Q: My hands always seem to be cracked and dry, even when I use hand lotion. What are some ways that I can prevent my hands from getting so dry that it hurts?–Sarah G., New York, NY
Dry hands can be the worst, especially when skin starts to sting either by itself or with certain products. Some of the main culprits of dry hands are cold weather, repeated washing (particularly if you’re a medical professional or hair stylist), and using harsh products to keep germs away.
One of the best tips I can give you to prevent dry hands is to wear gloves. Whether you are walking outside in cold, windy weather, or cleaning the house, you should always protect your skin with gloves whenever necessary. Wearing gloves while outside is obvious, but when it comes to cleaning, many women forget to protect themselves. As it turns out, when you come in contact with abrasive detergents and anti-bacterial solutions, your skin suffers the most. Even though some hand sanitizers claim they have moisturizers in them, don’t be fooled—they will dry your hands out anyways. Only try to use anti-bacterial gels or sanitizers in emergency situations (such as at a rest stop that doesn’t have the proper washing materials).
When your skin is dry and flaky, try exfoliating your skin. Soak your hands for three minutes in a warm water bowl, then scrub them with AHAVA’s Salt Mineral Scrub (a Dead Sea exfoliating scrub). Doing this will delicately remove the top layer of your skin by turning over your skin cells, and exposing a fresh, soft layer of skin.
In addition to these basic tips, if you generally suffer from dry, cracked hands, you’ll need to take a 'tough-love approach' to your hands with the right products. Look for products that have key ingredients such as witch hazel, omega acid-rich Jojoba seed oil. If you keep a hand cream in your bag like the AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream, you will be able to regularly apply throughout the day to ensure that your hands always stay silky and soft. Trying a hand cream with SPF can also help you protect your hands from damaging sun exposure, which leads to premature aging.
For a more extreme preventative measure, use an intensive hand treatment, such as AHAVA Dermud Intensive Hand Cream, (containing real Dead Sea mud) at night to prevent your hands from getting dry throughout the day. Apply a liberal amount to hands and then cover with breathable gloves to give yourself a spa treatment all night long.
By avoiding behaviors that can add to the dryness of your hands and using products that are meant to combat cracks and redness, you will be well on your way to achieving your softest hands yet (that don’t make you say ouch!).
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