We all love gardening but it can wreak havoc on our hands. Here are some tips that I have discovered now that I am working as a custom planter designer and working in dirt and water all day. First find a good pair of gardening gloves with rubberized fingers and a tight fabric weave. If you are allergic to latex, make sure the rubberized bit is made of vinyl, pvc or nitrile.
Next spray the fabric with a waterproof spray meant for fabrics, not the leather spray. If you prefer leather gloves, then use the leather spray. Apply two coats. This goes a long way in keeping out the water and dirt. Have at least two pairs of gloves so you can swap them out when they do get soaked and filthy. Alway reapply the spray after you have laundered your gloves. I hand wash my leather rose gauntlets, hang them to dry and condition them with olive or almond oil. Oils will darken the leather (a great way to darken the colour if you want to). Use a standard leather conditioner or spray if you don’t want the colour to change. Lanolin also works really well if you are not allergic to it and even vaseline will soften them again.
Then use a barrier cream on your hands. It acts like a pair of invisible gloves and will also protect against any pesticides/herbicides that may have been used on the plants. Make sure it is waterproof, some creams are only for chemicals and are water soluble. I use a cream called Wellskin Barriere, a silicone skin cream. And always wash your hands before eating or touching food. You don’t know whats been used on the plants that you’ve bought from your local garden centre or nursery unless they are certified organic.