How To Cure Dry, Cracked Hands

Dry hands and, well, dry everything else is the worst part of the colder months. Lotion, cuticle oil, and lip balm take over my house once the temperature starts dropping, and hang around until the dewy days of summer return. Here's how to cure dry hands to combat the dry air and indoor heating that's headed our way.

First, what causes dry hands? In the winter, humidity takes a nose dive leaving your skin — especially lips, hands, and cuticles — dry and cracked and, at the worst of times, bleeding. Ouch. Add indoor heating to the mix and you have a real moisture problem on your hands...Literally.

Exposure to cold air, wind, water, and even using anti-bacterial sanitizer can dry out your hands. In the fall and winter months, begin prepping your delicate skin by being mindful of how much and often you expose your hands to dirt, water, and chemicals. These elements compromise your skin, and quick.

If you think these aren't the likely culprits, skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema may be to blame. Or, you could have an allergic reaction to the changing seasons or simply a soap or hand wash you're using. Go see a doc if none of the tips below help cure dry hands.

1. Moisturize

O'Keeffe's Working Hands, $6, Amazon

Sounds obvious enough, but how you moisturize is super important. When your hands are especially dry, remember to replace moisture after every exposure to triggers like water and air. So after every shower, hand wash, and trip outside: moisturize! Consider adding a hardworking, concentrated hand lotion, like O'Keefe's Working Hands, to the mix. It will not only help lock in moisture, but will also provide a protective barrier against whatever fall and winter have coming your way.

2. Avoid soap & chemicals

Your favorite soap formula may come with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates. These will likely strip your skin of its own natural fats and oils, so you might have to say goodbye to them in the winter months. If you can't avoid them, rinse throughly.

3. Use a humidifier

1-Gal. Cool Mist Humidifier - Elephant, $40, Home Depot

Because winter and indoor heating strips the air of humidity, running a humidifier while you sleep will help keep your skin moisturized. You can throw in some lavender essential oil and see a huge difference in your skin.

4. Use pure coconut oil

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $22, Thrive Market

Coconut oil is life's magical elixir. You can cook, clean, and even moisturize with it. The fatty acids in coconut oil make it great for your skin, so slather it on before bed. You can even wear gloves overnight to maximize the moisture. Don't worry about whether your coconut oil is organic — as long as it's pure, it works.

5. Exfoliate

Exfoliating your hands is as important as exfoliating your face. Often the first place signs of aging pop up are around our skins most delicate areas — the eyes, around the mouth, our neck and our hands. To slough dry, dead, and damaged skin off the back of your hands, rub part sugar and part olive oil into your hands. Or, you can use your favorite facial scrub on the backs of your hands. Then wash off and be sure to moisturize!

Image Credit: Unsplash; KBoyd/margenauer/Pixabay; Courtesy of Brands