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Winter Hand Care

 

Wintry weather can leave your hands dry, irritated, and downright scaly. The cold temperatures arenít the only culprit: indoor heating also pulls moisture straight out of the air. The skin on your hands is delicate, thin, exposed, and highly susceptible to damage and aging. Fight back with these easy steps that put moisture back into your hands Ė and keep it there Ė all winter long.

Cleaning

  • Avoid washing your hands unnecessarily. Use gloves for all household chores that subject your hands to chemicals or water, such as washing dishes or cleaning.

  • Switch to a milder cleanser whenever you do wash your hands.

  • Use a gentle exfoliant (you can make one easily from pantry ingredients) once a week to get rid of dead skin cells that may be limiting absorption of moisturizers.

  • Always put on lotion after you wash your hands. Moisturizers absorb best when your skin is slightly damp.

 

Moisturizing

  • Set a plate of water by your heater or invest in a small humidifier to keep moisture indoors..

  • Choose a natural hand cream with plant-based moisturizers such as coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, or jojoba oil. Avoid mineral oil (petroleum) based products, which sit on your skin without absorbing into it.

  • Once or twice a week, use a moisturizing hand masque (such as avocado and olive oil, or yogurt and honey) and leave it on for at least half an hour. There are plenty of recipes online for easy, effective masques you can make at home.

  • Alternately, massage a plant-based oil with a drop of your favorite essential oil into your skin before you go to bed. Donít wash it off right away; instead, slip on a pair of cotton gloves and wake up with amazingly soft, supple hands.

  • Drink plenty of water.

 

Protecting

  • Use UV protection on your hands in the winter as well as the rest of the year. Your hands are just as vulnerable to UV radiation as your face..

  • Try to wear gloves or mittens whenever you go outside, even for brief periods.

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