Monday, 14 September 2015

Hand and nail care faves, sending my skin to bootcamp

I have recently mentioned how my hands have been through the wringer, having nail lifting issues and skin troubles.  Today's post is about yet another flare up I have had and how I sent my hands to bootcamp! My skin was in a horrible itchy, aggravated cycle in late August, cause undetermined but most likely relating to the prolonged wear of MNP, as I hadn't heard of their base issues at this point and was wearing it for up to five days at a time.  I needed to try and calm it to avoid another four or five months of misery and this post is to share my favourites which have pretty quickly calmed my skin.

The lifting below is now much improved to how it previously was.  If I had taken a photo of my hands in May there would have been much more white tip and a lot less pink, attached nail.   I still have ridging but this is gradually growing out.


30/08/15 the ridges are visible on my ring finger and somewhat on my middle finger
Before I go on, I hasten to add I am not a dermatologist or a qualified expert, please seek medical advice if you have problems which will not go away.  Use common sense, if anything burns or stings when you use it.

I just wanted to share the magic items which seem to help me and my unique, sensitive skin.

The first thing I used - morning and night - for a few days was a cream prescribed by my GP.  That helped to take away the worst of the soreness I was experiencing.  I don't like to use steriod creams if I can help it, but I had no choice with the fact my hands were waking me in the night.  After around four days, I stopped using this.

I have found that I have no issues whatsoever using Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil*, in fact it calms and soothes, even though I am using a fragranced product -  I do like the crisp smell, but if you are sensitive to fragrance then it is available in unscented.

Hubs and I subscribed to Amazon Prime in July ahead of the big Prime day they had, so I use Amazon a hell of a lot now.  Next day delivery is great as they even deliver on a Sunday and bank holiday - not to mention the bonuses now of being able to watch some tv and films for nothing as a Prime member and the newest feature I have found is Prime Music.  If you haven't had a trial in the last 12 months then you can try it for 30 days* (always cancel the trial immediately after subscribing so you don't forget and unwittingly get charged £79, you still keep the benefits for 30days.)

When my skin was in the middle of it's big flare up, I realised I didn't have any Aveeno hand cream.  Aveeno has a great long lasting formula.  I use it several times a day, although it claims to last for 24hrs.  I have found that one of the best prices available was Amazon Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream*, who sell it at £3.33 as an add on item.  When buying "add-on" products you have to spend over £20.  The value of an "add on" is included within that £20 figure, so I ordered three and picked up a couple of solar lamps we wanted for the garden at the same time and got it delivered next day.  If I had wanted to get it in store, I found that Asda and Sainsburys were selling it for £5.  Three is the magic number for me to ensure it's always nearby.  I keep one on the coffee table, one on the bedside table and one at work.

I also keep Lush Ultrabalm on my bedside table.  Ultrabalm is a simple three ingredient product, providing rich moisture.  It's great for rubbing on my cuticles and any really dry skin.  If I am mega tired at night, before I collapse into bed I just rub Ultrabalm all over my hands and nails, skipping using seperate oil and handcream.

Burts Bees have a fab range and they all seem to suit my skin.  I have purchased and been given the Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit* several times over, although the products are mini sizes they usually last me around three months.  I have also bought full sizes of the Honey and Grapeseed handcream* and the Hand Salve* - the handsalve in full size is massive, I think it lasted me around a year when I last bought it.  I currently carry a mini tin of the Hand Salve around in my handbag, I prefer a tin to a tube in my bag, less chance of the top coming off and a messy bag.  I have a full size of the Almond Milk handcream* which I was given as a gift at Christmas.  I'm less keen on this one as it seems to sit on my skin and feels greasy if I use it too often, but if only used occasionally it doesn't seem too bad.

One last change I made in August was to start using OPI Original Nail Envy* again.  I haven't used this for two and a half years.  When I did use it before, I had terrible peeling nails.  Time will tell if that related to the nail envy or not.  I decided to take a rest from Duri.

My bootcamp seemed to work as this photo isn't showing any redness - my phone doesn't take a flattering photo, it makes my skin look lined and shows every single flaw.

Edit - this next photo was taken 20/9/15.  The lifting on my nails seems much improved.  The slightly discoloured parts could be mistaken for stains now - all the discoloured area was lifting before.

So between Bliss Kiss, Burts Bees, Aveeno and Lush (plus a little steroid cream at the offset) my hands aren't too bad at the moment.

What do you use when your hands need extreme help?
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  1. Good to read your hands are on the mend! I use Steamcream on my hands (so does my hubby who has eczema though it does not get rid of it, it does soothe the skin), I love how quickly it absorbes. And Bliss Kiss nail oil, that's it really. But my hands are not very dry normally.

  2. Good to see your hand and nails are better now! I get bad hand eczema every now and then and people don't realise how sore and run-down it can make you. Steroids are a necessary evil and once my eczema settles down a wee bit I experiment with different creams. I find putting a cream on that I tolerate well in quite a thick layer and then some cotton gloves overnight is a great way to get moisture back into my hands. And wearing washing-up gloves for cleaning are an absolute must to keep the eczema away. And thanks for sharing your product recommendations - i will definetely get the Aveeno as the colder days will start drying my hands out more...


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