Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hallelujah, it's balmy!

Not the weather... the weather is anything but. Winter is hard on the hands up here north of the Mason-Dixon line. Every year, I stock up on lotions and creams, always in search of the perfect moisturizer. My quest has become more urgent in recent years, since having young children means more hand washing than average. I even started wearing those sexy yellow rubber gloves when I wash dishes, all in an attempt to protect my hands.

When my hands get really dry, the skin cracks - usually right where my fingernails touch my fingers. It splits all the way down to whatever that sub-layer is. You know, the one that bleeds. Whenever I touch anything, it hurts like the devil. Typing hurts. Shampooing my hair hurts. Washing dishes hurts. And even knitting can hurt. Once I caught the tip of my needle in the huge gaping gap in my finger. Oh, maybe you heard me yelp...

My hairdresser mentioned that she uses Bag Balm. I'd heard of it before and decided it was time to try it. I hustled down to the local Agway and bought the big can. (Agway is the local ag supply center, but the non-farmer can also find many useful things there. My younger son did his Christmas shopping there this year, and I got a wonderful space heater. He wanted to get me a tractor, though. They have bird stuff and pet stuff and gardening stuff and they can make keys. We got a face for our favorite tree there, too. Agway is really a wonderful place.)

People, this stuff was invented for cows (yes, those bags) but it has changed my life. It has kind of a weird medicinal smell, but it WORKS. My skin splits healed enough that they stopped re-opening after just a day or two. I am now addicted. I slather it on at least twice a day, more if I have time. It works great on rough feet, too. And my cuticles have never looked better!

Join me in the movement. Up with Bag Balm!


  1. Janelle, this is just weird. But I am gonna get some for Tina who dries up big time in the winter.

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. Finally the moisturizer product post that I have been waiting for! I am so glad that you found this. Now we'll have to see if I can find this in the big city.

  3. I thought of you and your moisturizing obsessions while helping a student at the reference desk yesterday who didn't even stop talking to me whilst slathering lip balm. Too funny.

    I HATE "the cracking and scaling of skin," as we call it at our house. Mine usually cracks right next to the thumbnails, although I've managed to avoid it for the past couple of winters.

    I had an ex-boyfriend whose New Mexican mother swore by this stuffy. Here's to balmy bags! Millions of happy dairy cows can't be wrong.

  4. I definitely understand the search for the perfect moisturizer. Right now on my desk I have 4 different types: Aveeno, Udderly Smooth (get it? udder-ly s-moo-th! I love bad cow jokes), Gloves in a Bottle and Marcha Labs.

    The best one hands down is the Marcha Labs. If you are allergic to lanolin, it wouldn't be good though. It's a "wool wax creme" that is fabulous for my hands. You can usually find it at fiber festivals. I bought two things of it in Maryland and have almost used them up. It will be a very sad day when that happens!