Over the years I've seen quite a few novelty items that have the following phrase on them:
“Old fishermen never die. They just smell that way!”
It appears that many believe this to be true, as I've received numerous press releases and samples of products over the years that involve personal hygiene products. I'm beginning to develop a complex!
The Hands First range that arrived here consisted of a “Power Scrub & Moisturiser – Ultra Effective Hand Cleanser” and “Invisible Gloves – Dry Feel Barrier Cream”. Not being the most modern of men, these immediately became known to me as “Bloke's Soap” and “Woman's Cream”.
The Power Scrub & Moisturiser, in simple terms, appears to be a liquid soap with bits in. As somebody who grew up tinkering with cars over the years, I've come across similar products and they are an essential bit of kit for really dirty hands, as the abrasive nature of the 'bits' ensures that you actually get to remove the dirt and grime without the need to use something like a scouring pad, which I freely admit to doing in the past! This is a lot more gentle and probably even more effective, as the soap really is good and does just what they say it will do.
Having had a quick scout around the internet, I've found out that the 'bits' are “natural pumice and walnut shell” and that the soap itself is “natural blue cypress oil and panthenol for skin conditioning” and contains “natural anti-bacterial grapefruit seed extract”. To be honest, that doesn't mean much to me – all I care about is whether it's any good and I can honestly say that this soap is superb for when you've been doing those mucky jobs!
However, one claim that did interest me (well, my wife) was that this product is “dermatologically tested”. You'll see why below....
My wife suffers from some kind of dermatitis on her hands. This means that she has very dry skin, which can sometimes be very painful. Over the years, she has tried various creams from the chemists and doctors and, whilst some helped a bit, none were really a cure. The nearest thing she has found to a cure is the 'Invisible Gloves'. So much so, that she was horrified when I said that I was going to put some on MY hands for a photograph!
The idea of this cream is that you put it on before doing anything and it acts as a barrier, making it easier to clean off any muck. Now, I realise that many anglers won't do this when fishing, as they will be in fear of tainting the bait, but there are times when it would come in handy. For example, if I could nick it back from my wife, it would be nice to apply it before digging ragworm! It's also nice to apply after washing your hands.
I asked my wife why she liked it so much and she replied that not only does it make her skin a lot softer and more comfortable, but that it's also non-greasy. Honestly, some of the creams the doctors gave her look like the stuff they put on cross-channel swimmers!
The products mentioned here are part of a larger care range available from http://www.handsfirst.co.uk/ and, if the rest are as good as these two, then they're definitely worth trying.