Are Your Hands Constantly Dry? Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong

Are Your Hands Constantly Dry? Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong

Charmaine Kon by Charmaine Kon on Mar 1, 2017
Why you should care

Dry hands age faster. Find out which habits are the culprits behind this condition.

If tightness in your skin and the occasional flaking or wrinkling is an accurate description of your hands, then you have dry skin.

Our hands are involved in most, if not all daily activities, so it comes as no surprise that they’re highly susceptible to wear and tear. Simple daily habits like washing your hands the wrong way could be hurting them.

So what other habits are making your hands dry?

Moisturising Twice a Day

So you thought you were doing your hands justice by moisturising them in the morning and at night, but twice is actually not enough.

The hands come into contact with multiple irritants and moisture-stripping agents daily (e.g. soap, dish washing liquid, and laundry detergent), so it’s important to moisturise after every wash. You can also moisturise whenever your skin feels dry or taut.

To make it easier to develop this habit, leave a moisturiser at convenient places: office, handbag, bedroom, and bathroom. They don’t have to be expensive moisturisers, they just have to contain the right stuff, which brings us to…

Using the Wrong Moisturisers

Not all moisturisers are created equal. Moisturisers that are mostly water-based don’t do much for your hands. Look for ones that contain petroleum jelly, mineral oil, lanolin, lactic acid, glycerine, dimethicone, and hyaluronic acid. Stay away from drying ingredients like preservatives and sulfates.

Vaseline hand and nail lotion


This Vaseline hand and nail lotion contains glycerine, mineral oil, dimethicone, and other good stuff.

Coconut oil is nourishing and hydrating natural alternative. Use it at nights or as a wash-off mask if you don’t like the greasy feeling.

Washing Your Hands With Hand Sanitisers or Soaps

Most hand sanitisers contain alcohol to kill germs and remove the oil on your skin, and the latter is exactly the problem with them. Not only do they strip the skin of moisture, they also aren’t as effective as actually washing your hands.

Soaps, antibacterial cleansers, and foaming cleansers also strip the skin of oils. Wash instead with creamy, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free moisturising cleansers.

Simple handwash


Try this gentle and moisturising handwash from Simple.

Drying Hands With Hand Dryers

Hand dryers dry your skin and have been shown to spread bacteria. Even worse are the hand dryers that do this and still leave you with soggy hands! So the next time you’re in a public restroom, skip the hand dryer and grab a single piece of paper towel instead.

Work Out With Bare Hands

Specifically, bar or weight exercises. Use gloves when doing movements like pull-ups and weightlifting. These exercises pull at the skin, causing them to form dry callouses. Using a little chalk will also protect your hands, though we don’t recommend it because too much of it seeps the moisture out of your skin.

Letting Dead Skin Accumulate

No amount of good moisturiser and cleanser will do you good if they’re not penetrating the skin. The solution? Exfoliate your hands to rid them of dead skin cells and allow your moisturisers to penetrate.

Use a pumice stone to exfoliate during a shower, or DIY a moisturising scrub from 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sugar.

Pumice stone scrub


Get your hands on a similar pumice stone from Guardian.

Showering With Hot Water

A hot shower after a long day or a warm hand-wash might feel good, but it’s bad for your skin. Hot water takes away the skin and the hair’s natural oils. Use lukewarm water instead!

Why you should care

Dry hands age faster. Find out which habits are the culprits behind this condition.

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