In a previous post, I wrote about having a near-constant problem with dry hands while knitting. Friction from yarn fibers compounded with cold weather can do some serious damage on your hands. Over this long, long winter I've tried quite a few hand creams and body lotions in hopes of solving this issue.
I'll start with the worst: Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter ($5.99). Granted, this is not a hand cream. It doesn't boast quick absorption or claim to get rid of your of scaly knuckles. I've had great luck with putting straight coconut oil on my face this winter, so I figured this might be a less greasy alternative for my hands and body. I don't know why I thought that. This body butter smells offensively sweet and has a texture like creamy Jell-o (the way it jiggles in the tub reminds me of that scene in Fight Club where they're stealing fat). This body butter contains natural ingredients which is good for the yarn, but the smell and texture were not for me.
Another Trader Joe's product I used was the Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream ($2.99). I actually bought this little tube in September and managed to get halfway through it before bringing it home. When I started using it during my long winter knitting sessions, I realized I was picking up cat hairs, lint, particles from my jeans, and basically any tiny bit of dust or fluff that happened to be nearby along with yarn fibers. This is all to say that this hand cream is sticky. Definitely not good for knitters. Also, it smelled a little too much like the plastic package.
The old favorite in the bunch is the Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand Cream ($5.99). Who knows what's in this stuff, but it sinks in nicely and has a subtle floral scent. I didn't feel like I was particularly harming my yarn with this one as it performs like it says and absorbs.
The all natural, cruelty free counterpart of the Neutrogena hand cream is the Yes to Carrots Nourishing Intense Repair Hand Cream ($8.99). I tried this while at a coworker's desk and immediately loved the herbal, fresh scent. This one is by far my favorite. It goes on very thick and velvety, but sinks into the skin almost immediately without being sticky at all. I feel like this one also has the best moisturizing effects; I felt a difference in the smoothness of my palms right away.
I hope this is helpful for some of you other knitters with dry skin. Let me know if you've tried any of these products or have favorites of your own.