Skin SOS Avoiding Dry Chapped Hands
We often neglect our hands, but they need just as much care as our face. They're in constant use; we wash them repeatedly throughout the day, do the dishes, use chemical cleaning products, do DIY, weed the garden; and need looking after to stay in tip-top shape. And when winter comes along, they need even more TLC than usual… a quick application of hand cream a few times a week just isn't enough. Cold winter air has less moisture than warm summer air and harsh winds can whip away the skin's natural oils (of which there are less of on the hands anyway due to fewer sebaceous glands). To prevent scaly or chapped hands, follow these our simple tips below. And when out and about in chilly temperatures, be sure to keep your hands wrapped up warmly in a pair of gloves.
We frequently wash our hands during winter to combat bacterial/viral infections. Don't stop washing your hands, by all means, but do try to avoid putting them under very hot water, as sudden temperature changes can further dry them out. Also, opt for a pH-neutral soap that lathers gently and won't dry out your skin (opt for one with moisturising ingredients such as honey, glycerine and milk proteins). Finally, don't dry your hands too roughly, as this will destroy the hydrolipidic film; simply pat dry instead.
Using a good moisturiser is one of the best ways you can treat dry hands. Pop a mini hand cream in your bag and remember to reapply it throughout the day. In terms of what to go for, opt for a thick, rich texture that contains glycerin, shea butter or vegetable oils to moisturise but also leave a protective barrier on the skin. If your hands are extremely parched, massage a balm (look out for shea butter or beeswax in the ingredients) or a rich oil into your skin before going to bed and pop some cotton gloves on top to help the product absorb overnight. Don't forget that the nails can also weaken in the colder weather, so it's a good idea to rub your hand cream into them, or apply a specific nail oil to keep them from splitting.