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How To Keep Your Hands Healthy During Cold Winter Months

hand pointing

Environmental pressures on our skin

We can look after our faces and work out at the gym, but if we don't take care of our hands it can all be a bit of a waste of time because our hands reflect our age very well and give the game away in an instant. 

Strong sunshine encourages brown age spots on the backs of the hands, cold weather leaves them dry and chapped, while washing in soapy water strips away their natural oils, leaving them rough and textured. One of the first signs of departed youth is when the skin on the back of the hands becomes loose and wrinkled.  

Everyone's hands are exposed to pollutants more than any other part of the body. Just think of how much dirt, grease, grime and heavy detergents a pair of hands has to handle every day.  

Although the skin on the palm of the hands is thicker than on other parts of the body (except for the soles of the feet) we should really wear rubber gloves for many of the jobs we do - but how many people bother?

With winter approaching and the icy chill sets in, our hands are one of the first places to endure the brunt of the lower temperatures.  The skin on the back of our hands is particularly thin, and it gets affected by exposure to the cold wind and air very quickly.

I see an increasing amount of people during the colder months - both men and women – who experience dry, rough chapped skin on their hands and, in extremes, the skin splits and can become very sore.

Help is at hand - tending our hands and nails should be part of our daily routine.

hand being moisturized

Don't Over-Wash

We're all taught that thorough hand washing is our best defence against winter viruses and bacteria, but constant washing of hands can strip the skin of natural oils, drying weather-worn skin out even further in the process.  

Don't over-wash hands and always opt for a non-aggressive soap or liquid soap. 

Our Oleo Hand Wash comes in two delightful scents - Geranium & Orange or Cedarwood & Bergamot. These are formulated with botanical ingredients and without the harsh sodium lauryl sulphate foaming agent which will further dry the skin. Our glycerine-based soaps will also gently cleanse your hands.

Another thing to note is the water temperature - keep it warm as opposed to hot to prevent additional skin dryness. Always re-apply a good hand cream after washing to nourish and protect.  

cedarwood and bergamot hand wash from Oleo

Cedarwood and Bergamot Hand Wash

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geranium and orange hand wash from Oleo

Geranium and Orange Hand Wash

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Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise

Reward hardworking hands with indulgent, nourishing creams. Carry a jar with you in your handbag and this will enable you to moisturise your hands and cuticles anywhere and at any time they need a hit of hydration. Keep a jar next to wherever you wash your hands, so there's no excuse to forget.  

Hand cream forms a barrier against the drying effect of winter weather, and when reapplied throughout the day, will guarantee soft and nourished skin.  Gently massaging into the skin each time can also help with circulation while warming up your hands.  

You can also apply just before bed to allow overnight repair and hydration.

Oleo's award-winning Rich Moisturising Hand Cream, infused with frankincense, geranium and lavender essential oils, will ensure that your hands stay smooth and nourished.

If your hands have already become dry and chapped, some extra help might be required. Oleo's Intensive Dry Skin Balm is an extremely rich formula, containing pure botanical oils that have long been utilised to combat very dry skin.  

rich moisturising hand cream from Oleo

Rich Moisturising Hand Cream

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intensive dry skin balm from Oleo

Intensive Dry Skin Balm

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Follow this plan to give your hard-working hands the care that they deserve.

  • Always wear a pair of gloves when outside, and opt for rubber gloves when doing chores such as gardening or the washing-up.
  • Avoid plunging the hands into too-hot or freezing-cold water as this encourages dehydration and leads to skin chapping.
  • Always use a sunblock when out in sunny weather to prevent the formation of brown age spots on the backs of the hands.
  • Get into the habit of using a rich hand cream regularly throughout the day, and last thing at night.
  • Include vegetable oils in your daily diet, such as olive oil for cooking to help strengthen weak, brittle nails.
  • Always trim hang-nails to prevent them tearing or splitting.
  • Avoid using your nails to open cans and jars as this weakens the structure and encourages them to break off.

Posted on November 6th 2019

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