Caring For Your Hands In the Winter

The elements can be really hard on our skin, and as the weather gets colder our hands can suffer most of all. Strong winds, chilly air, and central heating can all take their toll. Here are some handy (get it?) hints on how to take care of your hands as the chill sets in.

Winter Hands

Wear Gloves

An obvious way to protect your skin from the elements is to keep the elements out but don’t leave it there. Dish soap and other detergents can also dry your skin out badly but wearing rubber, latex or vinyl gloves while you’re doing housework can save a lot of irritation in the long run. And avoid over-washing your hands as this can dry them out even more.

If you want to go one better, coat clean hands in a petroleum jelly and cover them with cotton gloves overnight. Before you throw your hands up in horror, let’s take a look at the facts. A huge amount of web server space has been devoted to asking “is Vaseline harmful?”

A cosmetic petroleum jelly like Vaseline is carefully formulated to be skin-safe and non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t block the pores). Not only that, it actively promotes faster healing and acts as a barrier, protecting broken or chapped skin from irritation caused by the wind or air conditioning and keeping bacteria at bay. So is Vaseline harmful – not according to the experts.


 SnowballYour local drugstore will be full of travel-sized hand creams, so experiment and find one that works well for you. Washing your hands, though important, strips away the natural oils that protect your skin from irritation, so make sure to moisturize after every wash.

If you have sensitive skin, or even eczema, dermatologists recommend using a petroleum jelly to help keep dry skin properly hydrated. Far from being harmful, Vaseline and similar petroleum products help to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and are recommended by dermatologists. So next time you wonder is Vaseline harmful, just remember that the experts don’t think so!

Treat Your Hands Daily

Most of us have some kind of skin care routine, developed over the years to address any issues we have regularly. Most of us also get chapped hands when it’s cold, but we might not always remember to take action to stop it happening. It makes sense to build hand moisturizing into your routine. It only takes a few seconds, and you’ll be glad you did it.

Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Body

Cold weather often comes with shorter days, which can leave us feeling stressed, drained and unmotivated. Stress has been linked with outbreaks of dry skin, and is a known cause of eczema in those who are prone to it.

And in case you thought dehydration was a hot-weather problem, think again! Studies have shown that cold weather increases the risk of dehydration because it stops us feeling thirsty so always drink plenty of water – whatever the weather.

And there you have it. Avoid over-washing your hands, wear rubber gloves when cleaning or washing dishes and protect your hands from the elements with outdoor gloves and a moisturizer. With these simple steps, your hands will feel as good as new.


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