I don't know about all of you, but my skin is drier than usual this year — especially my hands. No matter how much hand cream I apply, it doesn’t seem to be enough, and my cuticles and nails are suffering the consequences. (Yes, my nail beds suck. ) And even though it happens to some degree every winter, it seems to be worse than ever this year.
"Hands become more susceptible in winter due to lack of moisture in the air," explains Dendy Engelman MD, FACMS, FAAD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Shafer Clinic in New York City. "When the temperature starts to drop, the air becomes drier and tighter, which weakens the skin barrier and pulls moisture from the vulnerable skin. This often leads to dry, flaky, cracked hands." And thanks to all the extra safety measures we take during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our hands are losing more moisture than usual. From washing our hands more often to all that sanitizer they need more TLC than ever before.
Below, Engelman shares his tips to help combat all of these factors for soft, hydrated hands 365 days a year.
First of all, actually exercise everything of the hand creams you have stocked. “Putting moisturizer on your hands throughout the day, especially after washing, will not only help relieve dryness but also prevent it from happening in the first place,” Engelman explains.
If the hand just doesn't cut the cream, consider the mask. “Overnight hand masks are a great way to treat dry hands,” Derm says. “You can do this at home by applying richer, more occlusive creams or ointments (look for ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid and ceramides) then cover them with gloves or socks while you sleep. "
A dermatologist also recommends using a humidifier to control moisture levels in your air. . “During the winter months, the air is very dry outside and inside your dwellings,” Engelman said. “Running a clean humidifier like the Canopy Humidifier improves the quality of your skin and makes your home a more comfortable place by adding moisture to the air and keeping your space at optimal humidity levels (40% to 60 %). "" A humidifier is a great way to prevent dry skin — not just on your hands but all over your body as well, "derm advises." The Canopy Humidifier is special because it uses evaporative (no-mist) technology to release pure, hydrated air, meaning you don’t have to worry about mold growing or breathing contaminants. It's also dishwasher-safe and very easy to clean. "
Depending on how cold where you live, you may not need a reminder, but just in case: “Because we always use our hands, the skin of our hands is some of the most exposed in our entire body and, as a result, is often suffering in the winter, ”Engelman said. "Frequent washing of your hands can also remove from your hands their natural oils, which worsens dryness. Gloves are a great way to reduce damage."
Like the skin on the rest of our body, our hands benefit from gentle exfoliation. Just be careful not to overdo it: If you manicure regularly, you may be able to scrub — so listen to your skin, and exfoliate only when you need to