The calendar may not yet say it's winter, but the cold is beginning to nip, and, along with our faces, our hands are one of the first places we notice the lower temperatures. It's not just the discomfort associated with numb or tingling fingers, though: exposure to the winter air may bring with it problems such as dehydration, peeling and cracking.
Get your gloves on
All year round, our hands are exposed to the elements; in winter, they deserve to be treated to a good pair of gloves to protect them when temperatures plummet. Depending on your personal preference – whether you need to be gripping things or using your fingers to turn pages or handle coins etc – you may choose traditional finger gloves, mittens, or miser mitts, but whichever it is, your hands will thank you.
An extra barrier
Gloves aren't the only possible protection, though: you can add an additional layer by using a moisturising hand cream. This forms a kind of invisible glove which protects against the rigours of the weather and pampers your skin. Because of the drying effect of winter cold and wind, hand cream will need to be re-applied several times a day. The gentle massage each time can help circulation, too, and warm your fingers up. Don't forget to apply at night as well, to nourish and repair day-time damage. To avoid leaving hands feeling greasy, try and choose a formula that is easily absorbed by the skin.
Always choose a non-aggressive soap and make sure you dry your hands properly, or you will encourage chafing and chapping. Re-apply hand cream after washing, too. Gentle products will not only help protect your hands now, but you'll also be doing yourself a favour in the long-term, fighting against the signs of ageing that come with the passage of time.