Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WNW: 'Tis the Dry Season: How to heal dry hands

It's not the cold.  It's not the snow.  It's not the Christmas lights adorning the homes nor the carols being played on the radio.  No.  Personally, I always know it's winter by my hands.  With the cold, dry air comes hurting, dry hands for this chica.  And I know I'm not alone.

It seems that each year, it gets worse and worse.  I tried to ignore it at first -- going through tube after tube of hand lotion before it was Spring again and my hands weren't painfully dry any more.  But two years ago, working as a barista left my hands victim to harsh hand sanitizers,wicked hot steam, and constant washing.  I couldn't ignore the dryness any more because it was just too painful.

So after researching and trying out different methods, I've stumbled upon a strange but foolproof (and natural/easy/cheap) way for keeping my hands soft in the in winter months.  I call it...


(Okay, okay.  This is really weird.  But bear with me.  If you've ever had a problem with dry hands, this is definitely worth a try if you're willing to laugh at yourself in the process.)

Basically, what you're going to do is re-introduce your hands to moisture and then lock it in overnight.  It's weird, but it works.

Step One: The Warm-Water Soapy Soak

Grab a basin of warm (or hot, depending on what you can stand) soapy water.  I use Dr. Bronner's castille soap because it's full of healthy, natural oils (and your hands will greatly benefit from the oil!).  If you don't have castille soap, try rubbing a spoonful of olive oil on your hands before soaking them.

Place your hands in the water and soak them for 15-20 minutes (usually I have Elliott talk to me or we watch a few clips on Hulu to let the time pass, since there's not much you can do with your hands soaking in a basin of hot water).

Step Two: Vaseline Is Your Friend

Petroleum jelly is so weird.  How in the world does it work so well??  I tried looking it up but I still can't really figure it out.  Anyways, get yourself a nice big jar of PJ and rub it all over your hands (YES, I know it's greasy, but trust me!), paying extra attention to dry spots.

Step Three: Sock Hands!!!

So if you have soft, clean, cotton gloves, you can simply put those on over your vaseline-covered hands. But if you are, like me, fresh out of cotton gloves, grab a pair of clean, cotton socks (yup, I'm serious) and cover those hands for the night.  Yes, I said for the night.  To be honest, I usually wake up in the middle of the night and take them off.

Step Four: Maintenance Through Hand Soap

To keep my hands soft day-in and day-out (and so I don't have to do the Sock Hands method every night), I use my homemade hand soap.  It really moisturizes and is super natural.  My hands revolt against me whenever I travel somewhere else, so I actually might start traveling with my own soap.

This post will be a part of the weekly link-up at Your Green Resource, so check it out!


  1. I do the same thing in the winter, and to my feet too! I also like to add a step between soak and Vaseline - use some oil or Vaseline and a spoonful of sugar and rub all over your hands for several minutes. The sugar works as an exfoliant. Wipe off and Vaseline-up again for sock hands!

  2. P.S. The Bronners go to my church and I watch their kids alot. Love the family and love the products!


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