How to Heal Dry, Chapped Hands + Lips
With the extra hand washing and sanitizing, it can be tricky to keep hands soft and moisturized. As we move into Fall and the air gets drier, there are other areas of your skin that might need some extra attention too. So, whether it’s your hands, lips or another area, keep reading for our top ways to stay moisturized and heal dry spots this winter.
Part One: Your Hands
The outer layer of your skin helps lock in hydration, but when you wash your hands, you break that skin barrier, stripping the natural healthy fats from your skin, and in turn, losing moisture.
Our first tip for keeping hands smooth begins with how you wash your hands. Instead of using super-hot water, use lukewarm. Hot water is known to dry out skin and using warm water will have the same cleansing effects but will definitely be more comfortable for your hands.
Another tip is to moisturize when your hands are still slightly damp. This helps the hand cream penetrate the skin more deeply and effectively. And when it comes to choosing a hand cream, the thicker the better. Some key ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and lanolin; all excellent at locking in hydration.
My top pick for the best all-around hand cream is the cult favourite, Weleda’s Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream. The name says it all; it’s thick, luxurious and most importantly, it keeps hands moisturized for hours. It is intense and it can be a bit greasy but soaks in quickly and it’s a real life saver when your hands need some serious help.
For those needing even more treatment, try a hand mask. Pick up a pair of cotton gloves like the Urban Spa Moisturizing Gloves and apply a generous amount of fragrance free hand cream, such as CeraVe’s Therapeutic Hand Cream, before bed. Slip the gloves on overtop and you’re guaranteed to wake up with softer skin.
Part Two: Lips
If your lips are feeling tight, itchy, or flaky, you’ve probably already tried a few lip balms to help the problem, but if you’re like me, certain products can exasperate the situation. The skin on our lips is some of the most delicate on the body as it’s constantly exposed to the elements and prone to licking or biting. Once you’ve ruled out an allergic reaction or irritation from a product, there’s a good chance it’s the cold or dry weather sucking the moisture from your lips.
The ingredients in your lip balm can make all the difference. Look for products with nourishing ingredients like natural oils (almond, jojoba, argan or coconut), shea butter, and beeswax which are known for their healing, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties. Avoid balms made with fragrances (they’re drying) and especially camphor, phenol, and menthol. Although the cooling and plumping effect can feel nice during application, it will likely cause irritation.
Another tip is to make applying lip balm a habit. Keep a tube near your bed for the end of the night, one in the bathroom for after you’ve brushed your teeth and of course, in your purse while on the go. My top everyday lip balm is Weleda’s Everon Lip Balm. It is rich and smooth, not waxy at all and you can feel it immediately sinking into your skin. For overnight use, my choice is the Hurraw Balm Moon Lip Balm. I find even when I apply it before bed, I can still feel its effects on my lips in the morning. Plus, it smells like vanilla and chamomile.
Regular exfoliating is also useful but don’t go overboard. It’s not something you need to do every day. Instead, if you notice flaking, apply a balm, give it a few hours and if there are still flakes use a gentle sugar scrub like Pure Anada’s Lip Scrub Mango Peach.
With these tips you should have soft skin all winter long!
Eve is a photographer and writer from Toronto, Canada with a passion for natural beauty and healthy eating. She loves green products, yoga, big salads and even bigger cups of tea.