If you’re suffering from dry, cracked, irritated hands, you’re not alone.
Dry hands are common in the wintertime, but for many of us, they’re even worse this year because of all the extra hand-washing we’ve been doing.
Washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, but over time, it can be tough on your hands. Every time you wash and rinse, the natural moisturizing oils on your hands go down the drain.
Combine that with dry, cold winter air and you have the perfect recipe for hands that itch, hurt, and bleed. For hands like these, regular hand cream usually isn’t enough.
It’s time to stop the suffering. Follow these 10 tips to keep your hands looking and feeling good.
10 Ways to Keep Your Hands Feeling Soft and Healthy
1. Use Gentle Hand Soaps
Look at the hand soap you regularly use at home. If it has antibacterial ingredients or synthetic fragrances, consider swapping it out for a gentle, cream-based option that will be easier on your skin.
2. Don’t Rub—Pat Dry
Every time you wash your hands, pat them dry. Rubbing increases the risk for irritation and also strips more of the natural oil from your hands.
3. Use Lukewarm Water
Think of what you use to get oil off your dishes—really hot water, right? If you use that hot water on your hands, it takes the natural oils off of them, leaving them dry and irritated. Instead, use lukewarm water when washing. It works just as well for getting rid of germs.
4. Moisturize Every Time
Every time you wash your hands, moisturize them. Yes, every time. The moisturizer not only helps restore hydration to the skin, but it also helps form a barrier to protect it. Try taking a small bottle of moisturizer with you in your purse or your car, and apply it immediately after washing while your hands are still a little damp.
5. Choose Healthy Hand Creams
As you know, some lotions are full of petrolatum, silicones, and fragrances and are made to make you feel like they’re working when they do very little for your skin. Choose products made with real butter (shea, cocoa), natural oils, glycerin, aloe, and natural extracts that help your skin manage daily challenges.
We recommend our Body Repair Lotion. It’s free of synthetic fragrances and petrolatum and delivers aloe, glycerin, natural oils, and oat kernel extract to moisturize, soothe, and help prevent itching.
6. Wear Gloves
Protecting your hands against the elements can go a long way toward preventing dryness and flakiness. Find a comfortable pair of gloves you can wear through the wintertime, then get used to putting them on every day.
It also helps to wear gloves when cleaning, as that protects your hands from any chemicals in the cleaners that can be harsh on the skin.
7. Use a Humidifier
If you live in a dry climate or if the air is dryer in the winter, install a humidifier in your bedroom and run it overnight. It will help put moisture back in the air so that it is less likely to steal it from your skin.
8. Treat Your Hands Overnight
Take advantage of the time you’re sleeping to heal and restore your hands. Apply an ointment or cream that is made for healing dry, cracked skin, then wear cotton gloves while you’re sleeping to trap the ingredients against your skin.
We recommend our award-winning Restorative Skin Balm, as it has a powerful trio of plant-based antioxidants known for their skin-regeneration properties. It also contains bee’s wax, which helps safeguard the skin’s moisture barrier.
9. Exfoliate Your Hands
Once your hands build up a layer of dead skin, none of your moisturizers will do any good. The key is to get rid of that tough outer layer so your skin can recover.
Try a natural sugar scrub exfoliator—as long as it’s gentle, almost any will do. You can also make your own by mixing two parts sugar with one part oil (almond, olive, jojoba, coconut, etc.).
10. Try a DIY Hand Soak
You may regularly apply moisturizing masks to your face—why not do something similar for your hands? You can make your own hand soak by mixing warm water, apple cider vinegar, and olive or jojoba oil, then soaking your hands in the solution for 30 minutes or so.
Other good ingredients for homemade hand soaks include goat milk, yogurt, and honey.
How do you take care of your hands in the winter?