Whilst a more commonplace concern for those prone to dryness all over, dry skin on hands can be experienced by any skin type. As with most skin concerns, dry chapped hands are usually symptomatic of dual environmental and behavioural stressors.
Whether it occurs for you in cold weather or year-round, the consequences can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. A holistic approach to your environment alongside gentle skincare ingredients can make a supportive difference in addressing it.
To create an efficacious hand care routine, it’s helpful to first understand dry hand causes and the way each affects the outcome. Though the skin on hands is thicker and tougher than elsewhere, it lacks natural moisture and can therefore become dehydrated quickly. To properly care for this area of skin, hand cream for dry hands and other skincare steps should be implemented. Ahead, we’ve compiled a simple 4-step routine to support the optimal health and strength of this area of skin
DRY HANDS SYMPTOMS?
We use our hands constantly, and in doing so expose them to a wide array of stressors – including those that strip skin of natural lipids (or oils). As a protective measure, the skin around the palms of hands and fingers is tough and robust. This means that when dry skin on hands occurs, they can feel especially rough and be more visible than elsewhere. In extreme cases, dry chapped hands can cause discomfort. More common symptoms include:
‘Scales’ across skin
WHY ARE MY HANDS SO DRY?
What causes dry hands is mostly the external elements they’re exposed to. The lack of sebaceous glands across hands – the part of our body responsible for producing sebum, our natural moisture – makes them sensitive to dehydration through exposure. Apart from over-washing hands and the surfactants and solvents we regularly put on them, dry hand causes also include:
Medical concerns: those who experience eczema prone skin, and psoriasis-related symptoms can experience dry hands. Lower blood circulation in hands can also heighten dryness. Using skincare products suitable for skin prone to these conditions is important to support the sensitised nature of skin.
- The climate: cold and dry weather conditions are one of the most common dry hands causes. A lack of moisture in the air can actually draw moisture from skin, causing dry hands symptoms to persist.
- Age: as we grow older, our skin moisture barrier can become weakened and the natural production of moisturising substances decreases. This leads skin to becoming more sensitive to external stressors, and as hands already lack protective moisture, this area especially exhibits dryness.
HOW TO ADDRESS DRY SKIN ON HANDS
The most efficacious routines combine supportive formulas with other, protective lifestyle measures. Make sure to take a holistic approach – the ingredients and products you use really matter, and opting for skincare that helps to re-establish the natural balance will do the most. See how to avoid dry hands and address the occurrence of this skin concern below.
Step 1: Moisturise Daily
Moisturiser helps to seal in natural moisture and supplement any loss of it throughout the day. Implementing it on face and body as part of your morning and evening routine ensures that skin is suitably hydrated. At home, Lipikar AP+ M Body Balm Cream provides lipids similar to skin’s own, through the inclusion of shea butter and niacinamide. However, what causes dry hands constantly reoccurs throughout the day. To supplement moisture, Cicaplast Mains Hand Barrier Cream comes in a transportable tube and contains 4% niacinamide alongside 30% glycerin for hardworking and sensitive hands.
STEP 2: CHOOSE GENTLE PRODUCTS
At work or home, hands are already exposed to moisture stripping substances like hand sanitisers. To reduce dry hands symptoms, try to avoid formulas that contain moisture-stripping agents like alcohol, fragrances and parabens. Instead, only apply dry-skin suitable products that contain hydrating and moisture-supporting ingredients.
STEP 3: ALWAYS WEAR SPF ON HANDS
Essential throughout every season, sun safety makes a huge difference in the status of skin. As a highly exposed part of our body, hands are especially susceptible to the effects of sun exposure. Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world, but applying sunscreen every two hours on hands or more often after washing or sanisiting will help to reduce the occurrence of dry skin on hands. Suitable for sensitive skin, Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Body Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+ contains a non-greasy, invisible fluid.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
STEP 4: RESPOND TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT
In dry climates or when coming into contact with chemicals, dry hands are more likely to occur. Help to protect your skin by considering what your hands will be exposed to each day. Always wear gloves when cleaning and washing up. When the climate is cold, wear winter gloves to help keep skin’s moisture barrier intact. Hot water can also dry out hands and cause skin to become prone to dryness. When washing your hands, make sure that the temperature is cool to warm only. Finally, if dry chapped hands symptoms worsen, consult a medical professional.
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