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The best heavy-duty hand creams

I don’t work with my hands. They hold a pen and a dictaphone, touch a keyboard, find their way round a mug of tea. But now I’m renovating an old, crumbling house and I am developing builder’s hands, with the neglected, cracked skin to match. So I’ve found a new respect for people who work with their hands – and a reason to care for my own with the most hardcore of creams. Some of the most effective are exceptionally rich – Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (£14, kiehls.co.uk) has a lovely medicinal smell and is what they call a “barrier” formula, soothing but also protecting against moisture loss. For something fragrance-free, I am also very fond of Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream (£8.99, burtsbees.co.uk).

Alternatively

Dr Hauschka Hydrating Hand Cream £12.50, dr.hauschka.com
Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex £8, boots.com
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream £19, loccitane.com
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream £14.50, balanceme.co.uk

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