If there's one regret I have (at least one that I can freely share) it would be not taking care of my hands from the get-go. For some reason, I have always paid attention to everything else but my hands. And I paid the price. Wrinkly, age spots...sigh. Time for relief for chapped hands.
It could have been different for me. I could have worn gloves. Used moisturizer with SPF. If I had done a better job, I could have youthful looking hands.
I want to help you give your skin a little helping hand (achem) with these few tips for winter weather. Or you can just watch what I do and do the opposite. That usually works too.
First off, let's get the basics down. All this flu panic has us washing our hands every three minutes. To avoid chapped hands, switch between hand sanitizers with soap and water washes. The alcohol in the sanitizer will dry your skin, but it's actually gentler on your hands than harsh soap. And when you're done, slather on the hand cream. I keep some everywhere - by the bed, by the sink, in my car, in my purse.
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relief for chapped hands
When choosing a hand cream, look for two things: emollients and humectants. The first ingredient acts as a lubricant, filling in between dead skin cells to soften and soothe skin so it's more pliable. Examples are Illipe nut butter, lanolin, jojoba oil, isopropyl palmitate, propylene glycol linoleate, squalene, and glycerol stearate. My all-time favorite hand lotion is the super-creamy Davies Gate one, but for some reason I can't find it anywhere. Such is the fickle world of beauty. I also love Ahava's Mineral hand cream, which boasts Witch Hazel extracts to smooth skin and allantoin to heal dry cracked skin.
Humectants to draw moisture from the environment, increasing the water content of the skin's outer layer. Common ones are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, propylene glycerol, urea, and lactic acid.
You should also try a thick nighttime treatment. Go cheap with plain old Vasoline or get fancy with a thick, rich moisturizer in a formula with dimethicone, cocoa or shea butters, or beeswax. Slather on at bedtime, slip on a pair of cotton gloves (like Bliss Glamour Gloves, which also has a special cream you can buy with them) or socks and get some beauty sleep.
Exfoliate your hands once a week with a nice scrub, like L'Occitane's One Minute one to slough off the rough stuff and then moisturize with oils. You can even make your own with 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a splash of warm water. Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oils and you can wash your hands of the topic of dry skin.
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