The leather handbag - the pride and joy in many a woman's wardrobe and the one item that requires the most tender loving care. Leather, in all its subtle beauty, is a statement, uplifting any outfit to the next level of cool sophistication. Yet as a material that endures its fair share of all weather conditions, sometimes it can be too daunting to even take it out of its protective casing - but where's the fun in that! Humidity, air conditioning, and dust can affect the lifespan of leather just as much as it affects the volume of our hair.

Alas, one needn't fear, as a few simple steps can ensure your high quality leather items withstand day-to-day wear and tear and won’t see you panic when moisture makes its grand entrance on that big night out. Sally Sarieddine, Founder of luxury leather handbag label, LaLaQueen, provides her "Do’s and Don'ts" of caring for your leather handbag, so you can confidently grab and go for many years to come.

1. Do protect your bag with protective treatment creams

As exciting as it is to show off your new handbag, this step should be done on the day you bring it home. By applying a protective coating, you can bank on a long and happy life for your leather. Doing this regularly, preferably every two to three months, will continue to provide your bag with a protective armour and keep it in top condition. Just be sure to always do a spot test when it comes to using any product on the leather to check the reaction first.

2. Do have stains removed straight away by a professional

Like any stain, the quicker it is treated, the more likely it will not permanently damage the bag. If a stain appears, take the bag directly to the store of purchase or a professional, as they should be able to bring the bag back to its original condition.

3. Don’t touch your bag with wet, dirty, or just moisturized hands

Leather bags are highly vulnerable to absorbing grease and oils. Use a damp white cotton cloth to wipe down the leather, ensuring not to use too much water. Never dry it with a hair dryer as this will dry out the natural oils in the leather. Allow the bag to air dry, then condition it and store it.

4. Do moisturize your bag with a conditioner

The leather will likely dry out over time so making sure to use a conditioner once a month will avoid any flaking or wrinkling. Put a small amount of conditioner on a soft cloth and rub gently all over, leave for 10 minutes, and remove any excess.

5. Don’t wear dark colors with light coloured leather

Leather can easily be stained by clothing dyes that rub off onto it. If you want to wear a light coloured leather bag, perhaps save wearing your dark jeans for another day. If it does get stained, take it to a professional so they can remove it without causing further damage.

6. Do store your bag correctly

Storing your handbag is just as important as the upkeep. Using your bag everyday will inevitably wear it out, so better to switch it up and rotate between bags. When not in use, fill the bag with some sort of stuffing, such as butter paper, and place the bag in a dust bag or pillowcase (or safely in your LaLaQueen complimentary purse bag)* Add a photo from the shop of how bags are stored. Do not use newspaper to stuff the bag as the print will smear and stain the insides.

How do you look after your precious leather handbags? Share your tips in the comments.

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