Winter is coming right up. This means cozy fires, hot cocoa, and playing in the snow. It also means extremely dry skin and cracked hands.
Why do our digits seem to get hit the hardest in winter? Sandpaper skin and gnarly cracks are not only unsightly, but painful too.
Once we turn on the indoor heating and the air brings a bit more chill, our face shows extra dryness right away. And we adjust our skincare routine accordingly. We turn to a more emollient moisturizer, or add an oil or balm to our skincare regimen, and our facial skin issues are usually resolved. But the skin on our hands is thicker than elsewhere on the body, and doesn’t show signs of dryness and irritation as quickly. We often don’t notice our dry hands until we have redness, scratchy skin, and deep cuts.
Preemptive care is essential in staving off extremely dry skin this winter, and keeping hands soft, smooth, and pretty straight through to spring. The key is to start now.
Stock up on hand cream and start using it even before your hands show the signs of winter drying. Keep one near each sink in your home, one in your purse or gym bag, and another on your nightstand for easy access. At nighttime, the glove trick works like a charm to give hands an infusion of moisture. Don’t be afraid to slather it on before bed and don gloves (or a pair of socks) for deep hydration.
Exfoliate, if you are already to the cracked skin stage, wait until your skin has healed to do any exfoliating. To keep skin smooth and ready to soak up moisture, use a scrub twice weekly to slough away dry skin. This sugar and honey lip scrub (honey is great for softening skin!) does double duty as a hand polish.
Soap and water is drying. Yes, it is a good idea to keep hands clean any time of year, especially in cold and flu season. But washing with a soap made with harsh surfactants is ultra drying. Opt for an organic hand wash, like SKIN Naked Foam unscented shave cream and wash, made with natural oils, and remember to apply hand cream afterward. And unless hands truly need washing, substitute a nontoxic hand sanitizer. EO is the pro at making safe sanitizers and offers a wide variety.
Protecting skin from wind and cold also helps to keep them from becoming dry. Score a pair of glam gloves to, you know, go with your ear muffs.
Choosing the best hand cream for extremely dry skin is super important. Certain natural ingredients are better than others at protecting skin and warding off dryness. Olive, avocado, and coconut oils are all beneficial to dry skin. Shea butter helps to seal in moisture and protect hands.
Best Hand Creams for Extremely Dry Skin
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Image of woman holding tea in winter via Shutterstock