How to Care for Your Nails & Hands This Winter
Winter time sees a drop in temperatures and a rise in dry skin. The exposed skin on your neck, face, and even your eyelids are all subject to flaking from the arid cold. Other areas of your body that are affected by the winter are your hands and your nails. To make sure you’re giving your nails and hands the proper care they need during the winter months, we’ve put together five simple steps that you can follow to help you get started. Read on for more!
A WINTERTIME NAIL & HAND CARE ROUTINE
Just like the skin on other areas of your body, the skin on your hands can dry out and crack during the cold weather. To avoid that, try following a few (or all) of the below steps to make sure your nails and hands are moisturized and protected straight up through spring.
Step #1: Wear Proper Protective Clothing
Wearing protective clothing such as gloves can help prevent the skin on your hands from drying out as a result of exposure to environmental conditions. Don’t forget, though, your toes have nails too. One of the main tenants of taking care of toenails anytime of the year is wearing proper shoes. If shoes are too tight, they can have negative consequences for your toenails in general. Give your toes some space so they can breathe.
Step #2: Moisturize
Your nails run the risk of becoming brittle should they dry out. To avoid this, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests applying petroleum jelly while they’re damp in order to rehydrate them. For your hands, a thick salve should do the trick. Many hand lotions can also be rubbed into your nails, helping to kill two birds with one stone.
Step #3: Don’t Over-Wash
Over-washing your hands (or any skin on your body, for that matter) can be drying. Tiny bacteria called microbiomes populate our skin in a symbiotic manner—in return for living on our bodies, microbiomes benefit our health, skin health included. According to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Whitney Bowe, over-cleansing the skin can harm these bugs. “Any time that your skin feels really tight and dry and squeaky clean after cleansing,” she explains, “it probably means that you’re killing off some of your good bugs.” Keep hand-washing to an appropriate amount in order to keep only the harmful bacteria at bay.
Step #4: Avoid Harsh Substances
Reading the packaging on skin care products is incredibly important. Otherwise, you may unknowingly be putting harsh irritants on your skin. Check product labels for words such as “parabens” or “alcohol”, which could cause damage to your fragile winter skin. Stick with gentle products that won’t dry skin out further. For nails, limit the use of your polish remover and take care that it's acetone-free.
Step #5: Use the Right Ingredients
Subzero temperatures call for the best of the best in moisturizing ingredients. To ensure the skin on your hands and your nails remains soft and strong throughout the winter, look for ingredients that help to restore your skin’s natural barrier. Formulas containing ceramides—a lipid compound—always hit the moisturizing mark.
To learn more about a simple anti-aging routine for your hands, click here!