Evidently, I'd rather have mangled cuticles than sticky hands.
December 10, 2013 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I live in a cold, dry climate and have cold, dry hands. I dislike stopping work to apply lotion, because then I have to sit and wait for my hands to dry enough that I don't gunk up my laptop. A trivial problem for sure, but does anyone have any ideas for particular products or methods for moisturizing hands in a way that doesn't make them sticky and lotiony?
posted by fartbutt to Health & Fitness (34 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Coconut oil is my "go to" moisturiser. Absorbs quickly, not at all sticky, and a tiny bit goes a long way.
posted by dotgirl at 10:34 AM on December 10, 2013

I've been using Body Shop's body puree lotions, they dry really nicely and don't leave you sticky.
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:35 AM on December 10, 2013

This lotion absorbs quickly and does not leave a greasy or sticky residue. They carry it at Whole Foods and a bunch of places online.

You could also try squirting a small amount of lotion on the back of one hand and rubbing the backs of your hands together. Then you won't have any residue on your palms or fingertips.
posted by fozzie_bear at 10:40 AM on December 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

I've found Lubriderm to be really nice and non-sticky. (I usually apply most of the lotion to the backs of my hands and around my cuticles but I tend to wipe my fingertips off anyway - especially before using a keyboard or my phone).
posted by marimeko at 10:41 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I am not lazy, I use a cheap paintbrush to put Badger goo or neem oil directly on my horrible horrible raggedy overgrown cuticles.

No sticky hands or fingers!

(Badger the brand, not the animal. )

Usually, I am lazy, though. Especially since I ran out of Rosebud Salve at the office.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:42 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have chronic dry hands and the only thing that helps is Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand Cream. It really is super fast absorbing.
posted by Miss X at 10:42 AM on December 10, 2013

Came in to say what fozzie_bear suggests: squirt a dab on the back of your hand, then rub the backs of your hands together.... if there's excess, use the back of your hand to smear it up your forearm.
posted by easily confused at 10:43 AM on December 10, 2013

Response by poster: I do not know why I've never considered moisturizing the backs of my hands only. Genius.
posted by fartbutt at 10:44 AM on December 10, 2013 [6 favorites]

The best way I've found to do this is to just moisturize when I don't need to use my computer. Apply a heavy-duty hand cream just before bed, and something lighter in the morning while you're waiting for [coffee pot to finish/dog to come back inside/toaster to pop].

For during-the-day lotion, I find that jojoba and sweet almond oils (and lotions based on those) tend to leave me less greasy.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:44 AM on December 10, 2013

Agreed with the using the back of your hands ideas as mentioned above, but I found the only thing that really helps me battle dry skin in the dry cold winter months is to keep hydrated. Start drinking a lot more water!
posted by Grither at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I keep lotion in the car. Because, you know, you don't really need your hands to drive, right?
posted by dawkins_7 at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I apply as usual then hike up my pant legs and rub my palms on my dry-ish ankles/calfs until my palms are dry again. 2-for-1!
posted by unixrat at 10:51 AM on December 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

I've tried just using the backs of my hands but I can't get the hang of it. Therefore, I keep tissue or a handkerchief at my desk and just use it to wipe the excess off the fronts of my hands so I can use the keyboard quicker.
posted by patheral at 10:51 AM on December 10, 2013

Fast absorbing... I find it doesn't really last, and/or it washes away quickly with the first trip to the bathroom. The only way that works for me is to do a good job first thing in the morning. I apply in two layers - moisturizer and sealer but once it's done I can wash my hands and the water just beads off.

Layer 1 - Aveeno naturals - sucks in quickly, no residue
Layer 2 - 100% shea butter - a little sticky but do backs of hands only as suggested

Apply Layer 2 immediately after Layer 1. You will have to wait a few mins for the shea butter to not be so greasy but after that you are good to go for the WHOLE DAY. Even with multiple hand washings.

Also.... A.W.G.

A Always
W Wear
G Gloves

Always Wear Gloves. Don't let 1s pass by outside with your hands degloved for any reason.

And when you wash your hands, only "pat" them dry, do not rub or vigorously dry them.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm another 'moisturize the backs of the hands' person. I'll rub the backs of my fingers along as well to get them moisturized without icking up the parts of the fingers that touch my keyboard.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:56 AM on December 10, 2013

I use a bit of shea butter before bed. Works fine; I don't find it necessary to reapply during the day, and it's not sticky or goopy enough to mess up the bed sheets.
posted by ook at 10:57 AM on December 10, 2013

I've found that thicker lotions in squeeze bottles let me dab on tiny bits like I was using chapstick or something. I then rub it in with the backs of hands and such.
posted by advicepig at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2013

I'm a back of hands only lotion application person as well. For daytime, I like the Aveeno Eczema Therapy lotion the best. It's very effective, soaks in well, has no perfumey smell, and has very low residual stickiness.

I also recommend using a more intense hand cream or coconut oil before bed. I keep rich creams and coconut oil at the bedside and put a generous amount on my hands (mostly the backs and cuticles) about 10 minutes before I turn out the light. I rub in a lot of lotion or oil and rub it into every cuticle separately. It really helps heal my hands overnight.
posted by quince at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I find it doesn't really last, and/or it washes away quickly with the first trip to the bathroom.

For this reason, I tend to moisturize immediately after washing my hands. In the moments-to-minutes from sink to [wherever], the lotion or salve sinks in so my hands aren't greasy, and putting it on my still-damp hands helps, too. (I do look a little like C. Montgomery Burns, walking around rubbing my hands together, but I can live with that.)

For my hands, I vastly prefer salve or balm to lotion. Others have mentioned coconut oil, which I've been using lately, and it's been great. In previous winters, I've used Burt's Bees lemon cuticle cream, which is similarly rich and only requires a dab to cover both hands. It's great to have a pocket-sized tin so I can always have it on me.

For hardcore moisturizing, I'm considering buying glove liners (so they can be washed) and getting into the habit of moisturizing before I put my gloves on and head outside. You might try that.
posted by Elsa at 11:06 AM on December 10, 2013

I use very heavy moisturizer on my hands (like Bag Balm) in the evenings, while I'm watching TV or sitting around, and then, during the day, I use this cocoa butter stick for spot moisturizing on my cuticles and anywhere else it's needed. In my grocery store, they're in the "Ethnic" section. Other stick moisturizers work well, too, but I've found that 100% cocoa butter is too hard for me to use effectively. In a pinch, you can use moisturizing lip balms on your cuticles, too.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:20 AM on December 10, 2013

Nthing lotioning the back of hands (and in between fingers if you're me).

Relevant tangent: because I have oily fingertips generally and also work on a laptop, I invested in (1) a cheap USB keyboard + mouse for when I'm at my desk, and (2) one of those flexible rubber keyboard protector things for when I'm not at my desk. With these, I lotion up to my skin's content and my keyboard stays nice and clean and dust-free.
posted by nicodine at 11:23 AM on December 10, 2013

For reasons surpassing understanding, they don't make an unscented version, but OPI's AvoJuice Skin Quenchers are the best lotion I have ever used, hands down. Ha. Ha. Seriously, I have tried all kinds of things to keep my skin from drying, cracking and bleeding - I work in a medical setting and must wash hands about twenty times a day - but the only thing that works, on cuticles too, is the OPI stuff. I have tried almost everything else here, including deep moisturizer at night with white cotton gloves, and it's gone as soon as I begin my daily hand torture - but the OPI stuff absorbs very quickly, leaves no residue, and fixes the problem very quickly.

The scent is the only downside, and some of them - the non-florals - are less stinky than others.

Aside from that, Vaseline Intensive Care's Aloe Vera preparation (specifically this one, the others are horrible) is not so bad, but still has a scent and takes longer to absorb. Plus, it appears they've recently changed the formulation and it's now heavier and much less pleasant, so I might switch to OPI altogether... but it's an expensive proposition!
posted by Nyx at 11:28 AM on December 10, 2013

Wear shearling gloves or mittens when you go out.
posted by brujita at 11:32 AM on December 10, 2013

The unfortunately named Udderly Smooth is my work moisturizer. It absorbs plenty quick and doesn't feel greasy to me at all.

The downside is that it needs to be reapplied after every handwashing, but because it's pretty cheap and I don't have to wait for it to dry, that doesn't bother me.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:54 AM on December 10, 2013

I don't like to wait, either, so I wipe the inside of my hands and fingers with a tissue or napkin after application and go right back to work.
posted by michellenoel at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2013

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Sticks for the backs of your hands and your cuticles. (They're cheaper if you get them from a brick-and-mortar store).
posted by moira at 2:44 PM on December 10, 2013

Another vote for Aveeno - I use the "Active Naturals Intense Relief Hand Cream" which touts itself accurately as lasting through hand washing, moisturising for 24 hours, and being non-greasy. (I still do the back-of-the-hand-only thing 90% of the time.)

I also keep a tube of lotion everywhere - my desk at home, at work, in my purse, in my bag, in my medicine cabinet. It means that I keep my hands moisturised much more effectively than if I only smeared them once a day.
posted by VioletU at 4:01 PM on December 10, 2013

I hate lotiony palms. Every time I wash my hands in the winter, I do the following: dry well, then put a small squirt of a thick lotion on my hands along with an equally-sized bit of Vaseline, rub my hands together very well until I can feel it sinking in, then run my hands palm-up quickly under the tap to wet them, then wipe off on a towel or napkin. The Vaseline keeps the lotion from wearing off as quickly and just enough is left after the rinse that my palms also stay moisturized, just at an acceptable level.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:41 PM on December 10, 2013

CeraVe in the tub works for me.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:45 PM on December 10, 2013

I never thought of that back-of-hands trick. I may try that too, though I find my cuticles generally need to have the lotion rubbed in with my fingertips or there's not much point. Anyway, I find this Vaseline hand cream to be very good - moisturises and is sucked in almost immediately without leaving my hands greasy. Any extra I rub off on my elbows/forearms. On the other hand (hah), I still do have problems with my cuticles, so maybe it doesn't work that well? Or maybe I don't put it on enough?

I think there's a lot of variation in skin types so what works for one person may not work for you. Also I'm not sure whether this is the same as a similarly-packaged kind available in the US or not but you could compare the ingredient list.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:48 PM on December 10, 2013

Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Solid. Comes in a 6 oz jar and isn't sticky or oily. It has everything else in it - mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, vitamin E, proplyene glycol, methylparaben, and beta carotene, as well as cocoa butter - so it's not anything pure and organic and lovely - but the form it's in is more solid than the usual mix and it's healed up cracks in my fingers and lips and dry patches - good stuff. Cheap, too.
posted by aryma at 8:22 PM on December 10, 2013

I have super dry skin so if I don't moisturize every 2 hours or so, my hands crack and peel.

For daily use: fast absorbing lotions so they don't leave your hands sticky. Some examples I've tried: Malin+Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer, Vaseline Total Moisture Total Oat Extract (the yellow one), the body shop body butters.

At night: I use heavier moisturizers or even petroleum jelly then cover my mitts with socks. Can't do this all the time because, omg hassle so perhaps once every week.

For icky cuticles: body shop makes a nice almond nail and cuticle oil. It's a twisty pen-shaped gadget that lets you paint the oil onto your cuticles directly. OPI makes a more expensive version.
posted by onegoodthing at 1:22 AM on December 11, 2013

I like Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream and Sabon's hand creams. Also, a less expensive option is Nivea Soft lotion. I also like to use a tiny bit of Lush Lemony Flutter cuticle cream when I'm at my computer but not doing a lot of typing; it is a bit sticky, but it's manageable if you only put it on your cuticles.
posted by neushoorn at 1:47 AM on December 11, 2013

I use a paper towel to apply lotion to the backs of my hands only (I never mastered the "rub backs of hands together" thing). I keep paper towels in my desk anyway so this is pretty easy.
posted by anaelith at 8:16 AM on December 15, 2013

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