Over the years, I've had to learn how to avoid cracked hands during the winter. Because of the sensitivity of my skin and the harshness of the cold weather, it's been extremely necessary for me to have a dedicated skin care routine during this season. But figuring out what works best isn't easy, and I've gone through multiple routines to find the perfect one for me. Hopefully, what I've experienced can help others discover what works best for them too.
In addition to having dry-prone hands, living with eczema has also made it a real struggle when the temperature hits below 70 degrees. To this day, I still get a little anxious knowing that winter makes my skin condition even worse. Don't get me wrong — I absolutely love sweater weather, but having cracked hands is a real pain, literally. Not only are they irritating and become a constant nuisance, they can also make you more easily prone to infection if bacteria enters the cracks of your hands.
According to WebMD, "Your skin is your body's first line of defense against the elements." So keeping your skin — and specifically your hands — in tip-top shape is super important to protect you from any harmful bacteria.
So, how do you fight against the cold weather and protect your hands from being dry? It's much easier than you think once you come up with a game plan. Here are some simple ways to make sure you avoid getting cracked hands in the winter:
Use A Hydrating Hand Moisturizer With Essential Oils
Jojoba Oil Moisturising Hand & Cuticle Cream, $22, Crabtree-evelyn
Using jojoba oil on my skin has changed my dry skin problem completely. The natural oil really helps my skin retain all the moisture for the day and keeps my skin super soft.
If you don't want to use jojoba oil, I also really love First Aid Beauty's Ultra Hand Repair Cream. It's filled with eucalyptus oil, along with licorice root for a perfect combination. In any case, using oil-infused products will really help prevent your hands from cracking.
Apply Hand Moisturizer Hourly (And Also After Washing Your Hands)
During the winter season, I'll usually carry a mini-travel size hand moisturizer in my purse. This way, I can moisturize my skin anywhere, anytime. It's important to make sure you're giving your hands the attention they need by moisturizing often and also after you wash your hands.
Buy Hand Soap Gentle Enough For Your Skin
When the cold weather hits, I get pretty specific about what products I use, hand soap being one of them, especially since I wash my hands so much. I try to avoid using soaps with heavy chemicals and stick with all-natural products. Mrs. Meyer's hand soap is my ultimate fave for winter.
Don't Over Wash Your Hands
If you're anything like me, you probably wash your hands too many times a day. This was a serious problem I had to control during the winter season. The more and more I washed my hands, the more my skin would crack. The director of the Contact Dermatitis Center at Ohio State's University Medical Center Matthew Zirwas, M.D. explained to Shape Magazine, "If you’re washing your hands frequently, you’re removing more oil than your skin can produce, and that can eventually make it dry, rough, and cracked. And once that happens, it can be tough to recover.”
Do Not Use Hot Water
When you do have to wash your hands, make sure to wash them in warm water. Hot water can dry out your skin by stripping it of all its natural oils. This also applies to when you shower!
Use A Hand Mask
Bodipure Keratin Gloves All-In-One Hand Treatment, Amazon.com, $4.79
Just like your face and hair, your hands also need some extra attention, too. Doing a hand mask can really help your skin stay smooth and silky in the winter. Aim to use one at least once a week!
Go See Your Dermatologist
If you still can't stop your hands from cracking, it's best to make an appointment with your doctor. Asking your doctor what products to use and how to avoid cracked skin specifically to your needs will be a huge help during winter.
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