9 Home Remedies To Make Your Hands Soft

Ways to take care of your hands that work tirelessly to feed and protect you

Medically reviewed by Vd. Naveen Sharma, BAMS Vd. Naveen Sharma Vd. Naveen SharmaBAMS facebook_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 4 years
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Your hands are busy throughout the day engaging in something or the other that exposes it to the elements of nature. On top of that, cold and dry weather can leave your hands dry and rough. If you are looking for some home remedies to make your hands soft, you have come to the right place. Dry hands are a problem that can be easily tackled, and with the right beauty practices and tips at your disposal, you can keep your hands soft and smooth. In this article, we explore some of the causes and simple tips for soft and smooth hands.

Note: if dry skin persists for more than two weeks, it may be the symptom of an underlying medical condition and should be checked by a doctor.

What Causes Your Hands To Become Dry?

Closeup of a hand with extremely dry skin
Image: IStock

Skin dryness is most often triggered by environmental factors. In some cases, certain health conditions and irritants can also cause your skin or hands to become unusually dry. The primary causes include:

Weather: You must have noticed that your hands (and the rest of your body) tend to become drier in winters. The cold season makes the air dry. As a result, your hands can’t hold onto the moisture, thereby causing them to go dry.

Environmental Irritants/Workplace Conditions: Individuals who wash their hands multiple times daily with strong sanitizers are more likely to have dry hands. Those who spend a long duration washing dishes also tend to have dry hands. The strong surfactants in detergents and soaps can strip your skin of its natural oils, causing your hands to become extremely dry.

Certain Medical Conditions: Medical conditions like lupusi  An autoimmune inflammatory condition caused when the immune system attacks healthy tissues causing fever, rash, pain, and fatigue. and diabetes that affect the blood flow to the extremities can also make your hands go dry (1). Other skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema can also cause your hands to go dry (2).

44,689 people participated in a study, 21,887 (48.98%) men and 22,802 (51.02%) women, to determine the prevalence of dermatological conditions. 43.35% of participants said they had at least one dermatological disorder or disease in the 12 months prior to the survey. Atopic dermatitis or eczema (5.5%), acne (5.4%), and fungal skin infections (8.9%) were the most common dermatological conditions reported.

Though dry hands are common, it is easy to restore their health. We have listed below certain natural methods that can treat dry hands in most cases.

How To Get Softer Hands Naturally

  1. Vaseline
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Egg Yolks
  5. Sugar Scrub
  6. Honey
  7. Aloe Vera
  8. Almond Oil
  9. Sugar And Olive Oil

1. Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly)

Vaseline has powerful moisturizing properties (3). Applying it to your hands regularly can make them softer.

You Will Need

  • Vaseline (as required)
  • A pair of cotton gloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to both the hands before bedtime.
  2. Wear a pair of light cotton gloves and go to bed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every night to get rid of rough patches and dry skin.

2. Coconut Oil

Woman applying coconut oil on her hands to keep them soft
Image: IStock

The emollienti  A substance or property that helps moisturize the skin by forming a protective barrier on the skin. properties of coconut oil can help improve skin hydration and increase lipid levels on the skin surface (4). Thus, the topical application of coconut oil can help make your hands softer.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil
  • A pair of gloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply coconut oil to both your hands.
  2. Put a pair of gloves on to help the oil penetrate your skin.
  3. Leave it on overnight or for a couple of hours.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily to enjoy the soothing and hydrating benefits of the oil.

3. Oatmeal

Bowl of dry oat flakes with oatmeal for soft hands
Image: IStock

Oatmeal moisturizes and nourishes the skin and improves skin barrier function (5). Hence, this beauty solution can help relieve dry skin, thereby making your hands softer with every use.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered oatmeal
  • ½ tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1.  Add half a tablespoon of coconut oil to the tablespoon of powdered oatmeal.
  2. Mix well and apply it to your hands.
  3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.
  4. You can also use moisturizers made of oatmeal.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

4. Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are rich in lecithin, an emollient that helps condition the skin. It is usually used in skin conditioning agents (6).

You Will Need

1 egg yolk

What You Have To Do

  1. Whisk the egg yolk well.
  2. Apply the yolk to your hands and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Rinse with mild soap and water to eliminate the foul egg odor.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3-4 times a week.

5. Sugar Scrub

The accumulation of dry skin cells over your hands can also cause them to become dry. The grainy texture of sugar granules can help in exfoliating your skin.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend a tablespoon of sugar with half a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply it to your hands and scrub gently.
  3. Rinse with water.
  4. Apply a good moisturizer.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times a week to get rid of rough skin.

6. Honey

Closeup of a woman's hand holding honey jar to soften the skin
Image: IStock

Honey can hydrate, soothe, and moisturize your skin (7). The emollient nature of honey can soften your hands.

You Will Need

Raw honey (as required)

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a little raw honey in your hands.
  2. Spread it gently over both your hands.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times daily to soothe irritated skin.

7. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera extracts are rich in polysaccharidesi  A major class of biomolecules made of a chain of simple sugars, like starch and glucose. that serve as important sources of energy in plant and animal cells. that can help moisturize your skin (8).

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do

  1. Extract a tablespoon of gel from an aloe leaf.
  2. Blend the gel and apply it to your hands.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse it.
  4. Freeze the remaining gel for further use.

How Often You Should Do This

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can store aloe vera in an airtight jar or a freezer-safe bag in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Do this 1-2 times daily.

8. Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil contains fatty acids that can help moisturize your skin and make your hands softer (9).

You Will Need

Sweet almond oil (as required)

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply sweet almond oil over your hands.
  2. Leave it on until it dries.
  3. You can also wear a pair of gloves if you plan on leaving the oil overnight on your skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once or more daily to soothe your hands and sensitive skin.

9. Sugar And Olive Oil

Sugar granules help exfoliate your skin and get rid of dead skin cells. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals to prevent skin damage and may even promote dermal reconstruction (10). It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of skin cancer.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of water
  • ½ teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pair of cotton gloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the sugar and water.
  2. Apply it to your hands and scrub gently.
  3. Rinse off your hands with water and pat dry.
  4. Apply olive oil and massage your hands for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Wear a pair of cotton gloves and go to bed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times a week.

You can also use salt to make your hands soft. Chas, a blogger, likes to make her hand scrub using salt, avocado oil, and lemon juice in her recipe. She writes, “This awesome DIY salt scrub will help your dry hands or dry skin by exfoliating and moisturizing them (i).”

These simple solutions for healthy skin can make your hands softer with time. But it is important to prevent your hands from going dry again. In the following section, we have covered a few ways you can achieve the same.

Aside from these remedies, Kris Adair, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, a seasoned family nurse practitioner, suggests the following ingredients.

She says, “Lemon has many natural properties that improve skin health. It contains alpha hydroxy acid, which can be found in a lot of skincare products as it is helpful for removing dead skin cells, encouraging exfoliation, and aiding in skin cell turnover. This helps improve the skin barrier. When paired with the right moisturizing products, it helps improve skin softening, especially in our hands.”

She adds, “Baking soda is a great pantry staple for skin as it acts as a skin exfoliant, helps lift and remove impurities from just below the skin surface, and increases skin permeability, allowing moisturizers to penetrate the skin and encouraging better hydration and softer skin.”

Kris also recommends the following method to soften your hands. She says, “Softening hands overnight can be done with a few simple at-home ingredients like fresh lemons, baking soda, and honey and creating easy masks or scrubs to exfoliate and soften your hands. One of my favorite home remedies is a skin mask for your hands. It consists of 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1.5  tablespoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1-2 drops of black pepper oil. Mix them together to make a paste. Scoop the mixture into the palm, rub your hands together, and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.”

She continues, “For added hydration, wrap your hands in a plastic wrap after applying the mask and leave it on the skin for 10 minutes. After 15 minutes, wash your hands, pat them dry, and immediately apply neem salve, neem cream, or a peptide-rich moisturizer to your hands. You can use this mask 1-2 times a week for gentle exfoliation and hand-softening benefits.”

Discover more simple tips and tricks to prevent your hands from drying by scrolling below.

How To Prevent Your Hands From Becoming Dry

Moisturizing hands to prevent them from getting dry
Image: IStock
  • Avoid using soaps or detergents that tend to make your hands dry.
  • Opt for plant-based and natural products.
  • Wear gloves if you are going to expose your hands to water for prolonged periods.
  • Use a humidifier in your room to keep the air inside moist.
  • Manage your stress as certain conditions like eczemai  It is a chronic skin condition that causes dryness, irritation, blisters, inflammation, and red rashes on the skin. (that could be caused by stress) can make your hands go dry.
  • Avoid using air dryers to dry your hands. Use tissues instead.
  • Exfoliate your hands once a week to get rid of the dead skin cells that could be making your skin dry.
  • Use DIY solutions for hand care and moisturize daily.
  • Apply sunscreen while stepping out in the sun to keep your hands protected from UV rays.
  • Get immediate medical help to manage skin disorders like psoriasisi  A chronic skin condition that causes itchy and scaly patches on the skin. The common triggers include cold, stress, or infection. and eczema.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Dampen your hands before you apply moisturizer for better absorption.

Infographic: 5 Simple Home Remedies For Softer Hands

Factors such as dry weather, exposure to environmental irritants, and certain medical conditions can leave your hands dry and rough. The good news is a few simple ingredients from your kitchen can make your hands smooth and soft. We have rounded up the 5 best remedies in the infographic below. Scroll down to know more!

5 simple home remedies for softer hands (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Extreme changes in weather and harsh weather conditions, exposure to chemicals and environmental irritants, and certain medical conditions can leave your hands dry and rough. Thankfully you can apply several home remedies to make your hands soft again. The remedies discussed here are effective and make use of readily available substances like petroleum jelly, egg yolk, coconut oil, sugar scrub, aloe vera, honey, oatmeal, and almond oil. To prevent your hands from becoming dry, you can follow tips such as avoiding harsh detergents or chemical soaps, regular exfoliating and moisturizing, wearing protective gloves while doing chores and getting treatment for existing skin conditions psoriasis or eczema.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to soften my hands?

Your hands can take a few days to a couple of weeks to become soft. You can apply a deep moisturizer like coconut oil or Vaseline to your hands and then wear gloves to help the oil penetrate your skin.

Why are my hands peeling?

This could be related to eczema, a skin disorder characterized by the peeling of skin on your hands and fingers. A sunburn or a fungal infection can also cause your hands to peel. Please consult your doctor for diagnosis.

What is the best hand lotion for treating dry and cracked hands?

Hand lotions containing natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and oatmeal can be effective in treating dry and cracked hands. Other over-the-counter formulations include Cetaphil and Vaseline.

How often should you apply a homemade hand mask for optimal results?

The frequency of using homemade hand masks depends on the kind of ingredients that are going into the recipe for the mask and its purpose. If it is a hydrating hand mask with ingredients, such as honey, coconut oil, oatmeal or aloe vera, you can use it 1-2 times a day or as an overnight leave-on mask. But if it is an exfoliating mask that contains granular sugar or baking soda, use it only 1-2 times a week as overuse can worsen dryness.

Are there any herbal remedies that can be used to promote soft, supple hands?

Yes. You may use 5-10 minute hand soaks using diluted lavender, calendula, or rosemary essential oils, immediately followed by moisturizers. Likewise, you may use hand products containing these ingredients. The aloe vera, and coconut and almond oil remedies, mentioned in the article are also wonderful herbal moisturizing remedies to achieve soft hands.

Key Takeaways

  • You can use moisturizing natural ingredients like coconut oil, honey, and aloe vera, to nourish your hands.
  • Routinely exfoliate dead skin to expose soft, smooth skin.
  • Soak your hands in warm water with additional substances like lemon or olive oil to make your hands supple.
  • When handling strong chemicals or performing home tasks, wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Drink enough water and eat a healthy diet to enhance your general health and the suppleness of your skin.
8 Ways To Make Your Hands Soft Naturally

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Skin Manifestations of Diabetes Mellitus, Endotext, National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK481900/
  2. Eczema: Overview, InformedHealth.org, National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279399/
  3. Moisturizers: The Slippery Road, Indian Journal of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/
  4. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis, Dermatitis, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15724344
  5. Colloidal Oatmeal (Avena Sativa) Improves Skin Barrier Through Multi-Therapy Activity, Journal of drugs in dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27272074
  6. . Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Lecithin and Hydrogenated Lecithin, International Journal of Toxicology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11358109
  7. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305429
  8. Pharmacological attribute of Aloe vera: Revalidation through experimental and clinical studies, Ayu, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3611630/
  9. The Use of an Over-the-Counter Hand Cream With Sweet Almond Oil for the Treatment of Hand Dermatitis, Journal of drugs in dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29320591
  10. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
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Vd. Naveen Sharma

Vd. Naveen SharmaBAMS, Ayurveda Specialist

Dr. Naveen Sharma is a renowned Ayurveda specialist with an experience of 10 years. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery(B. A. M. S) from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, in 2007. He has a professional membership with AYUSH. Dr. Sharma’s specialties include cancer, liver disorders, autoimmune disorders, lifestyle disorders, migraine, hair fall, PCOD...read full bio

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