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5 Tips for Preventing Dry Hands in Winter

woman sitting outside in the snow wearing a blue coat, yellow scarf, and putting on gray gloves

You may go into the cooler months with smooth and soft hands only to have them rough and chapped by February. This is because when the weather turns cold, the air dries out. The lack of moisture in the air is actually what makes your hands dry and chapped.

If you find yourself constantly washing your hands, you're more likely to get dry, rough hands quicker because you're removing the natural oils from your skin that help keep your hands moisturized.

It's not all bad news though. Here are a few tips to help keep your hands smooth and soft during the cooler months.

1. Avoid using hot water.

Hot water is more likely to strip your skin of its natural oils, so it's important to avoid washing your hands or showering in hot water. Instead, use warm water. If you can't say no to a hot shower, be sure to moisturize afterwards.

2. Moisturize.

Make sure to moisturize your hands after every wash to help lock in moisture and keep your hands soft and smooth. If you have extremely dry skin, heavier moisturizers are the way to go. Otherwise, a lightweight moisturizer will work just fine.

Make sure when picking out a moisturizer that it doesn't contain dehydrating ingredients like isopropyl alcohol or sulfates. We want to keep those hands nice and soft, not make them worse! 

3. Try Petroleum Jelly.

If you have severely dry or damaged skin and you're struggling to find a moisturizer that works for you, try petroleum jelly. It works to relieve dry skin and it's one of the safest products you can use on the skin. It works by forming a barrier on the top of your skin that prevents water from leaving. Wearing gloves or socks after applying petroleum jelly can help lock in even more moisture.

4. Bundle Up

If you plan on being outside for long periods of time, be sure to bundle up. Wear a hat, gloves, or even a scarf to help cover the most sensitive areas of your skin. The cold, dry air can leave your skin feeling dry and chapped if it's exposed to the winter air for a long time.

5. Use a humidifier.

When the air is cold and dry, it can draw moisture out of your skin leaving it dry and chapped. Having a humidifier in your house can help by adding moisture to the air. That way, the air doesn't pull the moisture out of your skin.


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