Home Remedies for Dry Hands
Soothe dry hands with a few home remedies.
Sensitive skin on hands goes through a rigorous routine every day. Hands are used for almost everything, and people depend on them to be readily available to work on different tasks such as cleaning, typing, bathing, doing laundry and much more. These tasks and many others are hard on hands and increase their dry condition, especially during winter when the air is already cool and dry.
Reasons for Dry Hands
The skin is made up of three different layers. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin that protects the hypodermis and the dermis. The epidermis is used to ward off harmful agents and bacteria. The body works hard to protect the outer layer of the skin from sun damage and harsh chemicals, but this outer skin withstands a lot of abuse and also needs a lot of care.
There are many different reasons why the hands become dry and cracked. The epidermis repeatedly tries to maintain a barrier to hold moisture but gets easily compromised by elements that can deteriorate the barrier.
Dry air is one of the leading causes of dry hands. Dryer climates with less moisture will definitely wreak havoc on the skin's outer layer. As it tries to protect the internal layers, the epidermis will become depleted of moisture. Winter months and windy environments will dry hands out more quickly than humid climates. Naturally, it will strip the hands of moisture that it's trying to retain and diminish the skin's natural oils.
Some soaps, especially if they do not have moisturizing benefits, will strip the skin of its natural moisture. The theory behind soap is to cleanse the skin of bacteria and harmful agents, but it can wipe away any remaining moisture hands may have.
In addition to soap and dry air, water can also be very drying to the hands. How often hands are washed will determine how much moisture they can retain. The more the hands are washed, the less moisture they will be able to hold. With every wash, natural oils are scrubbed away, making it harder to stay moisturized.
Chemicals in products can be the harshest on the outer layer of skin on the hands. Just one application can melt away the protective barrier used to hold moisture in. Repeated usage can be even more damaging to moisture levels and the integrity of the skin.
Continuous usage and exposure to dry air, water, soaps and chemicals will continue to break down the oils and moisture in the skin. It's inevitable that the hands will come across those elements time and time again, so it's important to take special caution by using remedies to rejuvenate the hands. It's easy to help to return hands to a healthy state by following simple remedies.
Using moisturizing soaps can help alleviate some of the dry, cracking skin that many are known to experience. Make sure to use soaps that have moisturizing benefits such as shea, Vitamin E, Himalayan pink salt, aloe vera and other lotions that work to cleanse the skin while moisturizing. Other ingredients in moisturizing soaps that are beneficial to look for are oatmeal, almond oil and goat's milk.
Exfoliate Your Hands
Exfoliating the skin is very beneficial because it clears the epidermis of dead skin cells. Once the dead skin cells are gone, it is possible to easily penetrate the skin with creams and lotions that will help moisturize, protect and create a barrier. It's easy to formulate a scrub recipe that is gentle and soothing to the skin. Below are four different combinations of ingredients that are beneficial for helping to remove dead skin and reveal fresh skin.
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
- 3 Tbs. coffee grounds
- 1 Tbs. grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup sea salt (coarse)
- 1/4 cup jojoba oil
- Combine a pair of ingredients as indicated above until mixed thoroughly. Use a moderate amount to exfoliate hands once daily. Store the rest in an air-tight container.
Moisturize Your Hands
Make sure to moisturize after exfoliating and on a daily basis. Some moisturizers are ineffective because of their alcohol content. When choosing a moisturizer, it's best to purchase or make one that has ingredients that include humectants, occlusives and emollients.
Humectants are necessary for retaining moisture within the skin by helping pull moisture from the air. Some examples of humectants are honey and aloe vera. Occlusives are found to help form a waterproof layer on the surface of the skin. Substances such as petroleum jelly and lanolin are effective occlusives.
Emollients are found to be beneficial once applied to the surface of the skin by filling in cracks and dry, rough spots. Emollients help to increase softness and improve the appearance of the hands. Shea butter, cocoa butter and avocado are common emollients that are used in products to help smooth hands. A beneficial and natural recipe that incorporates all three important components can be found below.
- Combine all of the above ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Use as a lotion during the day or as an overnight treatment. Store in an air-tight container.
Feel free to increase or lessen each ingredient to suit personal needs; for example, if skin is very cracked, increasing the amount of almond oil can be beneficial for the hands. To help decrease the dryness often experienced in hands, make sure that the moisturizer is applied frequently and after each washing.
Treating hands with care before bedtime is essential. This is the time of night that the body is renewing cells and recovering from the harsh environments. During sleep, the body starts to recover and replenish what has been lost. Apply moisturizer to hands before bed to enhance the overall moisturization process, promote repair and lock in moisture. Rub in the moisturizer and then use a pair of cotton gloves or a clean pair of cotton socks on top to help soothe, heal and offer exceptional benefits to the hands. Doing this can help people wake up each morning with softer, healthier and younger-looking hands.
Drink Plenty of Water
Another key to keeping the hands and body hydrated is to drink plenty of water. If the body is dehydrated and not getting enough moisture internally, the skin will enter a drought period. When drinking water with vitamins, it becomes easier to take advantage of the benefits and give the body what it has been lacking in both moisture and skin-replenishing nutrients.
Use a Humidifier
In addition to drinking water, use a humidifier to help add moisture to the air. The moisture released into the air will bind to the skin and help to replenish dry skin and add much-needed moisture.
Aside from implementing more water into the diet and adding a humidifier, it's important to ensure that healthy foods are being introduced. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin A and zinc should be implemented at healthy levels. This will also help heal and protect dry, cracked hands.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are another highly effective way to soothe and heal hands. They have many healing benefits that are used in many different forms. Some essential oils that provide ample benefits for the skin are lavender, sandalwood, neroli, geranium, roman chamomile, rosewood and frankincense. Add essential oils to a humidifier, diffuser, lotions, creams and even water to extend the benefits they offer.
The hands need extra care to maintain a healthy appearance and to alleviate pain experienced with outdoor elements, frequent washings, dehydration and a poor diet. Incorporating these home remedies for dry hands will add more moisture for soft and healthy hands.