We use our hands all day, every day. They’re subjected to harsh elements, grimy work conditions, and all kinds of irritating substances. Combine that with the fact that most people rarely, if ever, apply SPF to their hands, and it’s no wonder that our hands are one of the first parts of our bodies to show signs of ageing and skin damage. For this reason, they deserve a little extra TLC, and one great way to do this is to regularly use organic hand cream.

There are many factors that contribute to our hands becoming dry, damaged and irritated. This includes the use of harsh soaps, irritating cleaning products, chemical irritants in skin care, and environmental stressors. Even if you moisturise your hands in the morning, it’s likely that you wash your hands during the day without reapplying a hand cream. By keeping your hands moisturised you’re giving your skin the best chance at repairing after repeated damage, whether from work or play.

To keep your hands looking young, plump, and moisturised, it’s important to use a hand cream that is formulated with high-quality ingredients.  Keep an eye out for beneficial oils  and ingredients (1) like vegetable glycerin (a humectant that attracts and locks moisture into the skin), hyaluronic acid (another powerful humectant), shea butter (good source of vitamin A), coconut oil (packed with nourishing fatty acids), tea tree oil (a safe and natural antibacterial), aloe vera (soothes irritated skin), and zinc (a little SPF to protect against UV damage). If you spend a lot of time in the sun or work near windows, be sure to reapply an SPF hand cream throughout the day.

So, now that you know which ingredients you should look for, let’s take a look at the common ingredients you should avoid when choosing a daily hand cream (1). If you see ingredients such as parabens, phthalates (can cause contact dermatitis), and synthetic humectants (cheap ingredients that lock in moisture short term, but have drying long-term effects), listed on the hand cream, chances are you’re getting a watered-down product that provides few benefits. Additionally, many traditional or non-organic creams are heavily scented, which can irritate sensitive skin types.

Luckily, if you do your research and choose a truly natural and organic hand-cream, then you should be able to avoid all of these undesirable ingredients. Organic hand creams give you the “good stuff” without all of the added fillers, fragrances, and synthetics. New moms with young babies should be especially careful when choosing a hand cream because many of the ingredients can easily irritate their delicate skin. A well-formulated organic hand cream (look for one without a lot of essential oils) will be gentle on even baby skin.