Exposure to hot water, cleaning products, harsh hand soaps and direct contact with dry air can leave your precious mitts feeling and looking a little unloved. But with the proper care routine, your hands don’t have to feel the full effect of these stressors.
Wash your hands less
Although at times it is unavoidable, constantly washing your hands with soap and then rubbing them dry quickly strips the moisture from your hands. If you need to wash your hands quite often throughout the day, try to use a soap that contains natural, moisturising ingredients or alternatively switch out your hand wash for a hand sanitiser that can be used without water. If you are using sanitiser, ensure you are using one that is alcohol-free and non-drying, preferably containing moisturising ingredients.
Avoid overexposure to hot water
Very hot water easily dries out your skin, and your hands often show the first signs of damage as they become itchy, flaky or even cracked. If you do prefer your showers on the hot side, ensure you are using a body wash or soap that is nourishing for skin and remember to always moisturise once out of the shower.
Wear rubber gloves
When exposing your hands to detergents, cleaning products and hot water during cleaning bathrooms or washing dishes, consider protecting your skin from direct contact with the chemicals and moisture stripping ingredients with rubber gloves. Alternatively, you could sample products made from natural ingredients, where you’ll not only be protecting your skin, but you’ll also be doing your part for the environment.
The real saving grace for dry hands is the use of a daily hand cream. Try to find one that absorbs quickly, preferably on the smaller side so that you always have it with you. Your daily hand cream shouldn’t be too heavy, as you don’t want to be left feeling greasy and slippery as you go about your daily tasks. If you are looking for a more intense remedy, before bed is the perfect time to apply heavy duty hand treatments and creams. You could consider moisturising gloves or simply applying a thick hand cream before you hit lights out. That way when you wake up, your hands will have had time to absorb the nutrients of the treatment.
Following the tips above and you should start to see softer, healthier hands in no time.
This article first appeared in Issue 11, Follow Your Heart