I’m hard on my hands. As a combination swimmer/amateur chef/rubber glove forgetter while doing dishes, I’ve had every problem in the book: cracking, peeling, and some things too unpleasant to be mentioned.
Since not swimming and not cooking are not options, and I’ll never remember those stupid gloves to save my life, I’m always on the lookout for products that are thick and moisturizing enough to restore softness, yet gentle enough on my sensitive skin to leave my hands rash-free.
I never thought I’d discover what I needed in a line whose name means “kitchen.” But Cucina's a lifesaver. Inspired by the open, airy nature of a Mediterranean abode, the line specializes in handcare products for cooks, wannabe cooks, and anyone who could use a little smooth-me-out.
For damaged digits, the Repairing Action Hand Cream ($18), made with olive oil and olive butter, works hard to regenerate the natural lipids that keep hands soft. After a week of use, I noticed that the (admittedly, peeling and terribly disgusting) dry patches around my knuckles had evened out into normal-feeling and normal-looking skin. I’m partial to the earthy Zucchini Flower and Truffle scent.
If you’re looking for more of an upkeep type of hand cream, the Nourishing Hand Butter ($15) will keep hands smooth and damage-free. I keep a tin on my desk at work, and love both the zingy Ginger and Sicilian Lemon and sweetly tart Lime Zest and Cypress – they’re lovely pick-me-ups on a dreary Monday morning.
And for those of you who want to take it even further, try slathering on a treatment and leaving cotton gloves on overnight.