December 2, 2015

Beating back the monster

It’s winter time again – and the weather can be the monster you’ll do battle with for at least the next few months.

To do that battle you have to be ready to defeat the ravages of cold air, dry air, rain, snow, and fog. You have to be vigilant and careful.  Not only is winter skin annoying, it can be dangerous.  Dry, cracked skin breaches your defenses and leaves you vulnerable to getting sick.  In addition, when your hands get dry and chapped they are painful which interrupts your playing.  So, here are seven things you can do to help your skin defeat the winter weather monster:

  • Wash up!  You still need to keep your hands clean so be sure to wash up thoroughly.  But in the winter, wash up as quickly as possible to avoid keeping your hands in the water any longer than necessary.  Be sure to dry your hands thoroughly too, to avoid chapping.
  • If you’re a hand sanitizer user – buy a hydrating version rather than one with alcohol.  Alcohol is drying and moisturizing sanitizer allows you to do two things at once (sanitize and moisturize).
  • Scrub up – exfoliation is good for your face, but it’s also great for your hands.  You can make your own scrub by mixing honey or olive oil and sugar.  Sloughing off the dead dry skin will allow your moisturizer to work better and will leave your hands feeling soft as well.
  • Moisturize – a lot!  If necessary, put a bottle of hand lotion next to every soap dispenser!  But don’t just put it there – use it.  And don’t forget to put lotion not only on your hands but also up your wrists and forearms.
  • Dress up – when you’re going outside – wear your gloves.  They can be fancy dress gloves but warm winter gloves will keep your hands warm which will ease their journey through winter.
  • Dress up for bed!  After you wash up and dry and moisturize your hands, you can also don gloves to “seal in” the moisture. One of the easiest (and warmest) ways to do this is to wear gloves to bed – you can buy inexpensive cotton gloves that are just the thing for this.  And there’s nothing wrong with giving your bedtime the white glove treatment!
  • Moisturize on the inside.  Drinking water is essential for so many things and one of those things is keeping you hydrated which also helps your skin make it through the winter more easily - drink water!
Use these techniques to care for your hands so you can play comfortably throughout the winter.

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