How To Care For Very Dry Hands

Hello everyone,
With all the hand washing and disinfecting a lot of us are dealing with very dry hands. It's not just an issue of aesthetic and comfort -- cracked and wounded skin is much harder to clean and disinfect,
Today I'm going to talk about not just about products, but about other factors that can influence the skin of your hands.

Bring your own disinfection:

The free disinfection sprays that stand in stores are mostly cheap and very drying, so I usually bring a nicer one and use that. Look for Ethanol rather than isopropyl alcohol, fragrance-free, ideally with a moisturising ingredient like glycerin.
I have and can highly recommend Sterilium (especially Sterillium Pure). It's highly effective but not harsh on the skin. I decant it into little bottles to use on the go. It's apparently a favourite among health workers in Germany.

How do you wash your hands at home?

With our hands taking a beating, it's worth minimising aggressive cleaning products at home as much as possible. Switch out all hand soaps for gentler versions or soap-free cleansers. Look for natural products or ones made for sensitive skin, swap body soaps for solid shower gel bars.
Also wash your hands with cold water instead of warm, this is gentler on your skin's protective layer. Dry your hands gently, don't rub.

How are you cleaning your home?

Cleaning the home takes a huge toll on the hands, and right now many of us are noticing that more clearly. 
The best and most effective way to protect the hands are of course gloves -- they minimise contact with water, and keep your hands clean which cuts down on washing. You need to change your gloves if the gloves get wet or sweaty inside.
I also recommend to switch to gentler cleaning products.

Protection from the cold 

Cold temperatures are harsh on the hands, so I try to wear gloves as soon as the thermometer drops. Especially when I'm on my bike.

Allergies and irritations

If your hands have wounds or rashes or are cracking, it might be more than dryness. Irritant contact dermatitis is when the skin is inflamed due to being injured by cold, over-exposure to water, chemicals, etc. In this case a hand cream will not be enough, and you might need a medical product to calm the inflammation.

Skin issues are often worse in the spring, as they are closely connected with pollen allergies. I have a family members that has skin issues and the dermatologist tested them for allergies and it turns out they are allergic to pollen even though they aren't showing symptoms.

My hand cream recommendations:

* Weleda skin food
* Hand / foot creams with 10% urea. These are pretty cheap in drugstores. Foot creams are even richer than hand creams.
* Nipple care products or pure lanolin -- works absolutely wonders for chapped skin anywhere.
* Homeoplasmine 
* Beesewax creams with propolis (I buy them from local producers)
* Hand creams with vitamin A and E
* Hand products meant for gardeners 

I personally haven't had that much success with pure oils/butters, because they lack a humectant.

Hand spa

You can help your hand care product to penetrate your hands better if you put on gloves. I actually like to put on hand cream under household gloves when I clean, but a chicer way to do it are the thin cotton gloves especially for this purpose.


Make sure you are drinking enough water, as it has a a direct an immediate effect on your skin. Other than that, it's worth checking out if you are deficient in Vitamin D, E and C.

So there you go,
Photo credit: VenusianGlow

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