Quick Tips on Chapped Hands

December 3rd, 2011


If there’s one regret I have (at least one that I can freely share) it would be not taking care of my hands from the get-go. For some reason, I have always paid attention to everything else but my hands. And I paid the price. That’s right, people. I’m afraid I have mom hands. Not man hands, you ninny. Mom hands. Old mom hands.

It could have been different for me. I could have worn gloves. Used moisturizer with SPF. Flossed. Wait, forget that last one. The point is that if I had done a better job, I could have youthful looking hands.

Give your skin a little helping hand (achem) with these few tips for winter weather. Or you can just watch what I do and do the opposite. That usually works too.

  • When choosing a hand cream, look for two things: emollients and humectants. The first ingredient acts as a lubricant, filling in between dead skin cells to soften and soothe skin so it’s more pliable. Examples are Illipe nut butter, lanolin, jojoba oil, isopropyl palmitate, propylene glycol linoleate, squalene, and glycerol stearate. My all time favorite hand lotion is the super-creamy Davies Gate Smoothing Hand Cream. I even got my husband to use it. But don’t tell him that it’s kinda girly smelling. Humectants draw moisture from the environment, increasing the water content of the skin’s outer layer. Common ones are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, propylene glycerol, urea, and lactic acid.
  • Try a thick nighttime treatment. Go cheap with plain old Vasoline or get fancy with a thick, rich moisturizer in a formula with dimethicone, cocoa or shea butters, or beeswax. Slather on at bedtime, slip on a pair of cotton gloves (like Bliss Glamour Gloves) or socks, and get some beauty sleep.
  • If you’re in a job that means a lot of handwashing (like the job of motherhood), switch between hand sanitizers with soap and water washes. The alcohol in the sanitizer will dry your skin, but it’s actually gentler on your hands than harsh soap.
  • Wear gloves or mittens if you’re going to be outdoors for longer than five minutes. Even a thin glove protects the skin from losing moisture.

Photo credit: anankkml

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