Photo of a model with dry hands

The best ways to combat dry, flaky and sore hands

Make dry hands a thing of the past with our expert advice on beating itchy, dry or flaky skin

We have to hand it to winter – it does a fine job of stressing out our skin. Luckily most of us have an arsenal of hydrating, soothing and beautifying products to deflect its evil clutches (and if not, head to Powder to find all the hydrating products you need).But more often than not, that doesn’t always extend to our hands. So get a grip and start treating your dry hands to a little TLC. Once your dry hands are sorted, be sure to try this DIY facial you can do in the comfort of your own home.

How to treat dry hands

Invest in cotton gloves

‘For super dry hands, treat yourself to a hand mask at night to repair the skin,’ says facialist to the stars and The Sanctuary’s skincare expert Nichola Joss. ‘If you don’t have a specific hand mask, just apply an extra thick layer of your best hand cream before popping on some cotton gloves and leaving overnight. This will push the ingredients deeper into the skin to hydrate and repair.’

Scrub up

‘If your hands feel dry and rough soften them up by giving them a gentle scrub,’ says Nichola. ‘Body scrubs are too harsh for hands but there’s no need to buy a specific hand scrub. Instead just use a little face scrub and hot water to reveal super soft skin.’

Wash and glow

‘Keep your hands feeling and looking younger and more radiant by keeping one tube of hand cream at work and one tube by the sink at home,’ advises Nichola. ‘It’s important to remember that every time you wash your hands the soap or hand wash you use strips away your natural protective barrier against so always reapply hand cream afterwards.’

Protect your assets

‘Make sure you buy a hand cream with an SPF in it to protect from the elements, even in winter,’ says Nichola. ‘My favourite is Sanctuary Spa’s Correct & Protect Hand Cream SPF12, £10, sanctuary.com as it protects, hydrates and targets age spots.’

Nail it

‘Chapped hands and cuticles are unsightly, uncomfortable and sometimes painful!’ says Sally Hansen nail expert Jess Hoffman. ‘After using a scrub to slough away dead skin, drop your bottle of cuticle oil in a mug of hot water. Leave it for a few minutes and then massage into your nails and cuticles followed by a rich moisturiser (which you can also heat the same way). The heat will help the oils to penetrate and your hands and nails will thank you for it. Sally Hansen’s Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil, £6.95, superdrug.com is a great, portable way to maintain your hydration levels on the go.’

Give ageing the finger

‘Hands show signs of age more than your face due to constant exposure to the elements and lack of care,’ says skincare guru Sarah Chapman. ‘Loss of volume, age spots, glycation and dehydration on the hands can add ten years to your chronological age so look out for hand creams that contain the same anti-ageing ingredients you would put on your face and every time you apply a serum or face cream, rub the remainder onto the back of your hands. My Overnight Hand and Nail Treatment contains a potent cocktail of eight powerful oils rich in antioxidants, vitamins and omegas to restore the skin’s barrier, target pigmentation and stimulate collagen production for younger looking hands. As our skin naturally repairs itself when you sleep, overnight treatments are ideal for working with this natural renewal system.’

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