It's no secret that winter dries out the skin. That's because skin is your first line of defense from the elements, so it takes a lot of damage. Unfortunately, our hands are usually the ones that take the most damage, so they often become dry and cracked. In some cases, they can even bleed, or worsen into eczema. To prevent this from happening, it's important to keep your hands in the best condition possible. Come fall and winter, you need to start paying extra attention to them in order to prevent (and treat) dryness. Here are 3 holistic (and simple) ways to do exactly that.
Dry hands are caused by lack of moisture more often than not. That's why it's so important to moisturize your hands in the winter, and often. The trick is making sure you get a good moisturizer. Don't purchase a cheap drugstore brand: They're loaded with chemicals and probably won't even help your skin. Avoid wasting money by looking for natural alternatives. Washing your hands too often, especially in the winter, can cause your hands to dry out. That's why it's so important to moisturize your hands after every hand wash. Try checking at your local health food store: If they don't have any skin salves, look for a natural hand lotion with clean ingredients. Once you find the lotion/salve that works best for you, apply it frequently (after hand washing, before you put on gloves, after you get in from outside, and before bed). Altogether, aim for 5 to 6 applications a day.
Invest in a humidifier
The main reason winter brings out dry hands is the lack of humidity in the air. There's a lot of dry air during this time of year that messes with air quality. Winter is not known for being humid, and this directly affects our skin. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to fix, though a little costly. I highly recommend investing in a humidifier. The higher humidity levels will not only help your dry hands, but it will also help easy dry itchy skin all over your body. I'm not sure about you, but my legs get seriously itchy in the winter. The colder, less humid it gets, the worse my hands, legs, and lips start to feel. Altogether, getting a humidifier will help with any skincare problem you have in the winter. It can even help soothe a stuffed nose! In order to make sure you get the most out of your humidifier, be sure to maintain the appliance and clean it regularly. The last thing you want is to have your humidifier spewing bacteria or mold in the air. You can find a bunch sold on Amazon and Etsy (I especially love the wooden ones). To get the most benefits, make sure to put them on in the room you stay in most frequently (living room, bedroom). You can buy a portable one so that it moves with you no matter what room you're in. I recommend leaving it on at night in your bedroom so you'll wake up to smooth, hydrated skin.
As simple as it sounds, wearing gloves can help a lot in the cold weather! Your hands get hit hard by the harsh winter air: They're not protected by jeans, shirts, or coats. That's why it's so important to remember to wear gloves. It will give your skin an extra layer of protection (and warmth!). For the best possible protection, make sure to get insulated gloves to prevent your knuckles and fingers from drying out. Try supporting a store that makes them handmade instead of the big brands (you can find some good options on Etsy; just type in "insulated gloves"). Better yet, apply some hand lotion or skin salve to your hands before you put on gloves. This will help protect your hands even better: The glove will trap the extra moisture from the lotion in and prevent it from leaving as quickly.