It’s a perennial problem: you spend all day digging in the garden and end up with deeply ingrained dirt as well as painfully dry or cracked hands.
We look at the best way of washing gardeners’ hands that gets them clean without damaging skin even further. Here are our top tips for a good clean-up after a day spent digging and weeding.
- Prepare! Keep your hands in good condition so they can cope with what gardening throws at them.
- Moisturise before and after every gardening session - and last thing at night!
- Use an oil-based ointment rather than a lighter, water-based cream.
- Ointments (also known as balms or salves) are more deeply protective and hydrating than creams or lotions.
- Wear gloves. And even better, apply salve before you put on your gloves!
- Soak hands in a basin of warm water to loosen embedded grime - then moisturise immediately afterwards!
- Scrub them with a homemade sugar scrub (sugar, foaming wash/washing-up liquid and a little bit of oil will do it!) before washing.
- Use a skin-kind ph-neutral foaming wash, rather than a high-alkaline household soap which is likely to strip the natural oils from the skin, further damaging its protective barrier.
- Keep water warm - not cold or hot, as either extreme can cause damage to the skin’s top layer and allow natural oils to be washed away, leading to irritation and dehydration.
- Dry with a clean soft paper towel; don’t rub if hands are sore or cracked, and leave skin very slightly damp.
- Moisturise barely-dry hands immediately afterwards with an oil-based salve.
Recommended product for gardener’s hands: apply before and after every session!
Balmonds Skin Salvation balm with hemp and beeswax (from £7.99 for 30ml)