During the Harmattan period you can develop dry hands, and like most of my friends do, I don’t think twice about slathering my face in a rich and invigorating mixture of lotions, toners, mask and moisturizers. The same goes for my stomach, feet and legs. Most times my dear poor, dry Harmattan-ravaged hands is neglected
During ideal conditions, when the satisfying moist air caresses my skin, my hands tend to be a little patchy. When the dry recirculated air of harmattan hits, the air blasts my soft digits with a taste of the desert, soft turns dry, dry turns flaky-like, red, and sometimes a tad eczema-y.
The reasonable thing to do at this point is to take a walk down the supermarket or drug store, looking for the smanciest lotion on the shelves. Any lotion that promises smooth, supple skin for the whole day while nourishing the dermis from the inside out. Something that is fortified with vitamins and minerals, but is literally just a petroleum-based, chemical laden pot of cancer. Faced with the dilemma of choosing this so-called “lotion” or nothing at all, your dry poor hands will absolutely choose nothing at all.
Fortunately, there is another way, a healthier way. Inside your fridge and storeroom hang about some of the most nourishing, moisturizing natural remedy for dry hands on the globe. And guess what? They are all free because you already paid for them the last time you went shopping for groceries.
Below are five remedies that will transform your dry hands to supple, literally overnight:
Yogurt function in two ways; first, it contains creamy natural fats and proteins that penetrate the skin and lock-in moisture. Secondly, the inherent lactic acid in all dairy-based yogurts functions as a natural exfoliator and cleanser that get rid of dead skin cells thereby making the skin surface smooth.
There are a couple of methods in which you can enjoy the wonderful skin-nourishing benefits of yogurt. The easiest way is to scoop out a small quantity of plain, full-fat yogurt and tenderly massage it into your dry hands for a couple of minutes. Leave the yogurt on your skin for about another six to ten minutes and rinse off with cold water.
The other slightly more posh way of remedying your dry hands with yogurt is to make a paste, add gram flour and three tablespoons of plain yogurt to form a thick paste, tenderly massage it into your dry hands for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water; repeat this procedure once a day for a couple of weeks.
This might probably come to you as no surprise, as you have probably seen “colloidal oatmeal” mentioned on certain expensive moisturizers in the store. While the hydrating power of oatmeal can’t be overemphasized, the quality and amount of this skin-nourishing ingredient in products taken from the store are negligible.
As an alternative to buying overpriced and underperforming oatmeal moisturizers for “your dear parched hand”, why not make your own? Oatmeal function as a natural exfoliator and it also helps to lock in moisture, thereby making it an ultimate overnight dry hand moisturizer. To effectively utilize oatmeal, simply mix together a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal with a half tablespoon of raw honey, make it into a paste by adding little water. Rub the mixture tenderly into your hands and leave for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off before night rest, and repeat every evening, every day for smooth and supple hands.
Here is another natural remedy that can take your hands from dry to supple in no time. Just like oatmeal, it is a natural exfoliator which also helps in balancing out skin tone and reduces blemishes. Lemon mixed with baking soda creates a pH-balancing agent that maintains healthy skin.
To make lemon work for your dry skin, rinse your hands with warm water and gently dry. Mix an equal part of lemon juice, baking soda, and raw honey together to form a paste. Run into your hands tenderly, leave for about 10 minutes (do not touch anything during this period), then rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as this has the tendency of drying out your skin again, ruining all the good work.
4. Olive oil
I have been using olive oil for decades, not until recently did I discovered how amazing olive oil is for dry skin. It contains a whole lot of nutrient and essential fatty acids, along with the wholesome vitamin E, that do a whole lot in conjunction with other nutrients in preventing dryness and keeping skin nutrient level balanced.
There is no need for getting complicated or posh about olive oil, simply rub it into your hands whenever it starts to feel dry. No need to rinse off afterward, as, after some time, it soaks into the skin pores and helps to lock in moisture.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another wonderful natural remedy that can transform your patchy hands to supple within a short period of time. It is all the more convenient to use because you can rub it in your hands even while cooking. Coconut oil does not contain vitamin E, but it does contain a quite a number of amino acids and caprylic acid, which studies have shown to boost skin moisture content and prevent the formation of troublesome bacteria and fungi. It also helps to serve as a natural sun protection factor (it’s only around SPF 8), but it is actually beneficial to have natural low-level sun protection, that isn’t ladened with horrible chemicals like in typical sunscreens.
Personally, I discovered coconut oil works best for dry hands after being soaked in water, either after taking a shower or having my hands washed in cold water. Tenderly massaging my hands with coconut oil immediately afterward, helps to seal in the moisture and keep my hands smooth and supple for hours.