Your hands are the most used part of your body (but you already knew this!) but did you know that the structure of the skin on your hands is very different to other parts of your body.
This is because the skin on the thumbs and the palm is full of connecting fatty tissue (this includes elastin and collagen – what gives your skin plumpness and structure).
Ever had really sweaty palms? This is because the hands have a lot of sweat glands, but they don’t have many oil glands (sebaceous glands – where the skin’s natural oils (sebum) is produced).
The back of the hands are also very different too because they have very little fatty tissue and the skin is much thinner and more fragile. It also doesn’t have many sebaceous glands.
All these factors are actually necessary so that we can hold things and lift things, but these factors also make the skin prone to drying out as it doesn’t have the ability to moisturise itself through the sebaceous glands.
In order to prevent your hands drying out it needs to be protected and nourished.
Sometimes external factors can cause your hands to become drier than usual and these include:
- Weather – yes it is true harsh weather conditions can cause extra dry hands this is because the body struggles to keep in moisture. Even hot weather conditions can cause your hands to become dry as your body will be sweating and losing water.
- Dry air – warm dry air from central heating will encourage your skin to lose moisture and so your hands will also suffer. You are likely to have dry skin on your body too. A body butter can help to lock in moisture, try the Uplifting & Nourishing Body Butter.
- Frequent hand washing – if you wash your hands multiple times in the day or even use a hand santizier this will make your hands dry and can even crack. Washing the dishes also contributes to drier hands.
- Excess UV light – exposing yourself to the sun without adequate protection or even using sun tanning beds will dry out your skin in general, but especially your hands.
- Using the wrong products – the skin has a natural p.H and if this is disturbed by harsh cleaning agents this will destroy the skin’s natural barrier which will cause a loss of moisture. It’s ok to use a gentle exfoliant like jojoba beads or bamboo powder to gently buff any dry skin from the hands or body. Try the SEB Bamboo & Sweet Orange Cleansing Scrub Bar
- Using your hands for crafts? – If you use equipment the skin can suffer from irritation at the outmost layer of the skin. This is because the skin might be nipped or scuffed by any equipment and this damages the outer layer making it much more vulnerable. Try to SEB Apothecary Healing Balm to protect your hands after this type of activity.
There can also be internal factors that make your skin dry and these include:
- Diet and fluid intake
- Alcohol dehydrates your body
- Nicotine has an impact on the immune system which impacts skin cell growth and therefore contributes to dull and dry skin. Check out the SEB Skin article to find out more about the structure of the skin.
- Stress is also a cause for dry skin. When we stress our body produces adrenaline which makes us sweat more and yep you guessed it this dehydrates the skin. Ever had really itchy dry skin when you have been stressed? Well this is why.
- Ageing skin – we all know that when you get older your skin changes as part of the ageing process. Our skin becomes drier and less elastic as we grow older and the skin’s barrier becomes thinner which causes an increase in moisture loss.
Top Tips to reduce dry hands
- Protect your skin – this can include wearing gloves in the winter to protect them for excess moisture loss. You can wear protective cotton gloves at night all year around. Try the Healing Balm with the Gloves for an instant overnight treatment. You will wake up with soft hands because the gloves helps the skin to absorb the product deep into your skin!
- Reduce the amount of water exposure – it’s impossible to not wash your hands, but limit the amount of time your hands are exposed to water. For example spend less time in the bath or shower and wear gloves when washing the dishes.
- Check that temperature! Avoid washing your hands in very hot water, try tepid water instead. Often hot water will make dry skin conditions like eczema worse.
- Pat don’t rub – It is important to dab your skin rather than rub the skin when drying the hands or any part of the body. This is much more gentle on your already delicate skin as it reduces irritation.
- Moisturise those hands – even if your hands are super sensitive it is important to moisturise them after washing. This gives them nourishment and also an added protective layer.
There you go, the why behind the dry hands, but also how you can help yourself. Leave a comment or a like if you found this article interesting!