We have learned to exfoliate our faces, but we often neglect our hands. Yet the skin on the hands—especially on the back of them—is thin, fragile, and even more susceptible to damage than some areas of the face. Exfoliating helps you get rid of old, dry, dull skin cells so the newer, fresher ones can take their place. If you’re severely dry and calloused, try a pumice stone after bathing. If you’re dry but have sensitive skin, try our Dead Sea Facial Scrub—it’s equally effective for hands.
2. Avoid soap if you can
Avoid formulas with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates, as these are all drying. Foaming and antibacterial types are also likely to strip your skin of its own natural fats and oils. Choose moisturizing cleansers instead, and be sure you rinse thoroughly.
3. Use a Moisturizer with Sunscreen.
Find a moisturizer with at least an SPF 15 that you love and apply at least two times a day if not more. Keeping moisturizer on your hands is essential, especially after washing your hands, but moisturizers without sunscreen will lead to aging. Sun exposure damages collagen which gives your skin that “plump” look. When collagen breaks down, wrinkles and thin skin appear. UVA rays (which break down collagen) are equally as strong from summer to winter, so lather on that sun screen year round! Many conventional sunscreens only protect against surface, sun-burning UVB light, while others are counter–intuitive for people prone to acne or closed pores. Consult with your Bella Sante esthetician for the sunscreen right for you.
4. Wear Gloves.
Wear gloves whenever possible outdoors. Gloves not only protect your skin from the harsh winter elements but when worn in public places they negate the need to regularly apply hand sanitizers which sap your hands of moisture via the germ-preventing alcohol ingredient. For the text-happy, treat yourself to a new hybrid of gloves that protect your hands while simultaneously allowing you to text on a touch-screen phone.
5. Wear gloves to bed
Damaged hands need serious moisturization, so it’s time to deep-treat overnight. Apply a super thick moisturizer like our Coconut Honey Mask, some jojoba oil, or vitamin E, then go soak in the bath or the sauna, or better yet, put on some cotton gloves or wool socks and go to bed. You can also try placing Ziploc bags around your hands with rubber bands around your wrists to lock in the moisture. Rinse off in the morning.
6. Use a Humidifier.
The best way to prevent dry skin is to keep moisture in the air! Hot, dry indoor air can dry out skin and promote itching and flaking. By keeping a humidifier in the rooms you frequent most you’ll keep moisture in the air and therefore in your skin as well. Portable home humidifiers come in many varieties. You can also attach a humidifier to your furnace to accommodate the whole house. Choose the humidifier that suits your personal needs and be sure to keep it clean to ward off fungi and bacteria.
7. Avoid Hot Water and Harsh, Drying Soaps.
Hot water removes important oils from your skin, use warm, not hot, water when you bath. If you have dry skin, it’s best to use cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers. Choose a mild soap like the Phytomer Exfoliating Shower Gel that has added oils for cleaner, softer skin.
8. Invest in some pure aloe
This natural substance is a miracle worker when it comes to healing wounds and providing moisture. Especially if your hands are sunburned, cracked, or bleeding, use aloe to encourage faster healing.
9. Pure coconut oil
This stuff is magic for skin because of its unique combination of fatty acids. Apply it directly onto skin and wear gloves for the best results.