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By Jenny Brownlees

Following the guidelines given by health professionals in the time of the Coronavirus, we will be washing our hands thoroughly for twenty seconds, every twenty minutes. We’re currently singing the chorus to Beyonce’s Love On Top – in case you were wondering. If you’re in any doubt of the best technique, the NHS has a guide to how to correctly wash our hands, here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

Simply put, when it comes to hand care the humble soap is amazing. It contains fat-like compounds called amphiphiles, similar to the lipids found in virus membranes. When soap comes into contact with these fatty substances, it binds with them and causes them to disconnect from the virus. It also forces the virus to disengage from the skin.

As well as being beautifully scented, this soap is entirely eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty free, paraben free and hypoallergenic. Its packaging is 100% recyclable, and for such an affordable price – it lasts, not breaking apart into smaller pieces as many cheaper soaps tend to do.

If that weren’t enough, we’re so impressed by the ethos of the brand. Launched by award winning social enterprise CLARITY – The Soap Co., BECO creates ‘real jobs for real people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged.’ 80% of BECO’s team are disabled, and they believe more UK companies should hire as they do. Amazing all round.

If you prefer a liquid soap, why not bring the luxury of Champneys spa into to your home? This anti-bacterial wash has a zing of citrus and spice, leaving hands clean and fragranced but not stripped of moisture. A little pick me up, indeed.

Our hands can often be the first place to show tell-tale signs of aging, as they don’t receive the attention we give our face with various nourishing creams and protective SPFs. Now’s the time to give hands an Omega-3 enriched antioxidant boost with Liz Earle’s targeted serum. Perfect for extremely dry skin without being heavy or sticky, this bestseller uses kigelia extract, organic rosehip and borage oil to smooth and plump. Apply after washing, then before bed for a boost of nourishment overnight.

Full-body masking trended last year, with face masks, eye masks, lip and even booty masks flying off the shelves – in the midst of this however, hands were often neglected. Left-out no more, Patchology’s self-warming mask is here to treat dry, chapped hands and hard cuticles to some R&R. Using the same technology as space blankets, this mask locks in your natural body heat to allow the coconut-infused formula to better penetrate skin for beautifully soft and rejuvenated hands. Plus, taking ten minutes out (without being able to scroll your phone, may we add) could be the relaxing moment of calm you need right now.

If you prefer a hand care set that has everything you need in one, this is our favourite buy. As pretty as it is practical, this pack has a beautiful hand soak, balm, wash and cream in scents of citrus fruits, white jasmine and amber. Take five and spend some time giving your hands a full salon-style indulging treatment at home. After soaking, allow the rich, hydrating cream, blended with Sicilian lemon and geranium essential oils, to give your hands a new lease of life.

When we frequently wash our hands, our nails can often take the brunt (we recommend wearing protective gloves when washing up, too.) Enter – Margaret Dabbs’ Nail and Cuticle pen. The serum – in handy pen form – is easily absorbed to help you maintain strong, glossy talons that are less-susceptible to ridges and breakage. It also softens cuticles so they can be pushed back easily without risk of damaging the delicate nail beds. Anti-bacterial tea tree oil helps to protect against irritation – brittle, unsightly nails will be no more.

Yes, this is slightly more spendy than some hand creams – but it truly is the best. Le Labo will bring some chic to your sink with its nourishing pomade, which utilises sweet almond and shea to replenish, repair and condition without leaving hands greasy. Botanical extracts leave a veil of light perfume that’s potent without being overwhelming. We have one in our handbag at all times.

As well as ensuring our hands are clean and moisturised, we love to treat them to a skin-renewing exfoliation – and this revitalising polish from No 7 is the best we’ve tried. Just as you’d exfoliate the skin on your face to remove dead skin cells to reveal smoother skin – this indulgent buy leaves our hands extra-soft, thanks to almond and grapeseed oil extracts. This will leave your hands as a perfect canvas for your favourite rich moisturiser.

Our favourite budget hand cream? It has to be Neutrogena’s Visibly Renew moisturiser. Instead of hands getting treated to a smidge of surplus face cream (if they’re lucky), it’s time to ensure they have their own dedicated product. Plus, SPF 20 is a must to protect against daily sun damage, yes – even when it looks overcast or rainy. Offering intense hydration to restore skin’s suppleness, this cream prevent the appearance of brown spots and boosts the skins own collagen production. Thirsty hands, rejoice.

In a time when we’re not paying much attention to our nails or aren’t able to get to the salon – we slick on a coat of the best all-in-one polish from Essie. It ensures our nails look glossy, nourished and neat – with minimal effort. Argan Oil works to strengthen nails when applied with or without nail polish, or as top coat if you are wearing colour.

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