These days you may find yourself washing your hands even more than usual, which is great for getting rid of germs or cleaning off chemicals, but less than ideal for sensitive skin. Even if you don’t normally suffer from eczema or dry skin you may have noticed an increase in dryness that makes your hands feel leathery, itchy or just not nice. And since hands have a whole lot to do every day, it’s only appropriate we lend a helping hand to our hands, and give a little love in the form of lotion, moisturizing masks, and other recipes to remedy the issue.
The cause of cracked and dry skin on your hands is a result of both water and soap, and can also come from chlorine. Soaps irritate the skin and disrupt the balance of the protective layer of our skin, the stratum corneum. However, regular washing of hands is recommended, so don’t do yourself a disservice and cut out a healthy habit. In fact, make sure you’re doing it right. Watch this video as a little refresher on how to keep those hands clean.
Before we head to our DIY list, some other quick tips to treat dry hands include making sure to pat dry (not rub), always dry thoroughly, use gloves when you can, and make sure to moisturize regularly. Now here’s some simple homemade skin care that includes natural ingredients that are good enough to eat – but see if you can keep your hands out of your mouth for now.
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1. Always down for avocado
When is avocado ever a bad idea. I’m willing to bet that it’s almost never. You can mash it up in guacamole, slice it for sandwiches, and *spoiler alert* spread it over your skin for a soothing hand mask. It’s the menu item that doubles as a marvelous moisturizing mixture, and the hero of the story when it’s time to do away with dry hands.
Avocados are a rich source of fatty acids and vitamins that can aid in skin repair and soothe dry skin. They are an excellent source of vitamins C and E. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a pivotal role in collagen synthesis, which is important for a youthful appearance. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that provides photoprotection, especially when combined with vitamin C. The nutrients present in avocados may also improve skin tone. Add to that the smoothing and softening effect that the other oils in this recipe have, and you’ll have some happy hands.
All that’s required is half a ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. You can combine the ingredients in a blender, or just mash them up well in a bowl. After you spread the mixture over your hands, leave it on for 10 minutes. Though you may want to dip a chip in it, it’s probably best to just rinse off your hands with room temperature water. Then be sure to dry hands thoroughly by patting them with a soft towel. Next, you’ll want to follow up with moisturizer. Your hands will say ahhh…vocado.
2. One potato, do!
There’s always one potato in that veggie or fruit basket just sneakily waiting around until it sprouts eyes that make you want to look away. So before that happens, put your potato to work. Take notice, ‘tater – it’s go time! Potatoes have worked well for many people looking to even skin tone or combat inflammation. The verdict is still out on whether it can lighten and brighten the skin, but there’s some anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of fighting dry skin and irritation.
For this recipe grab one small potato and get out your extra virgin olive oil. Peel and boil the potato just like you might normally prepare it, and then let it cool. Mash it up with a fork, and then mix it well with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Apply it to your hands and leave on for 15 minutes. When your timer tells you, stand over your trash or compost bin and scrape it all off before you head to the sink to rinse off. The kitchen sink is a better bet since there may still be potato particles that you don’t want backing up the bathroom sink. You’ll see right away how mash can make a difference.
3. Coco Solo
This DIY hand moisturizing recipe has one ingredient: Coconut oil. That’s it. Period. Or full stop, if you’re British.
Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees, must have forgotten about coconuts. They’re so money and they don’t even know it. You can drink the water, eat the meat, or smooth on the oil. The oil is extracted from the coconut meat and may help repair skin irritation and also help the skin barrier function. Coconut oil is easy to find in stores and it’s full of those fatty acids that benefit the skin. It contains a lot of lauric acid, which is antimicrobial and very hydrating. All of the above help fight dryness.
For this one, all you need to do is rub coconut oil all over your hands, and work it in well. If you like, you can cover hands with cotton gloves or mitts made for beauty treatments like this. Of the DIY hand treatments out there, it’s surely one with the most simple directions, and makes a great moisturizer for chapped hands.
4. Aloe & E
Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call…on Aloe vera. It can provide sweet relief from the sting of a sunburn, or help heal chapped, irritated, and dry skin. As a humectant, this natural ingredient draws moisture from humidity in the environment to the top layer of skin, helping to make it more hydrated. The soothing and calming effect comes from an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bradykinase, which also has analgesic properties that reduce any inflammation.
The Aloe vera gel alone can be slightly tacky to the touch, so it really pairs well with an emollient that softens everything it meets, like a Midas touch of moisture. As with most of these recipes, essential oils are always optional (ironic, right?), so if you want to add an essential oil like rose hip seed oil (which contains vitamins A and C), feel free, as essential oils play well with Aloe.
Since this is one of those remedies you’ll likely be using more than once, go ahead and make a little batch of it. Use three rounded tablespoons of Aloe vera, two teaspoons of vitamin E oil and around 5 drops of the essential oil of your choice (rose hip seed oil or frankincense are both good options). Mix, and put in a small glass jar. You can smooth it over your face and leave it on while you scroll mindlessly for a minute or 10 and then wash it off with warm water.
5. Calming chamomile tea and oats
This DIY mixture is a natural way to treat dry cracked hands in a hurry. Oats are part of a nutritious breakfast, sure, but they’re also part of a natural skin care solution. They act as a gentle exfoliant that removes dead cells, and also make the skin more moisturized. So, step aside, sugar scrub, and share the stage with oats.
For this DIY hand mask you’ll need 2 tablespoons dry oats, 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon of corn flour or cornstarch, and a bag of chamomile tea. Pour your boiled water into a heat-safe container and add the chamomile tea bag. Once it cools down a little, remove the bag. Mix oats and corn flour together in a separate bowl, and then pour the tea into the mixture slowly. As with the other DIY hand masks, leave it on for about half an episode of that show you’re binging, and then scrape and wash it off. Pat dry and admire those paws.
6. Something sweet for your hands
We don’t often think of honey as something we want to put on our hands, due to its sticky, messy nature, but it’s one of those wonderful multi-purpose products. It can have healing and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It may even speed up wound healing, though if you have open wounds on your hands you should seek medical advice and try talking to a dermatologist before reaching for that bear shaped bottle.
But for a dry skin cream you can create at home, a mix of honey and plain yogurt can be oh so helpful for hand dryness. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which can decrease the appearance of fine lines, while the probiotics pitch in to protect skin. Use 2 tablespoons of yogurt to 1 teaspoon of honey, mix together and apply, making sure you don’t drip the mixture from either hand until you’re ready to rinse it all off.
7. Tropical hand heaven with papaya and banana
Fruit enzymes are full of skin-beautifying benefits. Alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate that top layer of dead cells, and the potassium in papaya hydrates and nourishes. Some people also report brightening of the skin post-papaya DIY skin treatments. Papaya and banana are both bursting with vitamins, and banana makes any mask more moisturizing.
Chop up a ripe papaya and set aside ¼ cup. Mix with ¼ cup of banana pieces and blend them into a smooth paste. Apply all over your hands and kick back for a quarter of an hour. Wipe off the mask into a waste bin or over the kitchen sink and rinse with warm water. Pat dry and apply your favorite moisturizer. And now you can make a tropical smoothie with the rest of that fruit while you admire your soft skin.
8. Shea butter for better skin care
This shea butter batter is the perfect hand cream to concoct at home. You may have seen it listed along with other ingredients in several skin care products in health and beauty stores and already know its benefits. If not, then you can learn right now that it’s nourishing for the skin and has vitamins A and E which we have already established are our friends. In addition, adding some sweet almond oil and beeswax works to hydrate hands and prevent problems related to dry skin. The former nourishes and softens while the beeswax helps to form a protective layer and provides firmness. This is another opportunity to add in an essential oil. Lavender or frankincense are often recommended for DIY skin care mixes.
Measure out ¼ cup of shea butter, 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil, and 1 tablespoon beeswax into a Pyrex or other container that you then place in a pan of softly boiling water. Stir as it all melts, and then remove from heat. Add whatever oil you have deemed essential, mix again, and then transfer to a glass container. After a few hours it will harden, and you can apply it to your hands as a healing cream. You’ll see skin that’s much improved.
9. Milk, it does your dry hands good
Just like yogurt, milk contains lactic acid, which is a natural exfoliant. It helps the skin cycle through the regeneration process that brings newer, fresher cells to the surface. Milk is also soothing and calming and pulls out impurities.
Mix 1/4 cup powdered milk with water to form a thick, but easily spreadable, paste. If you want to use rosewater, you get bonus points. Cover your face with the mix and allow it to dry completely. Then wash it off and pat dry with a soft towel. This DIY will help you say bye to the dry.
10. Castor oil for cuticles
Now let’s not forget those nails and cuticles as we address dry hands. Castor oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that can help strengthen nails and protect your skin from nasty little bacteria. But with the added benefits of olive oil and lemon juice, this is a DIY dream for the whole hand.
Combine 3 tablespoons of castor oil and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a metal bowl and place in a larger bowl that has hot water in order to warm up the oils. Then, add in a tablespoon of lemon juice. Soak each hand in the bowl for several minutes, massaging it into your skin. When you’re done, wash with soap and warm water.
Almost any treatment for dry hands or dry skin should be followed up with a cream to lock in the moisture. And of course, lotion should be used every day to nourish and protect skin. One of the best products to heal and soothe is without a doubt Viviane Woodard’s Healing Hand and Body Balm. Whether or not it follows a DIY treatment you’ve done at home, it will be your go-to lotion that you keep on your bedside table. You will immediately feel how it cools and relieves rough, dry skin, even if you don’t know it’s because of the healing botanicals, Aloe vera, and other moisturizing ingredients. If you want to add even more moisture in the mix, spray several shots of the Hydra Moist Total Body Mist all over before applying the balm. It’s as effective on a sensitive face as it is with dry, chapped hands. And, as with all Viviane Woodard products, both of these are cruelty free. It’s an all around win for dry skin.
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For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.