Over the past few months, you’ve likely been sanitizing and washing your hands frequently. Both are key in keeping yourself and others healthy.
You may have noticed that your hands have been a lot drier and possibly irritated recently, which—pardon the pun—goes hand in hand with the frequent hand washing. As the weather gradually grows colder, hands usually become a lot drier as well.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some do-it-yourself tips to keep your hands soft while keeping them clean at the same time.
But…Why Are My Hands So Dry?
Your hands suffer when they are put up against water, the sun, dirt, and chemicals. The most common cause of dry, cracked skin is that your outer layer of skin is compromised. Skin naturally holds on to moisture and can rejuvenate itself, but repeated exposure to the elements can damage the layer and thus prevent it from healing on its own.
Damaged skin is weaker to the elements and causes accelerated aging and dryness.
A few general “don’ts”:
- Use cold or warm water when washing your hands. Hot water can dry out the skin and cause cracking.
- Avoid hot-air dryers as they dry out your skin.
So, now that we understand what causes dry skin, let’s take a look at some natural remedies to prevent dryness.
Be Selective On What Soaps You Keep in Your Home
Try to avoid soaps with fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates, as these all contribute to dry skin. Many foaming and anti-bacterial soaps strip your skin of its own natural fats and oils. Rather, choose moisturizing soaps instead and always rinse off your hands thoroughly.
Moisturizing your skin is important. After washing your hands, moisturize your hands. Some natural moisturizers that help soothe your skin are:
- Aloe vera
- Coconut oil
- Vitamin E oil
Applying either on your hands and then using a Ziploc bag tied with elastic is an easy way to make a DIY hand mask that you can leave overnight or for a few hours.
We often remember to exfoliate our faces but neglect to exfoliate our hands. We use our hands so frequently in our daily lives, from gardening and cooking to typing. Yet, the skin on the back of our hands is thin, fragile, and even more vulnerable to damage than some areas of our faces.
As a homemade exfoliant, all you need is some olive oil and some sugar.
Use 1-2 tablespoons of sugar in your hands, pour in a bit of olive oil, and rub them together to remove dead skin. You can exfoliate your hands 1-4 times a week, depending on how dry your skin is. Always apply a moisturizer right after!
Use a Humidifier
As mentioned, cold and dry weather can cause your skin to become dry and cracked. Using a humidifier when you sleep will help provide your skin with the moisture it needs. This is similar to the effect of a sauna but doesn’t provide the same benefits. Saunas are another excellent way to keep your skin moisturized because the heat stimulates the sebaceous glands in the skin. Read more about the benefits of saunas in our previous blog.
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