It’s a sure bet that a day in every busy Mum’s life includes a lot of hand washing – what with all the nappy changing, washing-up endless kids’ bowls and plates or trips to the loo with a toddler going through potty training. However, frequent hand washing, even if you may be using a gentle detergent-free soap or hand wash, can still disrupt your skin’s layers and lead to dryness.

Many Mums also rely on those travel-size sanitising rub-in gels when on the go – these may be super convenient but most contain alcohol which, whilst efficient at killing bacteria, contribute heavily to dried out hands.

If you are looking for two really reliable products to keep in your baby-changing bag (or your own handbag) – an all-round skin treatment solution and a handy sanitising foam – then read on for my analysis of two that I recommend.

  • Ingredients known to have positive benefits
  • Ingredients that may cause irritation (especially to sensitive skin)
  • Ingredients considered potentially harmful/ toxic


Weleda – Skin Food

Price for 75ml: £9.95

What the manufacturer says about the product:weleda_skin_food_30ml_1384507563

“The ultimate natural moisturiser for dry, rough skin everywhere. Our best beauty secret – we’ve shared it with our customers since 1926. If there’s just one thing you need to take with you to a desert island, it’s this little green magic tube. Skin Food is a universal saviour of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet – wherever you take a lot out of your skin, let Skin Food put it back in. With extracts of gentle viola tricolour, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food loves your skin back to its best.”

 Ingredients (INCI):

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
  • Lanolin
  • Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
  • Beeswax (Cera Alba)
  • Alcohol
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate
  • Glycerin
  • Limonene*
  • Viola Tricolor Extract
  • Fragrance (Parfum)*
  • Hydrolyzed Beeswax
  • Sorbitan Olivate
  • Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
  • Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
  • Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract
  • Arginine
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Linalool*
  • Geraniol*
  • Citral*
  • Coumarin*
  • from natural essential oils


First of all, I must start with the ingredients list. It is a fairly long list but there are some really beneficial ingredients. Starting from the top then, we have sunflower seed oil, lanolin and sweet almond oil. Both oils are light and mild, and are well tolerated by most skins. On the other hand, lanolin (which, for those not aware, is a waxy material obtained from the wool of sheep) is known for its ability to moisturise the skin. Next down, we have beeswax which helps to protect even sensitive skin without inhibiting its breathing, and glycerin (found in every vegetable fat) which has softening properties. An interesting ingredient below is the viola tricolor extract obtained from wild pansies – these are meant to have toning properties, helping to keep the skin soft and supple. The final three ingredients highlighted in green are rosemary leaf, chamomile and calendula extracts. Rosemary and calendula (i.e. common pot marigold flowers) are used in many Weleda products – the former is known for its stimulating and revitalising properties which improve circulation, whilst the latter is well-known for its soothing and antiseptic properties. Similarly, chamomile is gentle and soothing, and therefore ideal for delicate and sensitive skin. There are of course a few fragrance ingredients in ‘orange’ which can potentially lead to an allergic reaction for those with extremely sensitive skin but I have personally not found the product to cause me any irritation.

As a contact dermatitis sufferer for the past 20 years, I have gone through numerous creams (including ‘specialist’ ones prescribed by dermatologists). It has been very tiring to try them and discover that they don’t work on my skin. It was only a few months ago that I discovered Skin Food which is the only cream that can actually address my skin condition. It’s a real match made in heaven for my flare-ups which I haven’t had any since using this cream.

The cream has a pleasant oily texture but doesn’t feel greasy, it is quite thick but distributes well on the skin. I tend to be really OCD about washing hands but with a newborn baby now, I naturally wash my hands throughout the day more than usually – however, just a small dab of this miracle cream keeps my skin soft and nourished. This also means that the 75ml tube lasts a long while and is super cost effective! I’m really not surprised this cream has had such a cult following!

What is even more amazing about Skin Food is that it can treat skin problems on other areas – you can rub it on your feet and leave in socks overnight to treat cracked heels or apply it to dry elbows or knees. I have also used it to soften my cuticles as well as on chapped lips, which will come in handy in winter as well. It can also be applied as a face mask, on hair to treat split ends, as a makeup primer or to highlight cheekbones!

So overall, this cream gets a big thumb up from me. I’m really disappointed that I have only just discovered it as it has really changed my life and could have saved me from a lot of misery over the years.

I purchased mine from Ecco Verde – they ship products from Germany hence the German label on mine.

Bentley Organics –

Natural hand sanitiser with organic aloe vera

Price for 50ml: £3.25

 What the manufacturer says about the product:55441011_0_640x640

“Bentley Organics natural hand sanitiser is a must have handbag essential for those hoping to keep colds & flu at bay, use to freshen up hands and kill flu & cold germs whenever soap and water are not handy. Up to 125 applications per bottle, no need for water and towels.

Made with 90% Organic Ingredients, this hand sanitiser is gentle on you but tough on germs. Proven to kill 99.9% of germs, yet made with organic aloe vera this product is moisturising to your hands. Alcohol, paraben and fragrance free. “

Ingredients (INCI):

  • Aqua (Water)
  • Lauryl Betaine
  • Glycerin
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*
  • Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Extract
  • Lactic Acid
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Certified Organically Grown Ingredient

— My view —

I’ve never been a fan of those alcohol-based sanitising gels as within seconds after application, they give me this awful feeling of skin tightening and drying. Their main role is of course to cleanse your skin off bacteria, rather than moisturise, however, they just don’t agree with my skin so I’ve always stayed clear of them.

This little product is very different though. It is a foam to start with, rather than a gel, and when rubbed into your hands, it creates a very subtle film on your skin which leaves it feeling moisturised. This feeling is clearly owed to the caring and protective properties of the star ingredient of this product which is aloe vera. One of nature’s finest creations, in my view – aloe vera is well-known for its ability to store moisture but also to cool and sooth irritation. So that’s the moisturising property of the product. Now, as for the sanitising – it is of course impossible for me to comment whether it kills 99.9% germs. However, having done a bit of research into the ingredients, this product seems to rely on disinfectant properties of lactic acid instead of alcohol so who knows – perhaps it does what it says on the tin.

Overall, this sanitiser has come in handy out and about when there are no facilities to wash my or my children’s hands, but of course it doesn’t replace hand washing. I do like the fact that the aloe vera is an organic ingredient and that the product has been approved by the Soil Association so I’ll definitely use this product again.

I purchased mine from My Pure.

So these are my essential changing bag items – have you tried them and if so, what do you think of them? And what about your essential changing bag items? I’d love to hear from you so please do leave a comment.

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