My favorite for dry, cracked, bruised and hurting hands. Shea butter was introduced to me by West African drummers, who use it religiously on their hands to heal splits and bruises and general damage that occurs from constant banging on the djembes (drums). I recommend shea butter particularly for gardeners and carpenters.
1-2 teaspoons of shea butter
For best results, massage into hands before and after engaging them in work. Shea butter is available via mail order (see Resources) and in health food and African specialty stores.
Aromatherapy Oils for Hands. Combining essential oils with nourishing carrier oils and butters provides healing for various conditions while soothing the soul with delightful aromas. These oils are easy to make and immediately ready for use. You can massage these formulas directly into the hands, or add them to water for a hand soak, using 1/2 teaspoon per 16 oz. of warm water. Many of these oils can also be used on other parts of the body.