This post is the last of my 3 part series on my favorite cuticle products. Today I'm focusing on just one product, but as October draws to a close it's becoming the product I reach for the most. Heavy moisturizers are what get me through the winter dry season without having zombie cuticles (dry, cracked, and bleeding). Halloween may be just around the corner, but I don't want to look like a Zombie all the time!
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Lanolin is a yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals1, or, as I like to think of it, sheep grease. Lanolin is produced by sheep in their wool to provide waterproofing, and it's naturally pressed from wool when it's processed into textiles. As a moisturizer for your cuticles (or hands, elbows, or cracked heels) it's about as heavy of a moisturizer as you can get. As a marine biologist I often have my hands submerged in saltwater or diluted bleach throughout the course of the day, and lanolin is the one moisturizer that lasts through repeated hand washing. Since it's used by sheep to waterproof their wool, it's no surprise that it's fairly waterproof on human skin as well.
Since this is such a heavy moisturizer, I usually only use it in the winter when cold air dries out my cuticles. If you want something natural that heavily moisturizes your cuticles, I highly recommend lanolin. I can't tell you enough how much lanolin soothes and smoothes my cuticles in the winter.
Pure lanolin is a thick, sticky, yellowish substance (yes, it looks kinda gross, but trust me, it is amazing), that has no smell. A little goes a long way, the amount on my finger in the photo above would moisturize my cuticles on both hands with some left over. I usually apply lanolin before bed, and wash off anything that hasn't been absorbed or rubbed off by morning (it is sticky, so if you apply too much it will get on your sheets and pick up fuzz).
Pure lanolin can be purchased online, and is also available in most supermarkets... as nipple cream. You might feel weird buying nipple cream for your cuticles (hence why I purchase mine online in a tub) but pure lanolin is pure lanolin! It's use as a nipple cream for nursing mothers attests to how pure and natural this product is.
If you've made it this far reading all of my rambling text, thank you! I'm so happy you want to hear what I have to say. :) Apparently I'm long winded when it comes to my favorite products!
Now, the trick with cuticle products, is that we all have very different skin. What my dry, sensitive skin prefers may not be the best for your oily skin. The best thing to is to experiment with several different cuticle products and find the moisturizer that works for you.
I will leave you with one last tip though: you can make your own cuticle creme. It's amazingly easy!
Just take some of your favorite inexpensive body lotion (preferably, one that works well with your skin). Put it in a small shallow dish (Sally Beauty and Walgreens sell these types of containers). Leave the container in a cool dry place with the lid off for about 1 week, (or a bit longer depending on the lotion). Stirring it occasionally with an orange stick will speed this process. You will notice as it dries that the water in the lotion evaporates. This water is added to the lotion to help you spread the moisturizer over your body, but it's unnecessary for moisturizing the relatively small fingertips you want to use it on! The creme you are left with should be thick and creamy. Use it sparingly on your cuticles, and it should leave them well moisturized!
What is your favorite cuticle product? Have you tried any of my favorites?