Even if you’re working outdoors, or have your hands constantly in water, you can take steps to help protect and soothe your hands.
The Musthave Guide to Happy Hands
1. Use a gentle hand wash
Avoid formulas with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and sulphates, as these are all drying. Foaming and antibacterial types are also likely to strip your skin of its own natural fats and oils. Choose products with naturally moisturising ingredients, like Olive, Coconut, Grapeseed and Sunflower Oils. Be sure you rinse thoroughly.
2. Wash with warm, not hot water
Although it may feel nice at a cold time of year, try to avoid hot water. It is more likely to strip your skin of the natural oil it needs to stay waterproofed. Instead use water that is warm.
3. Avoid hot-air dryers
There are becoming more and more popular because they save money and the environment, but they can easily dry-out your hands. Pat-dry with some toilet paper or simply shake dry, then put on your hand cream.
4. Apply hand cream after washing
When you have washed your hands apply a hand cream to lock the water in. Lighter creams will absorb more quickly if you need to use your hands soon after applying. Thicker creams and balms will take a little longer to work in but will protect for longer. Look for moisturising ingredients like Shea Butter, Jojoba, Grapeseed and Sweet Almond Oils.
5. Deep treat your hands over-night
Damaged hands need serious moisturising, so it’s time to deep-treat overnight. Use a cream or balm packed full of natural oils and butters, apply a generous amount and then cover the hands with cotton manicure gloves. Cotton socks can also be used. This will lock in the moisture. Rinse off in the morning.
6. Wear gloves
Wearing gloves when outside will increase the humidity of the air next to your skin and slow down skin water loss. Keep your hands warm and protected and you should help prevent your skin drying out.