3 Easy Steps To Heal Cracked, Winter Dry Hands
Are your hands chapped and red? Do you have cracks on your knuckles or fingertips? This is very common during the winter months, but especially this winter with all of the hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizing we do.
Here are 3 simple steps aimed to prevent and treat dry hands.
1. SWAP YOUR SOAP
Check the ingredients on your hand soap. Many popular liquid or foaming hand soaps contain an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly referred to as SLS. It is a surfactant, a type of ingredient that’s function is to lift dirt and oil off the skin. However, SLS is known to cause irritation to sensitive skin with repeated use, irritation that can appear as red, scaly, itchy hands.
If this is you, look for a hand soap that contains an alternative surfactant, such as sodium coco-sulfate or decyl glucoside, or even a bar soap or liquid Castile soap that is made from saponified oils and gentle moisturizers like shea butter.
2. WARM NOT HOT
Although nothing feels better than to warm up winter-cold hands with hot water, aim to wash your hands with warm water instead. The hotter the water is, the more oils and moisture are removed from your skin. Very hot water can also cause heightened skin irritation. Stick to warm or cool water, which along with soap, will rid your skin of bacteria and viruses.
3. MOISTURIZE IMMEDIATELY
The best time to apply a lotion or cream to your skin is right after washing, while hands are still damp (not wet). The water on the surface of your hands will be sealed in to your skin with your moisturizer, locking in that hydration that our skin needs.
How about you? What do you do to combat winter dry skin?