7 natural home remedies to prevent and treat dry hands this winter
Dry, irritable hands are common during the colder months, caused by low humidity in the air, hot baths and showers, and central heating.
Combined with excessive hand washing and using harsh alcohol-based antibacterial gels and cleaning products to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s no wonder our hands need a little TLC.
Some of the risks of dry hands include uncomfortable feelings of skin tightness, itching, redness or bleeding and flaky or peeling skin.
Severe cases of dry hands may leave you open to further health risks. Cracked skin is at risk of infection, which can lead to serious health complications in extreme cases. So, it’s important to treat dry hands at the earliest signs.
If you’re suffering from dry, cracked hands, there are plenty of simple, natural home remedies that are proven to help heal and hydrate skin. Founder of online health and wellbeing retailer StressNoMore, Stephanie Taylor rounds up her top tips…
We’ve all heard of cucumber eye masks, but the fruit can also be used to treat dry, cracked hands. Leave sliced cucumber to sit in a bowl of water for a few hours before soaking your hands.
The nutrients in cucumber hydrate the skin, soothing dry, cracked hands in the same way they treat puffy and tired eyes.
2. Drinking (or soaking in) milk
Milk is proven to treat dry, cracked hands from the inside and out. The fats consumed when drinking milk provide a barrier of protection for skin, preventing cracked hands from worsening. You can also soak dry hands in milk helps to remove flaky skin and moisturise hands.
If you live a vegan lifestyle, oat milk has similar moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Olive oil and sugar
This DIY exfoliating scrub soothes dry hands. Mix two parts sugar with one part olive oil into a thick, crystalline paste and apply it to dry, cracked hands, then rinse off with warm water.
The solution not only removes dry or flaky skin but also leaves hands feeling soft and exfoliated. Adding mashed avocado to the solution can provide an extra moisturising effect, too.
Adding oats to a lukewarm bath can have a soothing effect on dry skin. Blend whole oats into a fine powder, add them to your bath or a bowl and soak for around 10 minutes.
Oats have anti-inflammatory properties that help skin retain its moisture and prevent dry skin from becoming itchy and irritated.
In addition to its cooling effect on sore or irritated skin, yoghurt also has hydrating properties that can leave dry hands feeling refreshed. Massage natural yoghurt into your hands and leave for around 10 minutes before rinsing away to reduce dryness and itching.
Foods rich in antioxidants, like carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, peas, blueberries and spinach have proven skin benefits. Antioxidants not only protect skin against damage but also have anti-inflammatory effects to soothe dry or cracked hands, so be sure to incorporate these into your diet.
Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it locks in moisture when applied to skin. Rub honey into dry hands and leave it for around 5 minutes before rinsing away. Dry, cracked hands will feel soft, smooth and hydrated.
And if you need an extra helping hand…
If you’re still experiencing dry or cracked hands, you might need an extra helping hand from specialist hand and footcare products that target the external symptoms.
The Organic Where Possible Olive, Geranium & Spearmint hand scrub cleanses and nourishes damaged hands – repairing skin and healing wounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties also soothe irritated skin, plus its handmade in the UK, 100% vegan and free from parabens and palm oil.
Another dry skin saviour is the Beurer MP70 Paraffin Bath, a technique often used in beauty spas and hospitals to increase the rate of healing and recovery. Paraffin baths are great for keeping skin hydrated and healthy, as well as protecting damaged skin by forming a seal against outside aggressors.
Finish your routine with Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic Healing Skin Cream to restore skin texture, revive broken skin and promote cell regeneration for soft, youthful-looking hands all year round.