What is the difference between hand salve, balm, creams, and lotions?
I'm sure most of you have used a moisturizing lotion of some kind, so you are probably thinking, what's the big deal about hand salve or balm? You are also probably thinking between hand sanitizer, cold weather, and work, my hands are dry, cracked, and rough. I have been using hand sanitizer repeatedly for far too long and it's really taking it's toll on my hands. That combined with these cold winter months, my hands are feeling the pain. Does this sound familiar?
It's been rough (pun intended) working with your dry and cracked hands. Hey, why limit it to dry and cracked hands, feet get dry and cracked too? When your hands hurt you realize just how many things you do each day with your hands and every time they move and crack, it becomes a challenge.
You've maybe used lotion in the past, so what is hand salve or hand balm? Hand Salve is thicker than hand creams and lotions. Also called hand balm, it uses beeswax which creates a thicker consistency. Typically hand lotions and creams are thinner in consistency usually due to water as being an ingredient. Hand lotions and creams can also have some toxic ingredients, so be sure to check the label on what you're using. You may not think about it, but anything you apply to your skins can get into your body through skin absorption.
Hand salve or balms are typically made from natural ingredients and can have essential oils in them to promote healing. The Adirondack Beard Company makes an all natural hand balm called Formula 46 which has had great reviews.
What should I look for?
When choosing a hand balm look for ingredients that will benefit you and your skin. Some great ingredients to look for are:
- vitamin E
- shea butter
- essential oils
- quality all natural ingredients.
Stay away from ingredients that could be harmful.
How can I prevent dry and cracked hands?
Use a hand salve or balm each time you wash your hands. While washing hands helps to prevent flu and colds it also leads to dry hands due to the stripping away of our skins oils that keep them moisturized.
The wintertime's dry air can also lead to natural oil evaporation, so it's important to keep up on your hand salve or balm in order to prevent dryness.
How can I heal dry and cracked hands?
To get that added repair, use a hand salve or balm on your hands before going to bed. You can put some extra on at night and then cover them with either a new pair of socks or cotton gloves. By covering them at night it will help to absorb more into the skin and reduce evaporation.
A lot of this article is about hands, but as mentioned earlier in the article, feet can also have the same issues. Hand salve and balm works just as good on the feet as it does on the hands.
When out hiking, exploring, or enjoying outdoor activities in the winter or to protect those working hands be sure to have some hand salve or balm on hand, it can really help to alleviate that dryness and sometimes painful cracked hands.