Learn how to quickly repair severely dry and cracked hands and feet with this simple, affordable product.
I have been blessed with pretty good skin – on my face. But like many others, I struggle with maintaining healthy, hydrated skin on my hands and feet. Due to the nature of my work, I wash my hands an extraordinary number of times a day – and with extremely strong soaps. Although I wear gloves (as all estheticians should) during every service I perform, I still must wash my hands before setting up for every service, before working on any client, after completing any service, after cleaning up post-service, and all the other times that one must wash hands during any given day. Over time, and without special attention given to them, my hands literally crack at every little line. It is terribly painful and even lotions and creams that normally work beautifully will burn my skin when they are that dry. Fortunately, I don’t have to wash my feet so frequently! But, even so, I struggle with dry feet, and if I fail to keep up with them – especially in the winter – I am subject to painful cracks at worst, and rough funky feeling skin at best. Naturally, I have tried every lotion, potion, cream, and balm known to mankind with much disappointment along the way.
I have used tons of cheap over the counter products from plain Vaseline to Eucerin. I’ve invested in extremely expensive and luxury brands as well. Some smell great. Some feel great. Some even seem a bit promising, but generally don’t repair my dry, chapped skin the way I, as a skin therapist, expect in order to consider a product worthy of investing in or promoting.
One very cold winter day last year, I left my studio with my hands feeling like they were on fire due to tiny cracks all along the insides of my palms and fingers – and with a painful crack in my heel to boot! After getting home, I applied multiple lotions to my hands only to be in absolute discomfort as the lotions penetrated the micro-cracks in my hands and caused immense, firey, burning. Of course, these lotions did nothing for my heel either. While digging through a drawer in my vanity, I happened across a tube of Desitin. Yes, Desitin. Diaper cream. I don’t know how it got there, when I bought it, or even why, but I am glad I discovered it as this event ended my long search for the final answer as to what on this green earth would ever help my poor hands and feet when they get so dry!
Diaper creams are typically very high in zinc. Zinc plays a critical role in our bodies in so many ways that I don’t even have time to touch the surface of just how important it is to the human body. But to give a little glimpse, just know that it is of critical importance to the health of skin tissues, our ability to heal, and our immune function. It is anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant in nature, and also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. 20% of your body’s zinc is stored in your skin, so it makes sense that topically applied zinc would be beneficial and healing. Combine the healing and repairative effects of zinc with the conditioning and protective qualities of the other primary ingredients in diaper cream (I prefer Desitin brand due to its high zinc content), and you have a winning product for helping dry, cracked hands and feet. Oh, and then there’s the price point. GREAT skin care products usually are not cheap. In this case, however, there is not a single high dollar hand or foot cream I would even consider suggesting to anyone, as I am not convinced a better product for this particular problem exists than zinc-rich diaper cream.
How I Use it:
For Feet – Hydrate feet by gently rinsing in warm (not hot) water for a few minutes. Pat dry. Apply a good layer of Desitin and work it in well. Pay particular attention to areas of extreme dryness or cracks. Throw on a pair of thick socks and head to bed. Your feet will feel entirely different by morning. Repeat this as often as needed, but once you get your feet back in a decent state of softness, you’ll likely only need to do this for maintenance. Just remember, it’s best to not let them get to the point of cracking before begining to treat them!
For Hands – The only downside to using diaper cream for hands and feet is that it is especially thick. This makes it not so functional for application on hands during the day when you have to touch things all day long. Desitin covered fingers do not lend to nice looking smartphone screens, window, door knobs, etc. I find that I get a good amount of the product worked into my hands when applying to my feet. I will then use warm water to wash away the excess (plenty will remain), then blot with a towel to absorb any surface moisture. If I am in need of a serious hand-repair treatment, I will apply a thick layer of the cream, throw on loose disposable glove, allow the cream to penetrate 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse and blot as outlined above.
So, there you have it! An affordable hand and foot repair cream option that is readily available and really works! I hope this discovery will help you end the torture of painful hands and feet due to severe skin dryness and would love to hear your feedback once you’ve tried it!