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9 Of The Best Winter Care Tips For Your Hands
As the temperatures drop and the nights draw in, it’s important that we take care of ourselves and our overall wellbeing even more than usual. Our skin in particular can take a real beating in the winter months. With the constant freezing cold temperatures and the drop in humidity contrasted with our heated homes causing our skin to quickly dry out and become dull. This is especially true of the delicate thin skin on our hands, which can truly take the brunt of the cold weather and whose care is often overlooked leaving them to become chapped and sore. But not for much longer! Follow these 9 easy tips to give your hands the TLC they deserve this winter.
1. Gloves at the ready
Be sure to wear gloves every time you go outside to prevent your hands from drying out in the freezing cold temperatures. The gloves will act as a barrier for your hands while also locking in any moisture from cream you’ve applied. Best practice is to always keep a pair in the pocket of your favourite winter coat, or in the zip compartment of your handbag or backpack should you find yourself without them on a particularly chilly day.
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2. It’s all about the moisture
Gloves are not the only defense you can give your hands against becoming dry, cracked and sore. Using a high quality, deeply nourishing hand moisturizer will give thirsty skin that hydration boost that it needs, acting as a sort of invisible glove against the weather. Good options are coconut oil, glycerine. and cocoa butter-based products high in skin-friendly fats.
Applying the lotion just once a day is not enough though because your skin is so thirsty, it’ll quickly soak up all the moisture it can. With that in mind, be sure to reapply the cream several times a day to keep your hands moisturized throughout, and apply also right before you go to bed to let the goodness and nourishment soak in overnight and repair any damage caused.
3. Avoid over-washing
Washing your hands with harsh soaps can dry them out at the best of times, but this is especially true during the winter. For some of such as chefs, kitchen staff, nurses and doctors who must consistently maintain their hand hygiene, it’s unavoidable. Try substituting strong, highly chemical-based soaps for more natural, gentler ones with just as much cleaning power, or use hand sanitizer instead which will not strip away the moisture in your hands. If washing your hands frequently is simply unavoidable, try to use tip number 2 and apply a deeply moisturizing cream after washing your hands to prevent them from becoming dryer and dryer out throughout the day.
4. Wear rubber gloves
Housework is a part of all of our daily routines, but, as in tip noumber 3, washing-up liquids, soaps, and other household cleaning detergents together with hot water are extremely drying on the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. Avoid this by wearing rubber gloves every time you wash the dishes or do chores around the house involving cleaning agents and, even better, keep a little bottle of lotion next to your sink gloves to remind yourself to top up after doing the dishes!
5. Don’t take hot baths and showers
It’s certainly lovely to step in from the bitter cold straight into a nice hot bath or shower, but this routine could be doing your hands more harm than good. The combination of the hot water and body soap strip away the natural oils from the skin on your hands and this can be hard to even notice sometimes, especially when it’s cold and we’re less sensitive to water that would otherwise feel too hot to bathe in. Try also to keep your showers and baths shorter and apply moisturizer to your hands and body after you get out.
6. Keep your home humid
Humidity can drastically drop in our homes during the winter as we crank the heat up, drying the air out. This lack of moisture in the air can further dry out the delicate skin on our hands. Try to maintain the humidity levels in your home with a humidifier or place small bowls of water next to heat sources to inject some moisture into the air. Having lots of plants in your home can do the trick too.
While it may seem counterproductive, exfoliation buffs away the dead and dry skin cells on the surface of your hands. This will leave your hands feeling softer and suppler and better able to soak up the moisturizer. Be sure to use a gentle exfoliator you don’t aggravate or damage already dried-out skin, and apply lotion afterwards to nourish the newly exfoliated skin.
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8. Use natural oils before showering
There are a variety of skin-loving oils which are perfect for locking in moisture before taking a bath or a shower in the winter months, particularly coconut and almond oils. Both are rich in lipids and vitamin E. Applying these oils before entering the water creates a protective barrier to prevent the heat and soaps from drying out your hands and the rest of your skin.
9. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is easily overlooked, especially during winter. But staying hydrated as temperatures drop is just as important for keeping the skin on your hands moisturized, as well as the rest of your body. This is because, as we mentioned above, the air tends to be dryer in winter and so our bodies need extra hydration for many different purposes, including our skin.
So, there you have it! Follow these 9 easy steps and you’ll be doing your hands a bunch of favours to keep them soft and supple during the winter months. Try starting these tips as soon as it gets chilly outside, to prevent having to undo any damage already caused, as this can be trickier depending on how dry your hands have become. Stay warm and enjoy!