When I still lived in the countryside I spent half the winter with my hands plunged in ice cold water trying to defrost pipes so my horse could drink, and I swore by Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Concentrated hand cream to keep them comfortable. However moving to London a few years seems to have made me a bit soft, as I now require a stash products to keep my hands smooth through the cooler months.
First and foremost, a creamy hand wash. Much like switching facial skincare to creamier or balmier formulas, it's worth trying something other than a gel hand wash, which can sap moisture from your hands. I picked up Triology's Helping Hand Wash when we moved into our current place a few months ago. It's quite pricey for something used everyday at £13.50 but, with just one bathroom, I wanted something guest-y in there so visitors had something other than a sad looking bar of soap to use. Not only is the packaging beautifully simple, but 100% of the profits go to the Child's i Foundation who help to deal with baby abandonment in Uganda. Back to the forumla, the creamy consistency is effective but gentle on hands and it smells beautiful. Apparently the fragrance comes from 'frankinsecne, rose, lavender and geranium', but I would describe it as lavender-herby-loveliness and without fail everyone who has used it has complimented it.
My current hand cream of choice is from Pai who make some beautiful organic, vegan products for sensitive skin types. Their Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream comes man-approved (I think he picked up on the chef-y ingredient of Sea Buckthorn) for it's 'non-greasy, non-girl smelling' formula which has done wonders for my boyfriend's kitchen-worn hands. It's not quite heavy duty enough for severe chapping or cracking, but it easily smoothes over dry patches without feeling heavy or slimy.
Finally I've been religiously applying Burt's Bee's Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme to my cuticles. The main ingredient is sweet almond oil, which I've used alone on my nails in the past, and to be honest this is just a less messy, more expensive version. I haven't felt like this is the most moisturising cuticle treatment in the world, but I've definitely had less hangnails and cracking since using it.
Are there any hand treatments you swear by in cold weather?