"A nurturing almond, cocoa butter and chamomile hand cream to give back some of what life and washing has taken out"
Apparently this was created for nurses (and people with cracked/sore hands) in mind who have dried out hands from frequent hand washing at work. I can definitely see the logic and imagine this helps a lot.
I'll explain my story first. Back in May I developed severe dry skin on a finger on my left hand which occasionally itched and caused the skin to peel. Cue many unsuccessful trips to my GP ("there's nothing wrong") and a lot of online research and I realised I had dermatitis. Over the course of the summer it spread to 3 fingers and nothing seemed to be working. The steroid cream from the GP (which I demanded!) would temporarily clear it up only for it to come back with an avengence. I used E45 as my emollient hand cream which just sort of stabilised the problem but again, didn't clear it.
Fast forward to September, I was at Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair washing my hands in the (classy!) portaloos and saw the tubs of Lushing Helping Hands out on display for guests to use so I swiped a blob and rubbed my hands together thinking nothing of it. A little later I noticed what a difference it had made! My hands stayed moisturised for hours on end and they finally looked decent for the first time in months. Not long after I bought a tub from my local Lush and it has been working its magic ever since for me! I am so impressed. It's not necessarily a cure but it has improved the condition of my left hand an incredible amount.
The formula is sort of a loose emulsion that is quite greasy and tacky to begin with so I tend to reserve this as my "before bed" intense hand cream. When I wake up the skin on my hands feel noticeably plumped and nourished. Throughout the day I tend to use E45 after washing my hands but I do keep Helping Hands in my handbag just in case of an emergency!
It's not just a good hand cream though. The products in it are perfect for dermatitis/eczema sufferers. Honey is a natural antiseptic, chamomile reduces redness, linseed mucilage softens rough skin and helps repair the cracks. In terms of scent it is nothing special but to be honest in this kind of situation I doubt a heavily fragranced hand cream would help me.
Lush Helping Hands retails for £7.50 for a 100g pot. A little pricey but definitely worth in my books!
If you have any other recommendations for dealing with dermatitise/eczema then please let me know.