The often blustery weather in the Netherlands is tough on the skin all year and colder weather brings the most trying times for busy hands. Lori Evans has compiled recent information from the Amsterdam Mamas online community to bring you top choices for hand care and where to find them.
Have those tiny cuts, bigger cracks, itches, flaking, and other dry hand symptoms got you down? You are not alone! Seems Amsterdam Mamas have tried everything on their hands for relief from chapped skin, including diaper rash cream, lip balm, foot cream, and cow udder cream. After sorting through over 300 comments on our Facebook group, here are the top tips and products.
Top Hand Care Tips
- Always wear gloves/mittens outside: some mamas prefer mittens, believing separating your fingers is more drying to the skin.
- Cotton gloves: wearing pure cotton gloves (available at your local pharmacy, Kruidvat or Etos) inside other gloves/mittens can cut down on possible allergy problems. For an at-home spa treatment, many mamas recommend wearing cotton gloves over a thick layer of your favorite cream while you sleep at night.
- Don’t overwash: wash hands less often and/or long in winter.
- Don’t ever go outside with wet hands.
- Try wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes.
- Avoid harsh hand soaps, washing instead with mild soaps that contain ingredients like glycerin, shea butter or olive oil.
And now (drumroll, please) your top ten favorite hand creams!
Top 10 Most Popular Hand Creams
- Neutrogena Norwegian Formula: available at most apotheeks and online at Koopjesdrogisterij and Bol.
- La Roche Posay – Cicaplast Repairing Hand Cream and Xerand: available at most pharmacies, Bol, and Bepharma.
- Weleda Products – Skin Food, Cold Cream, Baby Weather and Wind Balsam with Calendula: available at Holland & Barrett, Douglas Beauty, and Bepharma.
- The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (it’s been said the foot cream works equally well on both hands and feet): available at Body Shop Stores or online.
- Elizabeth Arden 8 Hours Creme: available at Douglas Beauty, Bol.
- Eucerin products – Aquaphor, Urea Repair Plus: available at most pharmacies.
- Bepanthan – several varieties, including a diaper rash cream many mamas swear by. This line also includes products for eczema: available at Kruidvat and Bol.
- Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream: available at Douglas, ICI Paris, Superwinkel.
- Uierzalf, literally cow udder ointment (not the same as the US brand called Bag Balm!), this combo of petrolatum, paraffin, and lanolin forms a water repellent seal against bad weather. It comes in a big yellow tin can. Note: this brand does have triclosan, an anti-bacterial agent, in it that not everyone loves, so please read ingredients before buying: available at many drug stores and pet stores.
- HPA Lansinoh or Medela Purelan – these pure lanolin creams used for breast care when breastfeeding are also effective on dry hands: available at Albert Heijn, Bol, Kruidvat.
Other creams frequently recommended were:
- Burt’s Bees.
- Nestosyl Overnight.
- Excipial by Galderma (available online and in Germany).
- O’Keefe’s Working Hands.
- Dream Cream from Lush.
- Purol Creme.
- Oriflame Tender Care Protection Balm.
- Dermatologica Intense.
- Rituals Eve’s Kiss Silkening Lip Treatment (yes, again, on hands!).
All Natural Options
Many mamas also feel that using pure unprocessed products works best. Many of the creams above contain all natural products but are still mixed with other ingredients or processed. The top recommendations for pure products are:
- Shea butter.
- Cocoa butter.
- Ghee (clarified butter).
- Aloe vera gel.
- Coconut oil.
- Avocado oil .
Available at Holland & Barrett or De Tuinen. Ghee, coconut and avocado oils can also be found at grocery stores. Ghee may be easier to find at your nearest Indian grocery.
De Noordkroon Texel Shapenwol Handcreme was recommended by several people. It is a lanolin-based product made from Texel sheep. It has the special distinction of being the only locally made, organic, all natural product. You can buy it at the Geitenboerderij in the Bos, and other local organic farms, as well as on their webshop.
A note about ordering online: almost all these products can be found on Bol but there are many online discount drug and beauty sellers – so many that we did not have time to thoroughly research other sellers. And many stores have online shops – so if you don’t want to face the cold with your chapped hands, have it delivered.
Lori Evans is a writer and musician/piano teacher from the USA, now in the Netherlands for over three years. She recently moved to Haarlem with her techie husband, her delightfully grumpy 16-year-old son, and two easy-going cats, and thanks technology for keeping her in touch with her daughter in college in NYC.