Five Tips to Cure Dry, Cracked Hands and Nails in the Winter Posted by Tiffany Amorosino on March 6, 2013 in

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Many of  us suffer from dry hands and brittle, discolored and peeling nails in the winter. Indoor heat and a lack of moisture in the air take their toll. Add to that taxing toll the alcohol-based hand sanitizers we typically use to prevent colds and flu, and your hands probably appear rough and dry. Follow these 5 tips from Bella Sante's nail department to keep your hands moist and soft this winter:

1. Exfoliate.
Exfoliation isn't just for the face, your hands greatly benefit from removing dead skin cells regularly as well. While many of us pamper our faces with preventative and restorative skin-care products and procedures, we neglect our hands.  The skin on your hands is thinner than that on your face which makes it much more susceptible to the aging process and effects of sun exposure. The Restorative Double Exfoliation Manicure from Bella Sante offers the necessary exfoliation your hands desperately crave as well as anti-aging and hydration solutions. Schedule an appointment for the 50 minute Restorative Double Exfoliation Manicure this month and receive $10 off.

2. Use a Moisturizer with Sunscreen.
Find a moisturizer with at least an SPF 15 that you love and apply at least two times a day if not more. Keeping moisturizer on your hands is essential, especially after washing your hands, but moisturizers without sunscreen will lead to aging. Sun exposure damages collagen which gives your skin that "plump" look. When collagen breaks down, wrinkles and thin skin appear. UVA rays (which break down collagen) are equally as strong from summer to winter, so lather on that sun screen year round! Many conventional sunscreens only protect against surface, sun-burning UVB light, while others are counter-intuitive for people prone to acne or closed pores. Consult with your Bella Sante esthetician for the sunscreen right for you.

3. Wear Gloves.
Wear gloves whenever possible outdoors. Gloves not only protect your skin from the harsh winter elements but when worn in public places they negate the need to regularly apply hand sanitizers which sap your hands of moisture via the germ-preventing alcohol ingredient. For the text-happy, treat yourself  to a new hybrid of gloves that protect your hands while simultaneously allowing you to text on a touch-screen phone.

4. Use a Humidifier.
The best way to prevent dry skin is to keep moisture in the air! Hot, dry indoor air can dry out skin and promote itching and flaking. By keeping a humidifier in the rooms you frequent most you'll keep moisture in the air and therefore in your skin as well.  Portable home humidifiers come in many varieties. You can also attach a humidifier to your furnace to accommodate the whole house. Choose the humidifier that suits your personal needs and be sure to keep it clean to ward off fungi and bacteria.

5. Avoid Hot Water and Harsh, Drying Soaps.
Hot water removes important oils from your skin, use warm, not hot, water when you bath. If you have dry skin, it's best to use cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers. Choose a mild soap like the Phytomer Exfoliating Shower Gel that has added oils for cleaner, softer skin.

A note on sanitation: Many of us will employ the help of our favorite nail technician to maintain healthy hands and nails throughout the year. Sanitation should always be a priority when choosing a salon but especially during the winter months when dry, cracked hands can leave you more susceptible to infection. "Clean" is not always sterile. Bella Sante is dedicated to providing our clientele with the most sanitary nail and skin-care available. Learn more.