The Solution to Help Keep Your Hands Healthy and Moisturized

Anti-aging, lifting, exfoliating, and illuminating, these are just some of the thousands of adjectives that you’ll find printed on the bottles of cream lining the local shelves of your beauty department. Whether you shop for your products at a high-end specialty store or at your neighborhood pharmacy, the choices can often be overwhelming. At Workman’s Friend we’ve become well-versed in the types of cream currently available on the market. We may be partial to our Barrier Skin Cream , which we feel is a superior product. But that doesn’t mean we feel that you, the customer, should avoid using other creams altogether, just the opposite. The more you know about what’s available, the better able you’ll to make an informed decision.

What is a Barrier Cream

Let’s start by explaining the purpose of a barrier cream. This type of formulation is topical, meaning that it is designed for a specific body part: your hands. Similarly to Workman’s Friend, a dime-size amount of a skin barrier cream is designed to be applied to each of your hands before you start work or participate in an activity. This type of cream is only effective if it is thoroughly rubbed into your hands and given a few minutes to completely absorb. Just like the name says, this type of formulation is designed to act as a physical obstacle between the skin and the contaminants that may irritate it. The products we use on a regular basis including laundry detergent, nail polish remover, and antibacterial soap all can cause your skin to break out in an itchy red rash or swell your hands. A barrier cream such as Workman’s Friend protects them against these harsh irritants allowing you to get on with your activities or chores. 

An added bonus of a barrier cream’s ability to shield your hands from irritants is that the sticky, oily, and staining results of changing the oil in your car or adding soil to your garden can be easily removed. A formulation like Workman’s Friend acts like an invisible glove on your hands. Your days of using a nail brush to scrub your fingers clean is no longer needed, if you apply a barrier cream before you begin your work.

There are three classes of barrier creams currently on the market: water repellent, water-soluble, and those designed for special applications. Barrier creams most often contain substances such as zinc oxide, talc or kaolin to layer over the skin. When choosing a skin barrier cream make sure it contains ingredients that prevent water from leaving the skin’s surface. This might include glycerine, silicone, dimethicone, and mineral oil. Some products also contain synthetic lipids, or fats which are found naturally in skin. These creams help draw water into the skin and keep the skin moist.

What is Hand Cream?

The primary purpose of hand cream is to moisturize this specific part of your body. Unlike general body lotion, these formulations are much thicker because the skin on your hands is constantly exposed to harsh irritants, heat, and water. Using hand lotions helps to prevent cracking, chafing and chapping skin. The oil ducts on the palms of our fingers and hands are much smaller than elsewhere on our body, yet another reason why hands get chapped and dry more easily than other areas. Hand creams are often infused with certain ingredients such as camphor and lavender. These ingredients not only smell good but they help reduce pain that many associate with this body part. Many of today’s hand creams also contain sunscreen. As society becomes increasingly aware of the sun’s dangerous rays, consumers are looking to protect their entire body, including their hands.

But hand cream doesn’t prevent moisture loss like a barrier cream. Additionally, keeping your hands clean is a much more difficult process if you’ve only applied hand cream. That’s where a nail brush will come in handy!

Which Cream?

Selecting either hand or barrier cream depends entirely on what you want your formulation to do. If you’re someone who enjoys working with their hands on do-it-yourself projects, then a skin barrier cream might be your answer. Conversely, if you want soft, moisturized hands and don’t prefer the added benefit of protection, then a hand cream is your solution. However, hand cream being very short lived, will not provide the added benefits and excellent protection to your hands like a barrier skin cream can. There is no right answer, only what is right for you. Despite the variety of claims today’s creams make don’t be intimidated, do your research and understand what you need from a formulation. The more you understand the better choice you’ll be able to make.


Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream is light-weight and odorless product. Apply a dime-sized portion of our non-greasy, formula on each hand. Then rub them together to ensure the cream has been properly absorbed.
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