Pastel has a way of getting everywhere and it can be very drying to the skin….
Pastels can actually draw out the oils from the skin and in the winter I have been known to have very cracked and bleeding hands. Some pastel artists are so good at using gloves, but I hate them and the rubber fingertip covers you can get since they make my hands sweat and I would rather feel the texture of the pastel. I have to admit I am bad at wearing a mask too. If I am working on a large area, I will put one on, but I tend to plow ahead and just dive in. I figure there are other things that will kill me first.
I do however, concede to a barrier cream. This is my favorite. You can get it at a Pharmacy (not sure why) and nurses use it to protect their hands. It acts like a lotion, but puts on a barrier so the natural oils in the skin don’t get washed off. It works very well since it takes at least 6 washings to wash it off. I tend to wash my hands a lot during the day while painting so it has helped tremendously.
A few other things that have saved my hands are argon and sweet almond oils as a carrier added to lavender and lemon essential oils. Lemon and lavender oils are great for cracks and healing and I also add myrrh and frankincense oils as well. I don’t buy over the counter creams anymore. They never really worked and I have tried everything over the years. Now I try to heal my hands and not just cover up the damage. My cuticles have never looked so good! If you have questions or want a recipe, let me know.