7 Tips to Keep Your Hands Moisturized and Relieve Dryness
Hands are always busy interacting with products in different environments and on various surfaces, and dryness can become an imminent problem. The use of detergents, extreme climates, and frequent washing are some of the factors that can contribute to this.
5-Minute Crafts has compiled 7 tips to alleviate this skin condition.
1. Use gloves for different activities and as treatment.
Gloves are a very handy tool to have at home. Not only will they protect your hands when you need to use potentially irritating products, such as dishwashing liquid or bleach, but they also help retain moisture and your skin’s natural oils.
If you feel your hands are very dry or you want to prevent them from drying out, use gloves whenever you know you’ll be using any of these products to avoid coming into direct contact with them. The same goes for when you have to use very cold water. It’s better to wear gloves in those cases too. You can also wear them during the night as a treatment to relieve dryness. To do that, follow these steps:
- Apply a generous amount of moisturizing cream or lotion to your hands just before bedtime. Opt for fragrance-free and alcohol-free products.
- Put on cotton gloves and leave them on overnight.
- Remove them in the morning and rinse your hands with warm water.
2. Opt for pH-balanced soaps.
Washing your hands frequently is important to make sure you’re getting rid of viruses and bacteria that could infect you. However, if you do it too often or if you use products that are very aggressive, washing your hands can actually destroy the skin’s sebum barrier that’s responsible for keeping it moisturized and, as a result, can promote irritation.
Keep in mind that traditional soaps tend to destroy this sebum barrier we just mentioned. That’s why you often feel like your hands are dry after washing them. In contrast, pH-balanced soaps are able to cleanse the skin while at the same time maintaining these natural oils, so they’re ideal.
It’s also recommended to wash your hands with warm water, dry them carefully without rubbing them too hard, and then apply a moisturizing cream immediately after they’re dry.
3. Avoid lotions with fragrances.
Moisturizing lotions or creams often come in different fragrances. These can usually help keep your hands moisturized. However, they are not recommended if your skin is already too dry or if you suffer from sensitive skin, as some of their ingredients, such as d-limonene, could easily cause irritation.
Remember that if you are in doubt about a product, you can test it by applying a small amount to a certain area of your skin, and observe how your skin reacts to it.
4. Apply a protective layer of petroleum jelly.
Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is not only used to protect your hands and prevent natural moisture from escaping thanks to its specific chemical composition, but it can also speed up the healing process of your skin if it’s irritated.
Apply a layer of this product during the day or before bedtime, especially in cold or dry environments, as these can quickly reduce skin hydration.
5. Prepare a homemade exfoliating scrub.
Olive oil has antioxidant properties and it also helps fight bacteria. Not only that, but it’s also rich in vitamin E, which can help restore the skin’s natural sebum and prevent dryness, which makes it a great ingredient to throw into any mix you’d like to use if you want to prevent your hands from drying out.
For example, you can prepare a scrub based on this ingredient by following these steps:
- Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Massage over your hands without exerting too much pressure.
- Rinse with warm water, then dry them carefully.
- Finish by applying a moisturizer.
6. Avoid hot water and use cold compresses.
Taking very long showers with super hot water can remove your skin’s natural oils. The same happens if you wash your hands the same way. This can leave you with that terrible feeling of dryness. Because of this, it’s recommended to take baths for a maximum of 10 minutes and always use lukewarm water.
If the dryness of your hands is also accompanied by itchiness, place a cold compress on the affected area. Remember that if this sensation persists or worsens, it’s best to consult a dermatologist.
7. Soak your hands in oatmeal water.
There is evidence that colloidal oatmeal can be very beneficial in treating itchy, dry skin because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
While it’s recommended to use this natural ingredient in baths to alleviate these symptoms, you can use it alone on your hands by following these steps:
- Grind 2 tablespoons (30 g) of colloidal oatmeal in a food processor or blender to a fine powder.
- Dissolve it in 1 liter of lukewarm water until it reaches a milk-like consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and soak your hands in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carefully dry your hands and apply a fragrance-free moisturizer.
Tips to prevent dry hands
- Don’t use hand dryers. The air flow and excessive heat can dry out the skin and increase irritation. Keep a pack of tissues in your purse to avoid using these machines if you’re out and about.
- Apply sunscreen. The skin on your hands, like other parts of your body, is also sensitive to harmful ultraviolet rays.