Words: Emily Venables
Dry hands are a common condition which can be experienced any time of the year. From exposure to dry air to over washing them, there are a number of reasons as to why our hands can become overly thirsty and in need of extra moisture. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most common causes and how you can care for dry hands.
Cause 1: Over Washing Your Hands
The skin on our hands naturally contains lots of lovely oils and waxes which act as a shield, keeping them looking and feeling healthy. When we over wash them, the soap (although doing a wonderful job at getting rid of bacteria and dirt) can strip those oils and waxes away. When this occurs, we are left with dry, red, itchy, flaky and in worse cases, cracked and painful skin.
How should I wash my hands to avoid drying them out?
Washing our hands is part of everyday life, meaning we can’t and shouldn’t avoid it. But if you are worried about drying your skin out, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not use too much soap; use just enough to create a light lather, not an overly thick one, that will wash away bacteria and dirt.
- Use lukewarm water to wash your hands, not extremely hot.
- Pat your hands dry with a clean towel after every wash.
Cause 2: Dry Air
Whether it’s in the summer and we’re cranking up the air con or braving the chilly winds when we step out in winter, dry air is around us throughout the year. When the air changes, it can strip the moisture from our hands leaving them thirsty and in need of quenching!
Cause 3: Dehydration
We’re told over and over again the importance of drinking water every day, but there is a point to it! Not only is it excellent for our health, it’s also beneficial for our skin. Top up your moisture levels and let your hands reap the benefits by drinking plenty of water every day.
How to care for dry hands
Even if you take great care when it comes to washing and protecting your hands, you may still find they are left feeling dry and irritated. If this is the case, there are ways in which you can restore them back to their former glory.
Gloves are not just beneficial in the winter when the air becomes dry, it is also important to wear gloves if you have to regularly submerge or wash your hands in water.
To keep your hands soft and supple, apply a rich moisturiser directly after washing and drying your hands. Leave a hand moisturiser in your bag, in your desk or on the side of the sink at home to get into a good habit of applying it several times a day.
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Treat Them Overnight
One of the best ways to enrich your hands with moisture is to apply a thick layer of cream to them at night before you go to bed. Once you have applied the cream, cover them with gloves or clean socks to trap the moisture in. You should then wake up in the morning with super-smooth skin!
If your dry hands persist and they’re causing you pain and discomfort it may be due to an underlying condition and we would always advise to seek medical advice.
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