Every story and every business has a beginning. This one started with itchy, cracked, painfully dry hands. Lovely, right?
On one middle-of-the-winter day a few years ago, I sat down at my computer, scaly hands cupping a hot mug of chocolate mocha. Really, I’m not exaggerating how bad they were. I was required to wash my hands a lot and it destroyed them.
I started researching a solution. What I learned and implemented completely transformed them within a matter of weeks, and I’ve never again struggled with dry hands!
Here’s what I discovered:
- You don’t want to use hot water when washing your hands. Use warm or cold water.
- Most soap is not actually soap, it’s synthetic detergent because it’s cheap to produce. A lot of detergents are great for stainless steel dishes, but skin? Not so much. Even “natural” hand washes tend to strip your hands of their natural oils, leading to dryness and cracking.
- When drying your hands, pat them dry instead of rubbing them. Also, avoid paper products which dry out your hands and use something like a soft cotton towel instead.
- Using gloves can help reduce how often you need to wash your hands, and can protect them from anything harsh that is causing dryness… for example, washing dishes in hot soapy water, or working with yarn or paper every day.
- Most hand moisturizers contain water and only provide a temporary feeling of moisture before drying you out even more. Some contain synthetic humectants, which are supposed to lock in moisture, but also do not allow your skin to breathe. I learned that beeswax is the very best natural humectant, as it locks in moisture, provides protection for your skin, and is breathable.
Equipped with all of these nuggets of wisdom, I hunted down a natural hand soap to replace my foamy bath and body works favorites. It took bit of work, because it turns out that almost all large companies sell the synthetic kind, not the old fashioned kind. But I found a bottle. I was $10 poorer, but I found one.
I also started washing my hands in lukewarm water instead of hot water.
These two things made a huge difference.
My hands felt almost immediate relief. The feel of the soap took a little getting used to – it wasn’t as sudsy as my old soap and it felt a little bit tacky when washing, but I got used to it quickly. And boy did my hands love it.
While the soap made the biggest difference, I set out to find a lotion to replace my hand cream. I was still using it daily, and wasn’t super comfortable with it now that I knew what the ingredients really looked like.
I found a beeswax lotion bar that contained no water – so you just had to put it on after you washed your hands and it would lock in that moisture. Now I was $24 poorer. I loved that lotion bar, but it only lasted a few short weeks!
By now, I was hooked on quality products. My hands were baby soft and lookin’ amazing. But surely there was a way to make this new routine of mine more affordable. Enter mission Ambrosia Soap Co.
I’m now able to provide my fellow soft-hands-lovers with the handcrafted, skin loving products that I’ve come to adore.
By selling the soap as refill concentrates and reusing the soap dispenser (no need to be wasteful!), I was able to cut the price of a bottle of soap from $10 to under $4. And by creating a lotion bar with the perfect consistency, I’ve made sure that only the necessary amount of product is used so that the bar lasts a long time.
So if you’re struggling with dry hands, here’s my best advice:
If you’re going to do ONE thing to help your hands out, switch your soap.
And if you’re a lotion lover, seriously consider switching to a lotion without all those synthetic ingredients.
Hope this helps!!