How to save your dry, cracked hands in the winter

Dry hands during the winter? Here’s what to do [Photo: Getty]
Dry hands during the winter? Here’s what to do [Photo: Getty]

The first glove-wearing day of autumn is a true sign that the seasons are changing. But sometimes even gloves can’t save you from dry, painful hands as temperatures drop – especially if you’re a frequent hand-washer.

This is everything you need to do to keep your hands smooth this winter.

You don’t need pricey products

Dr Tatiana, Skin Doctor at Dr Tatiana Aesthetic Clinics, recommends good old-fashioned Vaseline: Vaseline petroleum jelly works wonders on dry, cracked skin,” she says. “Five or six applications a day will keep your hands super soft and hydrated and prevent them from becoming dryer.”

When “your hands go from just being dry and rough to having little cracks, or fissures”, then it’s time to use a more therapeutic moisturiser. Dr Tatiana suggests a “thick, rich moisturiser in a formula that contains heavier ingredients such as cocoa or shea butter, or beeswax.”

Counteract environmental dryness

“During the winter months the humidity of the air reduces, resulting in drier conditions for your skin,” explains Dr Michael Barnish, Aesthetic Doctor at the Jonquille Chantrey clinic in Alderley Edge.To add to this, the air within your home and work becomes drier from indoor heating, worsening the problem.”

Dr Barnish suggests drinking more water to keep your hydration levels up, as well aswearing gloves in the cold weather and avoiding over-heating your home”.

Protect your hands while cleaning

“Wear rubber gloves when using household cleaning products, and avoid washing hands in harsh detergents,” advises Alison Nowell of skincare brand Dead Sea Spa Magik.

Hand sanitiser is better for skin than you think

Using hand sanitiser may actually be easier on your skin than washing your hands. “It cleans your hands much better than soap and water, and reduces bacteria to much greater extent,” says Dr Tatiana. “It is also kinder to the skin and will be less likely to dry it out.”

Still not convinced? Dr Tatiana adds: “Most of the modern hand sanitisers available have emollients in them that will actually improve skin condition.”

Hydrate skin at every opportunity

“Make sure you apply your hand cream not just once but several times a day,” advises Alison Nowell. “I have several which I keep in my bedside cabinet, desk drawer, handbag and gym bag ensuring a constant supply of hydration and protection.”

Beware hot water

We all love a nice warm soak in the depths of winter, but try not to expose your skin to too much hot water. Dr Tatiana suggests that you “only bath and shower in warm water as hot water strips skin of oils; the more oils removed, the dryer the skin becomes”.

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