Dry skin on your hands:

how to care for it

Dry skin on the hands is often caused by frequent hand washing that damages the skin’s protective layer. Learn more about how to repair your skin.

What causes dry skin on the hands?

The outermost layer of the skin is made up of lipids that contain oils like epidermal lipids which are made up of sterols, fatty acids, and ceramides.

They are involved in the integrity of the stratum corneum, and therefore in the barrier function This layer functions as a protective barrier that helps to keep moisture in the skin. When it is weakened skin can become dry.

Genetic factors like hormones and ageing can cause the skin’s protective barrier to become weaker, but environmental and lifestyle factors play a role too.

Frequently washing your hands with soaps or chemical sanitisers removes lipids and moisture from the skin and can leave your hands feeling dry. Exposure to irritants like detergents, hot water and plastic gloves can also cause dry skin on your hands.

Can stress cause dry skin on the hands?

The skin is directly linked to the body’s central nervous system. As emotions, like stress, pass through the central nervous system they can have a strong influence on the condition of our skin.

In extreme cases this can result in medical conditions like rashes or itchy skin on the hands and body. But stress can also cause less severe skin conditions, like uncomfortable dry and cracked skin on our hands.

Can washing your hands too much cause dry skin?

Dry skin is a common result of washing your hands frequently.

While oil-based cleansers can help strengthen the skin’s protective layer of lipids, other cleansers do not.

When washing our hands, we often use soaps, alcohol-based hand gels and foaming cleansers that break down the skin’s hydrolipidic film. This allows the moisture to evaporate from our skin, leaving our hands feeling dry.

How can I hydrate my hands?

Rather than avoiding washing your hands, the best remedy for dry skin is to put a good skin care routine in place.

Making sure you replace the protective oils that hot water and soap strip away will improve the condition of the skin of your hands.

First wash your hands with tepid water and soap, then dry them gently without rubbing with a clean towel. Straight after washing and drying, apply a hand lotion to nourish your skin and nails. We recommend our All-Day Hydrating Hand and Nail Cream with rose extract and murumuru butter to help strengthen the skin’s barrier and provide natural protection.

End your day by applying a thick layer just before going to bed to nourish and restore skin.

Gentle exfoliating will also help remove dry, dead skin from your hands. Apply an exfoliator like Darphin’s Anti Age Dermabrasion with Exfoliating Pearl Particles and massage into your hands, taking care to avoid any cracked skin. Then wash and dry your hands thoroughly and apply our All-Day Hydrating Hand and Nail Cream.

For persistent symptoms, adding an oil treatment like our Revitalizing Oil will help nourish and rebuild the skin’s protective barrier, leaving your hands feeling soft, moisturized and healthy.