reputable sources. This hand balm combines botanical ingredients and softening emollients to offer natural but rich hydration. It has a strong earthy aroma, which is a welcome change from the more floral, and citrus based creams. You instantly feel that this cream is retuning moisture back to your hands and the end result is soft, non-greasy skin that has a lingering woody fragrance. aesop.com
Le Couvent des Minimes Gardener’s Hand Cream (75ml/£9)
The Minim Brothers were botanist monks who built terraced gardens and cultivated the lands around a convent near the village of Mane in the south of France. They grew and studied plants to discover their healing properties and now, the products used at the hotel and spa, built on the site of the old convent, use the same plants in their ingredients. This hand cream, created especially for gardeners, is homage to the convent’s history and the work of the monks. The cream contains 20% Shea butter so it is ultra-moisturising and includes plant extracts such as verbena, marshmallow and lemon balm. It is a very thick hand cream that has a subtle, zesty fragrance. It feels refreshingly cool on your hands and luxuriously thick and creamy. uk.lecouventdesminimes.com
Grown Alchemist Age-repair Hand Cream (40ml/£24)
The philosophy of Grown Alchemist is to focus on the science. The claim is that by utilising naturally occurring antioxidants, actives and acids from organic ingredients, you can achieve better beauty results. The body recognises the natural formula and welcomes it rather than rejecting it. They aim for all their products to be sustainable -from the ingredients to the packaging. Their age-repair hand cream targets skin texture and corrects signs of damage. The sweet almond oil is rich in fatty acids, which adds hydration and suppleness to the skin, while naturally occurring phyto-peptides increase collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. grownalchemist.com
All details and prices correct on publication.