I've noticed that lately, my hands are really cracked and raw from all the cooking I do. I just got a dishwasher, which has been great, but there are still all those tasks that you can't wear kitchen gloves for - rinsing food, chopping wet ingredients, seeding tomatoes, rinsing knives.... I think it's worse for me in the summer because generally my skin isn't as dried out as the winter, so I think of using lotion less.
What's your secret to soft hands AND lots and lots of home cooking?!?!?!
I am allergic to detergent so have to be careful about handwashing. I use olive oil in the kitchen in lieu of handcream/lotion and use brushes for chores that do not require hand contact - dishwashing, etc.
When rinsing food, use the colander and save your hands from contacting water. Use a brush on your knife and dry it immediately. I have a jug of brushes at my sink - one for each particular use. Woe be unto anyone who uses the dish brush on food but this has saved my hands from the cracked & bleeding state you describe.
BTW, I tried several dermatologists and my own system has been superior to their recommendations, perscription creams, etc.
I hand wash all my dishes, pots and pans and do a lot of home cooking. Since the beginning of the year I've been using Dawn Plus Hand Renewal dish soap and I've found it much less drying than others. I also use Bath & Body Works moisturizing soaps (I really like their anti bacterial moisturizing kitchen lemon soap). I wear rubber gloves when using super hot water to wash my pots and pans.
I have eczema and a latex allergy, so I avoid having my hands in wet as much as possible. I use non-latex dish gloves and non-latex surgical type gloves (from the hardware store) a lot. I recommend that if you are going to be using gloves a lot, don't use the latex ones as continued use can cause you to develop an allergy to latex.
And to keep my hands soft and help with my eczema I use Bag Balm. For me, it's a miracle cream.