Skincare for the Changing Seasons: 5 Tips to Soothe and Protect Dry Winter Hands

Published in: Skin Care

This post is part of a series sponsored by Dove.

I was tickling the ivories on my computer keyboard the other day (I l-o-v-e R-y-a-n G-o-s-l-i-n-g) when my eyes settled on a frightening sight.


My hands!

Something — probably a combination of biting winds, indoor heaters and obsessive hand washing — had turned them into two chapped chunks of leathery turkey jerky.

Not cute.

“Tabs!” I screamed, reaching out to him for emotional support, but as soon as he took one look at my wretched paws, he hissed and ran away.

Okay, well, maybe not, but I think he did sort of cringe. πŸ™‚

When the holidays get rolling and the tasks pile up, that’s usually when I forget to take care of my hands. This year, I’m giving my talons some extra TLC, because the last thing I want on New Year’s is to have hands like that guy on Tales from the Crypt.

Here are five handy (pun intended!) tips to soothe and protect your paws and keep them looking their best.

1. Grab your gloves!

No, not the lacy fingerless kind, a la Madonna (although those are cool, too). Wearing gloves, both indoors and out, helps protect them from the elements.

As long as you’re not allergic to latex, consider keeping a bag of disposable ones around to wear while preparing meals with acidic ingredients, and then to avoid detergents while doing the dishes, keep a pair of rubber gloves near the sink. You might even stash an extra pair to use while cleaning the house.

If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel like, say, Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive, driving gloves are a stylish way to protect your paws from the sun.

I also keep a pair of cotton gloves on my nightstand and slip them on after I put on hand cream before bed. I’ve mentioned this tip before, but it’s one of my faves. It’s a great way to hydrate your hands overnight.

2. Scrub-a-dub-dub

I think I’m pretty good about remembering to exfoliate my face and body on a regular basis, but I always forget to exfoliate my hands. Why is that?

To jog my memory, I’ve been keeping an exfoliating scrub on my bathroom sink; if you happen to have an exfoliating face serum (for example, something with an active ingredient like AHA or BHA), you can also mix a couple of drops into your regular hand cream and apply that to your hands instead.

3. Turn down the heat

Washing hands with hot water can strip them of their natural oils, so try turning down the water to a lukewarm temp.


4. Go for the glycerin

Since soaps can be drying, look for a cleanser made with glycerin, which tends to be gentler on the skin. Also, don’t forget to rinse well (get in between those fingers, too!), as soap residue can irritate the skin.

5. Moisturize me!

After washing and drying hands, apply a hand cream with SPF (gotta protect those paws from the sun!) while they’re still slightly damp; it’ll help lock in moisture.

If you don’t like greasy hands (and who does?), opt for non-greasy lotions, like ones containing lanolin and/or glycerin, and you can also blot any excess product off your palms.

For more help handling the changing seasons, check out…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 15 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Amy Hemming says:

    All very good advice! Should moisturize your body while you’re still damp in the shower – this way you wont forget – baby oil on damp skin then pat dry!

  2. Sonya says:

    Dry hands are a huge problem for me ALL times of the year, due to overwashing my hands and handling chemicals in my lab. I try to take care of them properly but it’s good to be reminded – and I never thought of exfoliating my hands before… Will have to try it!
    Sonya recently posted … Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Snow Shadow – Photos, Review, Swatches

  3. Chris25 says:

    I use Olivella lotion on my hands. Have you ever tried it? It’s infused with olive oil. My boyfriend’s mom brought it back for me from Italy.

  4. Nina says:

    the minute the weather turned cold and dry here, i broke out the gloves. i have a couple of pairs of these:

    and i keep them in my jacket pockets!

    i also keep tubes of neutrogena’s hand cream in my purse/desk/nightstand.

  5. Good tips! I need to get a pair of cotton gloves for when I put hand cream on at night.
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses Swatches & Review

  6. Kim says:

    Oooh! So loving your coat!! I have something similar in an iridescent-ish beige, but that white looks so crisp and beautiful! And, technically, you could slip your hands in the sleeves to protect them, right? OK, bad attempt at a relevant-to-your-post tie-in. πŸ™‚

  7. Vonvon says:

    Oh yes, hands and hand creams. I think I never use that much hand cream as I am using currently. Suddenly I have hand cream obsession! πŸ˜€
    Vonvon recently posted … L’Oreal’s Goldmine – Want A Share?

  8. Futuralon says:

    You can get nitrile (latex free) gloves at hardware stores–I get the huge twin pack at Costco and it works out to eight cents a pair. I use them for washing dishes, cleaning with chemicals, and nasty chores like cat litter maintenance and raw chicken handling.. Dishwash type rubber gloves are too long to get on easily and are too thick to get a good grip on plates and glasses. (But I can break dishes in the sink even without gloves!) I also like to keep a pump bottle of lotion in the kitchen to soothe my dry hands post-chore. I am contemplating how to get my husband to use lotion at work (auto shop) as he washes frequently even with all the glove wearing.

  9. Tupou says:

    Great reminder about exfoliating hands! Exfoliating your hands makes a huge difference. I love the hand scrubs they sell at The Bath and Body Shop πŸ™‚ Makes your hands feel like silk…Oooooo….

  10. Patty says:

    Great review! I have dry hands all year around, and those are some awesome tips for keeping my hands soft and healthy. PS. Did you just make a Doctor Who reference with “Moisturize me!” If not, I will go hide in my geek cave.

  11. DalaLuz says:

    What???!!! You intended that pun?!!! πŸ˜€ Girl, you confuse me on a daily basis πŸ™‚
    My nail polish remover shares a bag with Herome’s One Minute Manicure, so if the polish comes off, so does all the dead skin πŸ™‚ Scrub-a-dub heaven.

    • Karen says:

      Ooh, I think I might need that in my life! I hope I can track it down… does it smell good?

      • DalaLuz says:

        It’s something of a sugarscrub with buckthorn oil, which happens to be one of my favorite scents, so yes, I think it smells good. Luckily it’s available in all the drugstores here. Though of course if I wasn’t so lazy I probably could whip something similar myself. But than again, maybe my nailpolish remover would be unwilling to snuggle up with tupperware anyway… Never break up a happily married nail couple.

  12. Maggie says:

    Were you making a Dr. Who reference on purpose on #5, Karen? πŸ™‚

    Also, Crabtree & Evelyn’s hand scrub/moisturizer duos are fabulous for wintertime. Those plus LUSH Lemony Flutter & Sympathy for the Skin are what keep my hands from totally dying when it gets cold.

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