If you’ve ever experienced dry hands in winter, you know how uncomfortable and painful it can be. The good news is, there are simple ways to keep your hands warm, moist and adequately hydrated.

Hydrate and Moisturize Your Hands

The key to keeping your hands moist is hydration and moisturization. To have soft and supple hands, you need to address both of these. A hydrator delivers hydration to the skin, while a moisturizer seals in this hydration.  A moisturizer’s job is to reduce the amount of water that evaporates off the skin.

An easy way to make sure your hands are getting hydration and moisturization is to use a water-based cream product first, then apply a heavier layer such as an oil or balm. Oils and balms will create a seal on your skin to ensure the water-based cream stays in place.

Counteract Hand Washing and Alcohol-Based Sanitizers

If you’re constantly washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer to ward off germs, your hands may become dry and begin to crack. The amount of alcohol used in hand sanitizers to kill germs can be very drying. However, a simple solution is to apply the hand sanitizer, let it dry and then apply a thick moisturizing or occlusive balm. These will seal in hydration to ensure your hands stay well moisturized even with the alcohol! 

Soothe Your Hands with a Spa Day

Treat yourself to an at-home spa day with a hand mask to show your hard-working hands some appreciation. Hand masks deliver a super boost of nutrients and hydration to your skin in a short amount of time. Apply a hydrating product of your choice and slip your hands into a pair of gloves that won’t absorb the product. You can leave this on for as little as 10 minutes or all night to heal your hands while you sleep. This method boosts the skin’s moisture content, soothes dry skin and defends against moisture loss. After removing the gloves, apply oil or salve to lock in the hydration. 

Wear Gloves to Ward off Cold Related Aches

Gloves aren’t just useful for hand masks; they can also prevent achy fingers and joints due to the cold weather. Look for gloves or mittens lined with microfiber or fleece for an added layer of warmth. Covering up your hands will help blood circulation move down to your fingertips to keep them warm.

Tea—Warm Up Your Hands and Drink Up for Hydration

Mittens will help your hands stay warm when you’re outside, but when inside, wrap your cold fingers around a hot cup of tea. Handling tea will help your hands stay warm, plus drinking it will boost your body’s hydration level from within.

Take note of these tips and wave goodbye to dry hands!

By Dr. Nirali Patel