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1/18/11 Why are my hands so dry?

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Here’s a question from one of my readers:

“My hands get really dry and cracked in the winter. As soon as it starts to get cold they start to dry out, and it lasts until the spring. Do you know why this happens and what I can do to stop it?”

You are not alone! So many people have this problem. There are 3 main factors that go into to causing this problem but they’re all connected to the cold.

Reason #1:

Your body naturally draws heat to its core when it’s cold. This is why your natural instinct is to draw your arms and legs toward your torso when you’re cold, as it’s more important to protect and save your organs than your appendages/limbs. With the drawing of the heat, also comes drawing of moisture, which is why you’ll notice that your hands, feet, legs, and even arms tend to be dryer in the winter.

Reason #2

Ok so now you’re probably saying: Yea my legs and feet are dry, but they’re not cracked, and bleeding, what makes my hands so much worse? In the winter, most of your body is covered why you’re outside, but your hands are often exposed to the harsh cold dry winter elements, which not only sucks the moisture out, but tells your skin to build up a protective layer of dead skin cells (much like calluses on the ball and heel of your foot). This causes the rough sandpaper-like feel. This layer of built up skin cells acts as a barrier for moisture as well as the elements, which is why all those lotions and creams you rub on your hands don’t seem to be helping.

Reason #3

Due to cold and flu germs, we wash our hands with hot water much more often in the colder months. Also, your showers probably tend to be hotter as well. Hot water also dries your skin.

The answer I don’t have: Why if everyone is out in the cold and using hot water, etc… do some people’s hands dry out and other’s don’t? I suppose it’s genetic or could have to do with your skin type, or sensitivities. Either way, there isn’t much you can do to stop it. All I can help you do it TREAT IT…


1. Always wear gloves when outdoors to protect your hands from the elements

2. Use a sugar scrub at least once daily to slough off dead skin cells, and allow moisture from lotions and creams to penetrate the skin. Try my Indulgence Brand Products for all natural Sugar scrubs that are so good you could eat ‘em!) You can exfoliate more than once a day if you feel it’s necessary.

3. Apply lotion or hand cream every single time you wash your hands or they get wet at all. Put a bottle of lotion by the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the sink at work, in your car, in your purse, and anywhere else you can think of. It’s important to restore the moisture immediately! I love cocoa butter lotions for the winter.

4. Avoid Hand Sanitizers at all costs. The alcohol content in these will immediately dehydrate skin, and they don’t work as well as you think they do, trust me. Stick to good old-fashioned soap and water followed by lotion.

5. Purchase cotton gloves. Wear these with a heavy cream every night. My favorite is Aquaphor medicated cream, but Vaseline works well too. First exfoliate hands with sugar scrub, then apply a thick layer of the cream,

I hope this helps!

Thanks for reading,


Send your beauty questions to pamper[email protected] and I’ll answer them in my next blog.

Categories: Hand, Foot, and Nail Care

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