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Why Our Hands Get So Dry in the Winter & How to Care for Them

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Even though Winter, with its cozy sweaters and snowy nights in, might be your favorite season, winter can be tough on our skin. We use our hands for everything: Cleaning, touching, and working. With their intense use, it’s no wonder our hands need some extra love, especially in the winter. As you build a wellness routine for the new year, ensure taking care of your hands and skin is at the top of the list.

Woman rubbing hands together

As the full force of winter settles in, let’s look at a few causes for dry hands and the best way to care for them.

What Causes Dry Hands?

  • Lack of moisture

Sadly, that crisp, clear winter air we all love is the leading cause of dry hands in winter. The dry air of winter saps moisture from our skin. For most people, the two areas left exposed during winter, the face and the hands, suffer the most.

  • Overwashing

While it’s essential to wash our hands often to prevent illness and infection, you can overwash your hands. And yes, unfortunately, this does include super long hot showers and baths. Spending a long time in a hot bath might relax your tired muscles, but it could also dry out your skin.

  • Using harsh chemicals or soaps

Another significant factor in your skin’s moisture levels is the type of chemicals and soaps you use every day. While that strong detergent might be the best at removing tough grease stains on your pans, they’re also great at removing moisture from your hands. Similarly, the soaps you use for washing your hands and the hand sanitizer you keep on your desk could be drying out your skin.

How To Care For Dry Hands

While it might sound like it’s all doom and gloom for your hand health during winter, there’s no reason to worry. We’ve got six tried and true methods below to help you keep those gorgeous hands happy, no matter the season.

  • Moisturize

The number one wellness practice is to keep your skin moisturized. During the winter, keep a bottle of hand cream in your bag or car; that way, you can apply it throughout the day. We recommend reaching for something stronger at night, like an intensive care hand cream. These more potent formulas usually contain shea butter and other nourishing ingredients and can go a long way to keeping your skin hydrated.

  • Limit time in the bath or hot shower

As hard as it can be to get out of that steamy hot shower during icy, cold winter mornings, the truth is, it has to be done. Hot water can cause damage to the keratin in our skin cells, making it difficult for them to retain moisture. If you must have a long shower before work, do your best to keep the temperature warm (rather than blazing hot). And while you might love your long bath before bed, the same principle applies here: limit the time spent in a hot bath or reduce the temperature.

  • Use gentle soaps and gloves

Everyone will have to keep washing their hands and cleaning their house. However, hundreds of gentle handwashing soaps are available on the market. Invest in high-quality hand soaps for your bathroom at home, and keep one in your bag for work.

Try not to expose your skin to harsh cleaning chemicals as much as possible. You can also switch to a non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which will be gentler on your skin. It’s also essential to keep a pair of rubber gloves with your cleaning supplies.

  • Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is more than just a must for healthy, hydrated skin; it’s necessary for our health all around. During the winter, drinking the recommended amount of water daily is crucial. Keep a reusable water bottle with you, and do your best to refill it at least six times a day. Staying hydrated not only ensures that your hands and skin look great but you’ll also reduce general headaches and fatigue. Drinking water is a must for everyone, no matter your skin type.

  • Use cotton gloves at night

If you need something more substantial, cotton gloves for dry hands are a great option. While sleeping in cotton gloves might seem like an excessive step, this simple step makes a huge difference when dealing with dry hands. Moisturize with good-quality hand cream, and then sleep in cotton gloves for the rest of the night to lock in moisture. We promise you’ll wake up with smooth, hydrated hands.

If you’re passionate about skincare and what to learn more about how to care for your skin correctly, contact us through our website today! Our esthetician program can prepare you for an exciting career as a licensed skincare specialist.

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