One issue I'm asked about regularly is how to treat dry hands. A number of issues can cause the skin on your hands to feel rough and parched, including psoriasis; eczema; cold, dry weather; excess sun exposure; dry air; excessive hand washing; exposure to harsh chemicals, soaps, cleaning products, chlorine, or allergens; diabetes; or even a metabolic disorder. However, there are several things you can do to find relief.
The following is a three-step process that's successful for most people: exfoliation, application, and gloves.
Exfoliation. This may seem counter-intuitive, particularly if your hands already feel irritated. But you need to remove the dead skin cells covering the outer layer of your skin so that restorative products can actually reach the living cells. Exfoliating once or twice a week will help ensure the products you apply aren't going to waste. You can use a facial scrub like Système 41's Exfoliating Scrub, a mask on your hands, or mix coffee grounds, or sugar with a little bit of coconut or olive oil. Whatever you choose, rub the product onto your hands gently, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, and then rinse. You're now ready to apply an oil, cream, or balm. NOTE: If you feel your skin is so dry that you can't tolerate this step, replace it with an application of wild or Manukkah honey. Use this, ideally, twice daily — but certainly at bedtime. You can then do steps 2 and 3.
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The most effective treatment for your dry hands might not be in your medicine cabinet, but in your pantry. Olive, avocado, and coconut oil
are all very effective moisturizers thanks to their high fatty acid content. Spend a minute rubbing the oil in every night and evening for a few weeks. If you'd rather not use a cooking product, you can also try Earth's Best Non-Petroleum Jelly. It's similar to Vaseline, but, as the name suggests, without the petroleum.
Once you've applied your product of choice before bed, slip on a pair of cotton gloves
. This will help your skin absorb the product and let you wake up with soft, soothed hands. After a couple of weeks, you should notice a big difference in your skin and can take a break from the gloves if you like. Just continue to exfoliate at least weekly and moisturize regularly. These steps may sound a bit old-fashioned, but they work!
To your health, naturally,