Winter can be a rough time for hands in more ways than one. With cold, blustery weather outside and forced heat inside, they don’t get much of a break from the elements. Now that spring is here, all the extra hand washing we’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic probably isn’t allowing your hands much of a break from dry skin.
On the surface it seems simple. Just slap some lotion on, right? Yes, but that’s only part of keeping your hands soft and healthy. I’ve rounded up some tips to not only help you moisturize more efficiently and deeply, but also to help hands retain moisture and stay supple.
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1. Use a moisturizing hand soap
Soap doesn’t have to strip skin and leave hands feeling dry afterwards for it to be effective at washing or helping you stay healthy. It’s been repeatedly proven that hand washing is more effective at killing pathogens than alcohol-heavy (and drying) hand sanitizer is. So while sometimes a few pumps of hand sanitizer are the way to go, like on a grocery run, washing hands for at least 20 seconds is still the best way to keep hands clean.
Keep hands clean and help them retain moisture with these hand soaps:
Tom’s of Maine Prebiotic Moisturizing Natural Liquid Hand Soap – comes in 5 natural scents and supports helpful bacteria to keep skin in balance.
Beessential Foaming Hand Soap – comes in 6 scents. It’s also paraben-free, alcohol free, PEG free and never tested on animals. Made by beekeepers and formulated with moisturizing coconut, olive, and hemp with hydrating aloe and honey to soften hands.
Muse Bath Apothecary Hand Ritual Aromatic and Nourishing Hand Soap – This vegan, plant-based, paraben-free formula also comes in 4 scents.
Olivia Care Liquid Hand Soap – Comes in 4 scents, paraben and phthalate free, cruelty free and made with sustainably harvested palm oil.
Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap – Free of parabens, sulfates and cruelty free.
2. Moisturize – The right way
What does this even mean? For starters it means applying moisturizer after every time you wash your hands. Yes, every time, not just before bed. Depending on how dry your hands tend to get, you have a lot of options for how intensively you can moisturize. My recommendation? Since different factors can affect how dry your hands get, I suggest a fast absorbing lotion in the daytime and a rich cream at night.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream and Night Treatment Hand Cream – considered by many to be the gold standard in creams for especially dry hands, this set has you covered with a cream you can use in daytime and a more intensive nighttime treatment as well.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Lotion – Non greasy and made with shea butter and almond oil.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream – a rich and effective hand cream to add a little luxury to your moisturizing routine.
3. Don’t be afraid to be a little extra with a hand mask
We don’t hesitate to use masks on our faces when they feel tight and dry, but for whatever reason we don’t use them nearly as much to take care of our hands when they feel dry. Let’s remedy that and start treating our hands with a little extra love when they need it. The masks provide additional much-needed moisture and they also feel pretty great!
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream and Gel Moisturizing Gloves Set – O’Keeffe’s comes through again with this set of their wonderful cream and gel-lined ultra moisturizing gloves. Wear them overnight and wake up with baby-soft hands.
Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask with Prebiotic Oat and Shea Butter for Extra Dry Skin – Paraben and fragrance-free.
NatraCure Moisturizing Gel Gloves – Deep moisturizing gel. Wear twice a week for mild dryness, try them nightly for very dry hands.
Conair True Glow Thermal Paraffin Bath Spa Moisturizing System – A spa and nail salon OG that’s been around forever, and for good reason. Paraffin goes a long way to help hands (and feet and elbows even) get and stay hydrated.
Paraffin Wax Bath Gloves and Booties – I highly recommend these reusable mitts and booties for use with paraffin because they’re not only very effective but also cut down on plastic waste.
4. Don’t forget about your nails or cuticles
While it might initially seem silly or superficial, keeping nails and cuticles moisturized keeps them supple and prevents painful hangnails and potentially painful cracked and broken fingernails. The more moisture your nails have, the less brittle they are and less likely to split or break.
Malin + Goetz Meadowfoam Oil Balm – Meadowfoam seed, jojoba seed, avocado and safflower seed oils soften skin and improve moisture retention while an essential fatty acid complex helps protect and strengthen.
Trind Nail Balsam – A personal favorite of mine for years, this brush-on on intensive moisturizer specifically formulated for the nail bed restores the most dehydrated nails. I also highly recommend the Trind Cuticle Balsam.
Badger Organic Cuticle Care Balm – Nourish and protect cuticles with creamy shea butter and vitamin-rich sea buckthorn extract.
Do you have any favorites from this list? What are your favorite ways to protect your hands and keep them supple? Let me know below in the comments!