How I Rescued My Hands from Winter

I recently had a guest post with tips for protecting your skin from winter dryness. Today, I want to get a little more specific: dry hands and cuticles.

I realize that some people battle dry skin/nails year round, but for me, it's just another little issue that I'm blaming on chalking up to aging. It's only been a problem for me the past couple of years. And cold temperatures just make it worse!

tube of Skinfix hand cream, bottle of CND Solar OIl, and tube of L'Occitane Almond hand cream lying on a wooden surface

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Usually, applying CND Solar Oil to my cuticles and L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands Cream to my hands twice a day keeps them looking (and feeling) great. But when the temperature drops, even applying both products several times a day isn't enough.

I get a gel manicure every 3 weeks, and my hands always look so nice when I get home from the salon. But in the winter, that doesn't last long. It's frustrating to spend that much money on your nails and then have your hands/cuticles look all jacked up the next day. If I wanted my hands/nails to look crappy, I would polish my own nails (it's not in my skill set). I HAD to find something that would help.

I already drink plenty of water, and we have a humidifier on our furnace, so I didn't need to change anything in that respect. I know you're supposed to do things like wear rubber gloves when doing chores and use lukewarm water to bathe/shower. I don't like fumbling around in rubber/latex gloves, and I like my water hot in winter thank you very much. Another piece of wisdom I've heard is to slather your hands in Vaseline and wear white cotton gloves to bed. I am NOT wearing gloves to bed. So I had to figure out something that would easily fit into my routine and still work.

Oh, did I mention that I can't stand to have my hands feel greasy? That eliminates about 98% of the heavy-duty hand creams out there.

So here's what I did:

bottle of Dial hand soap
(photo courtesy of

First, I switched all of our liquid handsoap to a moisturizing version. My personal preference for hand soap is Dial. I love their Coconut Water & Mango, but since I can't find it locally, I snagged a few on my last trip to Florida. When I can't find that, I buy the Vanilla Honey or Himalayan Pink Salt & Water Lily. The switch to moisturizing hand soap helped, but it didn't completely solve the problem. (Note: I hated their Miracle Oil soap - it was liked coating my hands with Jovan musk oil from the 70's!) I also loved their Seasonal Berry scent - I stocked up on it so we could use it year round! Update: New favorite! SoftSoap Coconut Water and Blueberry!

Next, I searched through my very large stash of samples, and came across a tube of Skinfix® Ultra Rich Hand Cream from one of the Target Beauty boxes. I had put it aside because of the "Ultra Rich" labeling and the fact that it contains shea butter. Shame on me!

Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream

It's amazing! The cream is pretty thick, but it seems to warm once it's on your skin, making it easy to apply. I apply it to my fingertips, rubbing it into my cuticles. Once that's mostly absorbed, I rub the residual on my hands, then wipe my palms. This keeps my hands from feeling too greasy. After a few minutes, it's mostly absorbed, and my hands just feel soft! Another plus - it only takes a pea-sized amount!

After a few days of using the Skinfix hand cream several times a day, my hands were looking and feeling much better. I'm now able to use my beloved CND Solar Oil and L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands Cream in the morning and at bedtime, and the Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream a couple of times during the day.

I've also been trying to be more diligent at wearing gloves/mittens when I go outside - even if it's just for a few minutes. It annoys me to have to take one off in order to use my phone, and I have never had any success at using the gloves that are supposed to be touchscreen compatible. (Probably user error, but if it doesn't work, what's the point?) I did buy a pair of mittens with fingerless gloves that seem to work for me. If you haven't seen them, they're fingerless gloves with a little mitten "cap" attached to the back of the glove. You can either flip it back to expose your fingers and use your touchscreen or pull it over your fingers and it looks like you're wearing mittens.

Oh - and another "trick" is keeping my moisturizer hand-y (pun intended!) If I have to run upstairs to get it, I'm probably just not going to bother. So I keep one on my desk, one at my bedside, and one in my handbag. If your moisturizer is available in a travel-size, pick up a few so you can keep them in convenient places. If not, transfer some from a larger tube/bottle into smaller ones. If you have samples of hand creams, you could distribute those in the various locations mentioned as well.

tube of Skinfix hand cream, bottle of CND Solar OIl, and tube of L'Occitane Almond hand cream lying on a wooden surface

My hands and cuticles are now pretty much back to normal, so I'm going to continue my daily routine until it gets warmer:
Morning - CND Solar Oil to cuticles and L'Occitane Almond Hand Cream to hands
During the day - Skinfix® Ultra Rich Hand Cream when my hands start to feel dry
Bedtime - CND Solar Oil to cuticles and L'Occitane Almond Hand Cream to hands

What tricks/products do you use to keep your hands/cuticles moisturized in cold weather?

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