Depending on what part of the country you are in, you might be getting your first taste of fall this week (Or maybe you’re in hot and dry 100 degree weather like me in Phoenix still). While you may love the crisp air, falling leaves, and fall festivities, there is one unwelcome symptom of the season–dry skin and hands. As the days get colder, the skin on the hands can get drier and drier, even to the point of sometimes having painful, cracking skin in winter. Ouch!
There are some preventative steps you can take to keep your hands looking great.
- Step One: Avoid exposure. For starters, wear gloves, scarves, and other clothing to protect yourself from the winter winds.
- Step Two: Increase moisture. This can be done by making sure you are drinking enough water (at least 8-10 glasses per day) and also by using a humidifier while indoors.
- Step Three: Preserve your skin’s natural oils. The key to making sure that your skin can protect itself using its own natural defenses is to avoid harsh solvents and soaps and to use gently, organic cleaners to wash your skin.
Along with those tips, it’s also nice to get a little pampering, too, for the finish touch.
Here’s how to treat yourself to an all-natural remedy—a DIY manicure for dry hands.
- Trim hangnails using small nail scissors to clean up any ragged skin around the nail. Do not cut cuticles, as they help protect the nail bed from infection.
- Soften rough skin by soaking hands in a bowl of warm whole milk for about 5 minutes. The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead cells and soften cuticles; the natural fats help replenish dry skin.
- Gently push back cuticles using an angle-tipped nail stick.
- Use a nail file to shape nails into squares with rounded corners, which makes them more resistant to cracks and tears. To avoid misshapen or split nails, file in one direction only — no sawing back and forth.
- Buff nails to a shine with a smooth-surfaced buffing block using a side-to-side motion.
- Moisturize and massage by rubbing hands with warm almond oil, avocado oil, or light olive oil. Pay particular attention to the nail and cuticle areas.