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Special Hand Care for Winter

Rujuta Borkar
Providing special care for your hands during the winter season becomes imperative if one is to protect them from the harsh climate. Need some winter care tips for your hands? Read on!
Soft, satin-like hands is how you like them; even during winters! But, keeping your hands soft during the winter is impossible if you merely wish so. Slathering a moisturizer on hands and rubbing it down might suffice all year around, but during winters they demand that special attention. Read on to know its nuances.

The Routines to Follow

The skin on our hands is very, very thin, therefore it has the tendency to become dry quickly. Considering this fact, the skin tends to become drier still during the harsh winter. Owing to this, a lot of stress is placed on taking better care of one's hands, especially during the winter because a dry winter can have a disastrous effect on the hands.
In everyday routine you don't even realize how much you tend to use your hands. It is quite natural that you haven't really given a thought to the kind of activities you use our hands for and contemplate whether it is harming your hands or not.
For example, simple things like not wearing gloves, sitting in the workplace with the heating system in full gear and/or excessive washing of hands using soaps that could be made of harsh chemicals.
All these activities and much like the same can lead to excessive dryness in hands, thus causing a loss of moisture in them and leading to their becoming cracked and rough. That is why it is important that you notice how you treat your hands. It is only then that you will be able to change and bring in the essential care that is required.
In this direction, there are certain essential skin care routines that you should follow in order to maintain soft and healthy hands. Here is a detailed account of what needs to be done so that you are able to bring in better winter hand care. Read, understand and follow.


It is essential to scrub your hands, especially during winter because the skin is prone to drying. Dry skin means that there will be dead skin cells forming an outer layer on your hands and it is required that you get rid of the same first before proceeding to the other steps.
Getting rid of the dead skin cells allows the moisturizer to soak in better leaving the skin surface smoother. Scrubbing the hands with certain natural and herbal products is the perfect way to get rid of the accumulated dirt and dead skin. Here are some ways that you can employ:
  • Take a few dates and grind them well, then mix in the juice of freshly squeezed tomatoes and scrub. Wash off with warm water.
  • Mix 1 and a half cups of sugar with 1/3 cup salt and add a cup of olive oil and ground lemon peel to the mixture. Scrub and wash off.
  • Add water to ground oats and scrub hands with this. Wash off with warm water.
  • Grind mung beans into a powder, add water and then scrub.
  • Other than these natural ingredients, you can always go in for commercial products that are readily available in the market.


Always, always moisturize. That is the be all and end all of keeping your hands soft and smooth. Moisturizing lotions and creams not only provide a protective shield for your hands, but also hydrate them and make up for the dryness. Depending on the kind of skin that one has, one needs to choose a moisturizing product.
For example, a moisturizing lotion will be more suitable for an oily skin because it has a water base therefore, gets easily soaked into the skin. Moisturizing creams are thicker therefore, are best suited for a dry skin type.
When it comes to winter though, it is usually advised and required that one use a thicker moisturizer because the harsh climate is prone to dry the skin further. Look for moisturizers that are infused with vitamin E and softening agents like oils. These will nourish your hands and lend it softness.
Here are some ways in which you can use natural ingredients to make moisturizers at home:

  • Mix any essential oil of your choice (lavender, ylang-ylang) with wheat germ oil and use whenever necessary.
  • Mix Shea butter, honey and any other essential oil and use a generous layer.
Other than these herbal and natural moisturizing agents, there are many commercial products readily available in the market. You can choose from any of the popular brands like Vaseline, The Body Shop, Dove and others. Each of these brands will offer a wide range of products specifically prepared for different skin types and times during the year.

Hand Masks

Hand masks will not only provide the much-needed hydration but also give your hands the extra pampering. Here are some recipes that you can make by yourselves:
  • Soak your hands in a mixture of olive oil (4 tbs) and warm water (2 cups) for 10-15 minutes and then wash off.
  • Apply a moisturizer afterward.
  • Cut an aloe vera leaf and apply the sap over your hands. Then massage in and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash off with warm water.
  • Make a concoction of glycerin (1 tbsp), rose water (2-3 ounces), olive oil (2 tbsp), egg yolk (1) and lemon juice (1 lemon) and apply to the hands. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.
  • Apply warm coconut oil or olive oil over the hands and massage in. Leave it overnight and wash off in the morning.

Step by Step Hand Care Routine

Follow this routine at least once every 15 days:.
  • Wash your hands with a good quality hand wash that has essential oils and moisturizing agents in it.
  • Then use any of the scrubs that have been mentioned before and scrub your hands. Wash off with warm water.
  • Give your hands steam for 10 minutes. Do not soak them in hot water, only steam them. This will not only open up the pores but will soften and eventually get rid of the hardened or chipped skin on your hands.
  • Next, use a hand mask on your hands, cover with gloves and leave it overnight.
  • Wash off any residue in the morning.
  • Then apply a layer of moisturizer.
  • Another method is to slather on a thick moisturizer after the steaming is done and then wrap the hands in a plastic bag. Cover with gloves and keep them overnight or for about an hour.
  • Another alternative is to pop open vitamin E capsules and slather all over the hands. This is an excellent remedy for dry skin and in providing for the lost nutrients.

Tips for Better Hand Care

  • Always wear gloves when you're outdoors so that the harsh climate does not rob the skin of its moisture.
  • Use a good quality moisturizer, even when you're indoors. In fact more so when there is central heating in place.
  • Avoid washing your hands often, because the mere act of washing hands will cause dryness. Use a hand sanitizer instead. When washing hands with water, avoid using soaps as far as possible because they dry the skin out more.
  • Instead, use a good quality hand wash that has oils, lipin or other moisturizing agents in it. Also, make sure that alcohol is not one of the ingredients in the hand wash or soap because that dries the skin as well. Washing hands with hot water is discouraged as well because it causes tremendous drying.
  • Use sunscreen while going out to protect the skin from the harsh sun rays and other elements in the air. Use it even while you're indoors. 
  • Use rubber gloves while doing housework since water and other abrasive chemicals draw out all the moisture making the skin rough.
  • Rub few drops of lemon juice onto your hands to hydrate skin and maintain its pH balance.
  • Keep a water plate near your humidifier to maintain enough humidity in the air to avoid the bad effects of dry air on skin.
  • Follow a diet that has a profusion of Omega 3 to naturally hydrate the body and it'll show on your skin.

Caring for the skin is not really tough once you know 'How To'. The methods discussed here definitely help you follow a good regime!