There's nothing quite so hard on hands as working in the soil. Unless it's working with concrete. Or wood. Or rusty steel. Or chemicals. Or engines. Or detergents. The list goes on. Many jobs deal with materials that remove moisture. Then hands and fingers crack at the creases, including the corners of finger nails. The cracks can break open and becomew and sore. That invites infection.
By far, the best lotion I have found is Bag Balm or Udder Creme made for dairy cattle. It may be labeled, "Frost Protection" or carry different names, but its purpose is the same. And many of the ingredients are, too. You may find Lanolin, Glycerin, Aloe Vera, and other ingredients chosen to protect and soothe dry, chapped skin. Don't apply it immediately after washing your hands - wait until they are Very dry so it is absorbed!
Dip your finger tips lightly into the Creme and massage it into every crack and crevice of your fingers. End by rubbing your hands as though you are washing them. Massage it in until it is absorbed, leaving a protective coating. If it makes a gooey mess that is hard to rub in, you have used too much or your hands were not dry. About a half teaspoon is a good amount to start with.
Don't let the name bother you. If you can drink milk, you can surely apply this effective treatment to your poor hands. Your local Farm Store should stock it.
Tractor Supply is my nearest supplier.
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