How to Combat Dry Hands in the Colder Months
If you hate receiving a handshake when it's cold out (I don't blame you), you might also hate seeing your hands so dry, red, and scaly.
Winter is particularly challenging when it comes to keeping your hands smooth, supple, and soft. Dry air and frequent hand washing can produce red, chapped, and bleeding skin. Certainly, you cannot stop washing your hands when the cold and flu season begins.
But don't let winter dry skin beat you. The good news is that you can use these tips to restore moisture and softness to your hands. You'll be ready to go with a firm handshake—whether it's cold outside or not.
Why Your Hands Can Get Extremely Dry
In winter, the air outside is usually very dry. Inside your home, where there's heating or cooling equipment running all day long, things can get even drier—often much more so than you'd think!
This can result in dry hands that are prone to flaking and cracking. It's not just your skin that suffers either; your nails are also more likely to chip and break when they're dry. Moreover, if you're exposed to a lot of dry air, it can also cause your lips to chap.
Dry hands are more prone than usual to getting irritated when exposed to water or other substances that might irritate them further. For instance, if you wash your hands with soap and then immediately go outside into the cold air, they can feel even drier than before! So make sure that if you do use soap, do so very sparingly—just enough to get clean but not so much that it dries out your skin further. Better yet, use a gentle cleanser designed for dry hands!
Restore Moisture and Softness to Your Hands
Cold, dry air can make your hands particularly vulnerable to damage during the winter. Here are some things you can do to keep your hands soft and moisturized.
1. Wear gloves but take them off regularly.
During winter, keeping your hands warm is also good for them—not only does it prevent them from drying out further when exposed to water but it also prevents them from getting chapped in the first place!
If you have to do something outside in the cold that will irritate your hands, wear gloves. This can reduce irritation and keep your hands warm at the same time.
However, wearing gloves is potentially a problem for skin on hands. Gloves can prevent your skin from getting the circulation and moisture it needs to stay healthy. So if you wear gloves all day long, or even just for most of the day, this can actually make your hands drier than if you didn’t wear them at all! To avoid this problem, try to take them off as much as possible—at least once an hour or so, depending on how often you have to put them back on during the day.
2. Keep your hands moisturized throughout the day.
The best way to avoid dry, cracked hands is to start using a moisturizer before signs of dryness appear.
According to New York City dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin, applying a moisturizer only once every day isn't enough because it probably protects your skin for only about five minutes.
Instead, you should apply moisturizer more frequently—such as five or six times a day—to make its effects last longer. This includes applying moisturizer after each hand wash.
3. Choose the right hand wash.
Soap can be harsh on your skin, especially if you tend to have dry or sensitive skin. Look for a gentle wash that contains moisturizers and emollients, such as glycerin.
CLn HandWash is a carefully formulated hand cleanser that gently and effectively removes dirt, germs, and other unwanted substances from your skin without disrupting its natural barrier function.
Designed for problem skin but gentle enough for frequent hand washing, this non-prescription cleanser is made by dermatologists.
CLn HandWash contains sodium hypochlorite, a chemical that is effective at killing germs and other microorganisms. It also has glycerin, which attracts moisture to the skin and helps keep it hydrated, so you can use it every day without causing irritation or drying out your hands even on cold winter days.
Whatever the case may be, dry hands are a problem that need to be solved. If you find that your hands are frequently dry especially in colder months, the best solution is a product specifically designed for use on problem skin like CLn HandWash.