If you suffer with chronically dry, broken hands, it can start to feel like you’ve switched out your paws for cacti. The tissue on our hands (except for our palms, which are usually quite thick) is much thinner than most of the other parts of the body, implying they hold in much less moisture and natural oils.
The hands are also the primary means of communicating with the universe and are subjected to a lot of irritants. It’s literally a formula for dryness and destruction if you’re not taking good care of your five-fingered mates. As nobody should have cacti for palms, we’ve broken down almost everything that you ought to consider when it comes to reviving those dry hands.
These all tips are super-fast and easy to apply to your life, so read up and make it so:
1. Using a rich moisturizer
As a thumb rule, always go for heavy-duty moisturizing creams or ointments. “[These] seal over the skin to heal cracks and prevent loss of hydration,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital.
A great choice for reviving your skin: Bag Balm, a cult-favorite ointment that was initially formulated to cure the cracks in cows’ udders. If you do need advice selecting a moisturizer, begin here. Of course, there’s also plain old Vaseline, or hypoallergenic ointments like Vanicream.
If you buy a product that works with your skin, the next move is to moisturize every day, several times a day, asserts Jacqueline Andrews-Evans, a physician’s assistant at Advanced Dermatology PC. It’s particularly necessary to moisturize after hand washing. A daily routine will inhibit dry skin from coming back and that will keep your hands healthy.
2. Search for formulas that containing humectants or ceramides
There’s nothing greater than discovering a cream that works, really quite works. To assure you find your match, check for hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides on the components list.
“Humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin are like sponges that pull in hydration to the outer skin layer,” says Zeichner. Ceramides are the best ones to work if you want super-healing effects. “They’re like grout between your skin cell tiles,” he adds. “They seal in cracks in the outer skin layer to prevent loss of hydration and minimize damaging exposure to the environment.”
3. Make hand cream for yourself at home
For those who may be more hands-on (terms), there are still plenty of simple recipes you can whip up to revitalise your skin. Zeichner is aware of the significance of this three-ingredient mix: colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil.
Colloidal oatmeal has a lengthy reputation as a nourishing anti-inflammatory. “It’s an outstanding skin protectant,” shares Zeichner. “It contains sugars that coat the skin as well as antioxidants called avenanthremides that calm inflammation.”
As for shea butter, it is rich emulsifying oil that lightens and straightens out rugged cells on the skin surface. Sunflower seed oil is filled with linoleic acid, that is an essential fatty acid for preserving the skin’s barrier to avoid loss of water. It’s also antimicrobial. Mix them it all together and then you really have got one very calming solution.
4. Moisturize immediately after taking a shower
To retain the moisture after you have taken a shower, apply a moisturizer or any other hydrating product immediately or within five minutes following the shower. To avert the loss of essential oil skins, do not shower for a time longer than necessary. Besides that, also avoid very hot water. After that, dry up and apply a nourishing cream and do not forget to moisturize your hands.
5. Choose mild cleansers and look out for side-effects
When you are conscious about skin cleansing, it is equally important to keep a check on the side effects of the products you are using. “You want to wash the skin without compromising the integrity of the skin barrier,” says Zeichner. He recommends searching for mild and gentle cleanser that encourages hydration.
6. Avoiding exfoliants
Dry hands are prone to cracking and flaking. This in turn could make you reach out for an exfoliator. “Harsh scrubs or chemical exfoliants can cause more harm than good,” Zeichner debunks. Your skin’s utmost requirement is getting hydrated and not good buffing. This might seem conflicting with suggestions of experts recommending exfoliation for deeper and long-term miniaturization. But if you are already suffering from a dry skin, you need quick action. Exfoliation is not helpful in the quick action against dry skin.
7. Using hand masks
Hand mask works by shielding your hand skin from external environment and increasing the effectiveness and quickness of the applied moisturizers and creams. Though this seems a little inconvenient, it really works. Look for a hand mask that has colloidal oatmeal in its contents as they act upon even the most sensitive skin types.
8. Wearing gloves over Vaseline while sleeping
If you want to DIY (do it yourself) a hand mask, then apply a strong layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline and wear over it a pair of gloves while prepare for sleeping. Though gloves do not have any skin benefits as such, they prevent the petroleum jelly applied on your hands to spoil your bed and clothes while you are busy sleeping. This is very budget friendly option as well.
9. Using creams with appropriate SPFs
Though we do not look at it this way, but our hands are exposed to the sun to the same degree as our face. In spite of this face sunscreen is a mandatory routine for many people but not hands. Using a sunscreen with the right value of SPF is equally important for the hands as well. It would prevent the forming of sunspots and drying of hands when you are outdoors. Using sunscreen with 40 SPF would be an optimum choice.
10. Sleeping with humidifier
Sleeping with a humidifier stands as a superb alternative to tackle the brutal dry atmosphere, especially during winters. Humidifiers increase and maintain the moisture content of air. This prevents water molecules from being sucked from out skin’s surface by the cold dry air. Moreover, humidifiers would hydrate not only the hands, but the entire skin from the head to the toes.