Each day, the delicate skin on our hands is put through a lot compared with other areas of the skin. Every chore – whether it’s gardening, cooking a meal, cleaning your home, doing laundry, washing dishes, or bathing your pets – involves using these remarkable tools we call hands. All these can quickly render the flesh on hands dry, cracked, and rough to the touch. Worse still, it can make them appear aged well before their time.
What Causes Dry Hands?
Of the three layers of skin on the human body, the epidermis is the outermost layer that protects the dermis and hypodermis from the elements. This external covering provides a waterproof barrier that wards off infection from pathogens, defends against UV light, and helps to prevent chemicals and other environmental pollutants from being wholly absorbed into the body.
Dry, chapped hands are a sign that this outer layer of skin has been compromised. While the epidermis is programmed to retain moisture, consistent exposure to these elements can quickly damage the skin:
And once the skin barrier has begun to lose its natural oils and moisture, every time the hands come into further contact with water, soaps, chemicals, allergens, or cold and dry air, it hastens the process and makes the skin on our hands dry out much faster.
Quickly return your hands to their naturally smooth and supple state with these rejuvenating home remedies:
1. Use Moisturizing Soaps
Avoid washing up with traditionally made bars of soap and astringent antibacterial cleansers since they will completely dry out your hands in short order. When purchasing hand soaps, look for brands that don’t include ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic dyes, and artificial fragrances, all of which serve to dry out the skin. Try Pure liquid soap or soap bars since it not only avoids these harsh ingredients, it contains vitamin E, butters and oils to help proactively moisturize and rehydrate dry skin.
2. Exfoliate with a Gentle Scrub
Slough off those dead skin cells by rubbing your hands with an exfoliating scrub each week. Here are four simple recipes to get you started:
- ¼ cup of baking soda + ½ cup of softened coconut oil
- ¼ cup of brown sugar + ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
- ½ cup of coarse sea salt + ¼ cup of jojoba oil
Slowly massage all over your hands in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Allow your skin to absorb the mixture for another 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water.
3. Keep a Moisturizer Handy
While keeping your hands moisturized close to you and reachable, you simply use it more
Try Pure Hand Lotion, which is rich and soft!
4. Don a Pair of Gloves
It can be difficult to limit the time your hands spend in water or doing tactile tasks, especially if your job requires it. Whenever you can, wear rubber gloves when you clean, gardening gloves when you’re landscaping, and breathable dexterous gloves for when you work. During the colder months, a good pair of gloves can make all the difference.
If wetting your hands is unavoidable, wash in warm water rather than hot. Avoid the use of hot air hand dryers and pat dry with a towel instead. Apply your moisturizer within 3 minutes of washing to help retain moisture.
5. The Overnight Treatment
Applying moisturizer to your hands just before bed is the perfect time for deep hydration since your hands will be idle for a stretch of several hours. Gently massage your hands with lotion, allowing the moisturizer to absorb deeply into the skin. Then slip a pair of old (but clean) socks over your hands to trap moisture within. Or, invest in moisturizing cotton gloves. When you wake up, you’ll be amazed at how soft your hands will feel!
6. Keep Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is vital for healthy, glowing skin. Aim toward drinking at least eight glasses per day to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your largest organ. Don’t like the bland taste of water? Try one of these vitamin water recipes that will help you meet your daily water needs as well as deliver important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to your body and your skin.
7. Moisturize From the Inside Out
Food is its own kind of medicine. Boost your skin’s moisture levels naturally by eating more:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish, flax, and fermented cod liver oil.
- Vitamin E – Nuts, seeds, avocado, spinach, and butternut squash.
- Vitamin A – Carrots, sweet potato, kale, broccoli, eggs, and apricots.
- Zinc – Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, mushrooms, and yogurt.
And avoid eating processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, and salty foods that can cause your skin to dry out.
8. Soak in Some Oats
Rich in protein, vitamin E, lipids, fatty acids, and antioxidants, oatmeal is an excellent natural treatment for dry skin. When its fine particles are dispersed evenly on the epidermis, it creates an occlusive barrier that acts like a second skin, protecting it from the elements while trapping in moisture.
Pamper your hands with an oatmeal soak. In a large bowl, pour ½ cup of extra fine oatmeal and top with enough cocnut milk to cover your hands. Let them soak in this mixture for at least 15 minutes, but the longer you leave them soaking, the better. For the full body treatment, draw a warm bath and add 1 cup of oatmeal to the water.