Are your dry hands bothering you? Do you avoid shaking hands with friends or strangers because your hands are so rough and unsightly?
Well, you can find some consolation in the fact that you are not the only one dealing with chapped and dry hands.
Your hands are the most overworked part of your body. Every day, you expose them to a lot of potentially damaging circumstances – be it the weather, dirt and impurities, chemicals or sun exposure. Simple daily chores like doing dishes, washing clothes, working outdoors, taking a stroll in the cold weather or even washing your hands after a meal can strip your hands of their natural oils.
All this collectively leads to damage on the uppermost layer of your skin. This damaged skin then becomes more vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun that accelerates drying and aging.
Other factors that contribute to dry, rough hands include skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, allergens and certain medications.
But what’s done is done! It’s time to redeem yourself and give your hands the much-needed TLC using natural moisturizing ingredients and exfoliants to reveal soft and supple skin.
Here are six methods that use common household items to treat dry, rough hands. These ingredients help to slough off the dull skin and restore the softness and smoothness to your hands.
- Method 1: Olive Oil & Brown Sugar Scrub
- Method 2: DIY Hand Salve
- Method 3: Oatmeal Scrub
- Method 4: Aloe Vera Gel
- Method 5: Vaseline or Lotion & Gloves
- Method 6: Castor Oil
Method 1: Olive Oil & Brown Sugar Scrub
Instead of simply rubbing olive oil on your skin, try using this DIY hand scrub made with olive oil and brown sugar to get soft and supple hands in less than a minute.
Olive oil contains essential fatty acids that work as a moisturizing and nourishing agent, healing the chapped and flaky skin of your hands. It also contains vitamin E that has antioxidant properties and can repair damaged skin.
The brown sugar acts as a mild exfoliator, sloughing off the dead skin from your hands.
Things you’ll need:
- Brown sugar (exfoliant) – 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil (moisturizes and nourishes skin) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Mix olive oil and brown sugar
- Put 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Mix the two ingredients well.
Step 2. Use the homemade scrub to exfoliate your dry hands
- Scoop out some of the scrub and rub it all over your palms and hands in small, circular motions. Continue to scrub for about 1 minute.
- Leave the scrub on your hands for 2 to 3 minutes more before rinsing it off with warm water.
- Follow it with a moisturizer.
Use the scrub 2 or 3 times a week to treat dry, rough hands.
Method 2: DIY Hand Salve
Many hand creams are available in the market that claim to leave your hands soft and smooth. Ironically, these creams use a number of chemicals that can do more harm than good in the long run.
If you don’t wish to slather synthetic stuff on your skin, try whipping up your own DIY hand salve. This thick and nourishing cream is made using all natural ingredients that are pocket-friendly, too.
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin coconut oil (anti-inflammatory) – 2 tablespoons
- Extra-virgin olive oil (antioxidant) – 1 tablespoon
- Shea butter (deep nourishment) – ½ cup
- Beeswax (waterproofs skin) – 1 tablespoon
- Honey (acts as humectant) – 1 tablespoon
- Aloe vera gel (boosts collagen production) – ½ tablespoon
- Lavender essential oil (anti-inflammatory) – 3 or 4 drops
- Vitamin E oil (repairs skin), optional – 2 capsules
Step 1. Melt and blend beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil
- Assemble a double boiler over the stove or a hot plate.
- Put about 1 tablespoon of beeswax into the bowl.
- Add ½ cup of shea butter.
- Add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil as well.
- Stir the ingredients on low heat until the butter and beeswax melt and blend with the oils.
- Remove the mix from the heat and allow it to cool for a bit.
Step 2. Add honey and fresh aloe vera gel
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey into the mix.
- Also add ½ tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel.
Step 3. Add vitamin E and lavender oil
- Puncture and squeeze out the contents of 2 vitamin E capsules.
- Drop in 3 or 4 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Allow the mix to cool off a bit.
Step 4. Whip up the blend and store
- As the oil blend begins to solidify, but is still runny, whip it up vigorously to get a creamy texture.
- Transfer the mix to a container.
- Pop the container in the refrigerator to harden the cream.
- Apply the salve all over your hands, instead of a moisturizer.
Use this DIY salve 1 or 2 times every day to keep your hands moisturized.
Method 3: Oatmeal Scrub
Oatmeal is another inexpensive and common ingredient found in your pantry that can work wonders on dry and lifeless skin. Oats are naturally rich in lipids that lock in moisture and the proteins in oats protect the skin’s barrier function. Oatmeal also works great as a gentle exfoliator and skin cleanser.
This oatmeal hand scrub also uses honey that further draws moisture into the skin and lemon that provides antibacterial properties to protect the skin. Lemon also has a bleaching effect and helps improve the skin’s complexion.
You can either use whole oatmeal or its ground form for easy application.
Things you’ll need:
- Lemon juice (antibacterial and bleaching agent) – 1 teaspoon
- Honey (humectant) – 1 tablespoon
- Ground oatmeal (exfoliator) – 2 tablespoons
Step 1. Add honey and lemon juice to ground oatmeal
- Put 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal in a bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Mix the three well. You can add some water if needed to get a paste-like consistency.
Step 2. Use the scrub to exfoliate your hands
- Use a spoon to apply this paste on your hands.
- Leave it for a couple of minutes.
- Rub the paste all over your hands for about 5 to 10 minutes. If needed, use some water if the paste starts drying out and gets tough to rub around.
- Rinse it off with water and apply a moisturizer.
Use the oatmeal scrub 2 times a week to treat dry, rough hands.
Method 4: Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is that single ingredient that can solve a multitude of skin-related troubles. It can soothe sunburns and minor accidental burns, heal acne and lighten skin, too. The gel, extracted from the aloe vera leaf, contains amino acids that soften hardened skin cells and help get rid of dry and scratchy skin.
You need not rush to the supermarket to get your supply of aloe vera gel. Simply get hold of an aloe vera leaf and let it do all the magic to treat dry, rough hands.
Single-Step Method: Rub the inside of an aloe vera leaf on your dry hands
- Cut out a small piece of an aloe vera leaf.
- Peel off the rind to expose the gooey gel.
- Rub the inside of the leaf all over your hands until all the gel has transferred onto your skin.
- Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water, pat dry and moisturize your hands.
While you can apply this gel as often as you wish, you should apply it at least twice daily to treat dry skin.
If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, you can use a store-bought aloe vera gel that doesn’t contain any other substances.
Method 5: Vaseline or Lotion & Gloves
It’s time to bring out that tub of Vaseline from your medicine cabinet. Vaseline or any petroleum-based jelly can be used to seal in the moisture on your skin overnight, so you wake up with softer hands. Putting on a pair of gloves will keep your hands warm, which makes the Vaseline work better and also ensures that it does not rub off on your bedsheets or clothes.
You can also use a thick body lotion instead of Vaseline.
Single-Step Method: Apply Vaseline on your hands and wear gloves overnight
- Wash your hands thoroughly with a mild soap or cleanser, then pat them dry.
- Apply some Vaseline on your palms and hands, covering the cracked parts and callused skin. Massage your hands for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Put on a pair of gloves and get a good night’s sleep.
Repeat every night for 1 week to improve the appearance of dry hands.
Also, include this practice in your everyday beauty regimen to prevent your hands from becoming rough and dry.
Method 6: Castor Oil
Castor oil can outdo any other oil when it comes to its health benefits. The pale yellow oil can penetrate deep into your skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. This in turn helps soften and improve the appearance of the skin.
Since castor oil is quite thick, it can be difficult to apply directly onto your skin. Mix it with some sesame oil for easy absorption into the skin. Sesame oil is also a great source of vitamin E and antioxidants that protect your skin from damage.
Things you’ll need:
- Sesame oil (rich in antioxidant) – 2 teaspoons
- Castor oil (stimulate collagen production) – 2 teaspoons
Single-Step Method: Apply a blend of castor and sesame oils on your hands
- Mix 2 teaspoons each of castor oil and sesame oil.
- Apply the oil blend on your palms and the backs of your hands.
- Massage the oil into your skin for a few minutes.
- Apply it preferably at night and wash it off in the morning.
Do this daily for 7 to 10 days to treat dry, rough hands.
- Use a humidifier in the winter and in dry climates to prevent your skin from becoming dry. Place one in your bedroom, so you can take advantage of it while you sleep.
- Use a scrub on your hands at least once a week. This helps slough off dry, dull skin cells and prevents them from hardening into calluses.
- Always wear gloves when working out in the gym. Dumbbells and other heavy equipment can lead to rough skin and calluses on your hands.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Dehydration always leads to dry skin.
- Always put on a sunscreen when stepping out to protect the skin on your hands from harmful UV sunrays.
Summary of How to Treat Dry, Rough Hands
Download this infographic.