Last week we talked about tips for the fall season to help you prepare your skin for cooler weather and protect it from the cold, harsh winter. And while your whole body deserves special cared during the changing of the seasons, your hands require some extra special treatment. Hands are, after all, exposed to the cold and the wind and by the end of winter can end up looking dry and chapped.
The following are some tips for giving your hands some TLC during the winter months:
Wear gloves every time you go outside. The frosty air and cold winds can dry out hands. The easiest way to protect your hands is to wear gloves. Keep a few pairs of gloves, in your car, by the front door, etc. so you always have a pair handy.
Use rubber gloves when doing housework. Housework isn’t just done in the winter so this tip is really for all seasons. Use gloves when cleaning with chemicals and washing dishes. Overexposure to hot water and chemicals can strip your skin of its natural oils making them look dry and chapped.
Add humidity to your home. Using a humidifier or simply putting a bowl of water near your heaters can add moisture to the air in your house. You can add rose water or other scents to fill your home with scents that make you feel better.
Use a moisturizer every day. You may want to use a hand cream several times a day to help nourish your hands.
Use a deep moisturizing treatment at night. As stated in last week’s tip, use a deep moisturizing cream or petroleum jelly before going to bed and then put on pair of cotton gloves to help keep the moisturizer working throughout the night.
Exfoliate your hands. Our skin regenerates every month but sometimes dry, dead skin doesn’t come off. Exfoliating your skin will help remove the dead skin. Remember, don’t exfoliate every day, a few times a week is plenty.
Coat your hands with oil before bathing. This helps to protect your hands from the harsh soaps and hot water. Once you finish your bath or shower, apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp to help lock in moisture.
Use mild soaps or soaps with moisturizers to avoid drying out your skin. Mild glycerin soaps won’t dry your skin.
Lower the temperature of your shower or bath. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils. Use lukewarm water instead.
Don’t forget sunscreen on your hands. We often remember to apply sunscreen to our faces but neglect our hands. Look for a hand lotion with SPF so you can moisturize and protect together.
Keep moisturizer next to your sinks. You put moisturizer on each morning but then wash the dishes or even wash your hands and the effects of the moisturizer are washed away. Keep a small bottle of lotion next to both sinks so you can reapply as soon as you wash your hands.
For more information:
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.