8 Must-Do's to Prevent Dry, Cracked Hands
"I want to have painfully dry, cracked hands and texture that reminds people of reptile," said nobody ever.
Being able to get soft, healthy hands is not easy, especially if you're one of the millions whose work is a hands-on job. When you wash your hands multiple times a day and do not have a proper method, your hands can get extremely dry, or worse, crack and bleed.
Using water-based creams to fix dry hands is useless, primarily because so many synthetic ingredients in these products dry your skin out even more. Chemical additives in cosmetics are often the very reason you cannot mend this issue or find a moisturizer that revitalizes your hands.
The easiest way to get permanent relief and give your hands an observable glow is to check your skincare routine and ditch water-based moisturizers. Even if your hands are not prone to dryness, you will want to adopt this list of must-dos to prevent those painful cracks.
Stop Using Hand Sanitizers
If you are in the habit of using hand sanitizers daily, or ever, you need to stop immediately—these ewie products will cause you to have the roughest and worse looking hands around town.
The reason why sanitizers are so bad is that they are made up almost entirely of alcohol, which severely dehydrates your hands by pulling both water and oil from your skin. This loss is doubly bad and inevitably leads to painful tears and cracks that bleed. When your skin tears and has open wounds, your body is more susceptible to infection by bacteria and viruses.
Ditching those alcohol ridden sanitizers is the most important thing you can do to prevent your hands from drying and cracking.
Moisturize Daily with Unrefined Plant Oils
There is a saying in chemistry that says ‘like things dissolve like things’, so imagine what would happen if a little bit of your skin disappeared every time you washed it. Eh, well, you would melt in the water when you shower.
Thankfully, your skin is a big oily organ that loves to absorb fatty things much more than water, and is the reason you should lather up your hands with unrefined plant oils AT LEAST twice a day. The type of moisturizer you use — water or oil-based products — dramatically affects the hydration of your skin.
Lotions and conventional water-based products provide minimal hydration and nourishment at best, depending on the other ingredients. Your hands go everywhere you do and deserve nourishment with pure ingredients that genuinely repair and protect your skin from withering away.
GLAUX CHEM®'s custom hemp skin oils are supreme moisturizers that lock in water, enhance your natural oil production, and strengthen your barrier.
Wash with Bar Soap, Not Liquid
Another way to fend-off cracked hands is to stop washing with liquid soap. Compared to liquid soap, bar soap is solid at room temperature, and the use of preservatives in the formula is unnecessary. The lack of preservatives is more chemically friendly on your skin and the planet, versus the liquid skin-damaging soaps in plastic bottles that line the grocery store isles.
Most liquid soaps contain water and nasty chemical preservatives like sodium benzoate and EDTA to prevent spoilage and the growth of little bacteria friends. These artificial preservatives are terrible for your skin, and often habitual use of these chemicals turn on inflammation, weaken your barrier, and may trigger chronic skin conditions like eczema.
Make the switch to washing with an unscented all-natural bar soap as often as possible, and your hands will thank you. The reduction of plastic waste containers in landfills is another added perk of buying bar soap over liquid soap.
Wash Your Palms, Not the Backs of Your Hands
Chances are when you wash your hands, you always wash both the tops and palms. This practice comes as no surprise, as someone taught you that the proper way to clean your hands is by rubbing all over, which is ideal for preventing the spread of disease.
However, unless you are a surgeon, there is no need to wash the tops of your hands as often as your palms. You use the palms of your hands (not the back of your hands) for cooking and eating food, tying your shoes, and cleaning your body. There is no need to wash the tops of your hands as often as your palms.
A lesser amount of harsh soap that touches your hands, the more natural fats and water your skin retains.
Do Not Use Hand Driers
When you wash your hands in public after eating or using the restroom, the options for drying your hands are usually with towels or hot-air dryers. Although the driers are eco-friendly and reduce waste, exposing your dehydrated hands and weak skin barrier to heat is an added disaster.
You can adjust your hand drying options by carrying a soft cloth made from a natural fiber like hemp or cotton with you at all times. That way, you can dry your hands when on-the-go without having to use paper towels or hand dryers. If you absolutely must use a dryer, hold your hands further away from the air and with your palms facing up.
In the end, you save trees, energy, and your hands by eliminating the use of paper towels and hot air dryers.
Pat Your Hands Dry
Did you know that rubbing, rather than patting, your skin dry leads to harmful micro-tears and stretching, which can jack up the skin's elasticity by damaging vital proteins called collagen and elastin?
If you battle eczema, psoriasis, or other chronic inflammatory conditions, this little tip is especially pertinent. Not only does rubbing hurt your skin, but the abrasive back-and-forth motion causes irritation, redness and makes the dryness more acute. The last thing you want is to induce a scratch-itch episode that leads to a full-fledged flare-up.
Long story short, safeguard against painful split skin, and pat your hands dry after washing.
Exfoliate Your Hands Weekly
Gently exfoliating your hands every week is another excellent way to combat the perils of dry skin. The skin shedding aftermath will undoubtedly give your hands a coveted silky-smooth feel, natural luster, and fresh look.
Not to mention, exfoliation benefits your skin in a few ways, like removing days old dull and dried skin, stimulating the growth of new cells and collagen production. Talk about a regenerative skin party in one swift scrub. Heck, yea!
Ensure you use products that contain a natural exfoliating source like salt or sugar and not the nasty ones that contain plastic microbeads that tear your skin and taint the planet.
Wear Gloves in the Cold Weather
Last, but certainly not least, make sure to cover up your precious pinchers during the wintertime and put on some gloves. Constant exposure to cold, dry winter weather creates the perfect storm for bone-dry claws.
Not all gloves protect your hands from damage, so make sure your mitt covers are wind and waterproof to shield your skin from the bitterly cold breeze. There is nothing worse than putting on gloves before you venture outdoors on a beautiful winter day only to end up with freezing, tingly hands less than an hour later, at which point you find yourself cursing the cold and wishing for the return of the summer sun.
If so, you need to step up your glove game, fast.
If you are ready to make a change to your hand care routine, then following these eight simple tips is a fabulous way to keep your paws feeling fresher, softer, and more beautiful every day. You can thank us in advance for the endless compliments from your lova', and countless job offers from hand modeling agencies.