The mere thought of dry, cracked hands is enough to make you cringe. Dry hands feel awful to touch and they’re not exactly conducive to romance (who wants to hold hands with Lucy leather-hands?). So if you want to keep your hands feminine soft and totally hold-able, it’s essential to protect them when ravaging winter hits. Here’s how…

Know your hand creams
Not all hand creams are equal and while a hand lotion can smell fantastic, it’s no guarantee that it will perform in the moisture department. When winter hits, look for hand care lotions containing emollient properties like coconut oil, shea butter and vitamin E. A budget buy, Glosscar winner and deeply nourishing winter fix is Vaseline Intensive Care Rescue Moisture Locking Lotion.

Learn to love gloves
Thanks to ‘Gossip Girl’, gloves are trendier than ever and come in a variety of cute styles and fabrics (yay for Blair!). They’re also one of your best tools for protecting your hands from damage by free radicals when the temperature drops, so splurge on a gorgeous pair and keep your hands warm, soft and fashionable.

Mask it
Apply a hand mask once a week during the cold season. A good hand mask will replace lost moisture and create a protective barrier against future damage. What’s more, it’s easy to make your own at home. Simply combine a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, one egg yolk and a splash of rosewater and coat hands thoroughly. Leave to soak in and work its magic for twenty minutes before rinsing off.

During the day, replace lost moisture from hands fast by spritzing with a few sprays of rosewater. Your hands will smell like heaven and feel instantly hydrated. Try Jurilique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist.