8 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
By Shaheen Naser

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 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

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 lupus 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).

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

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.

2. Coconut Oil

Woman applying coconut oil on her hands to keep them soft

iStock

The emollient 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.

3. Oatmeal

Bowl of dry oat flakes with oatmeal for soft hands

iStock

Oatmeal moisturizes the skin and improves skin barrier function (5). Hence, it 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.

6. Honey

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

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.

7. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera extracts are rich in polysaccharides 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

StyleCraze Says
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.

These remedies 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.

How To Prevent Your Hands From Becoming Dry

Moisturizing hands to prevent them from getting dry

iStock

  • Avoid using soaps or detergents that tend to make your hands dry.
  • 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 eczema (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.
  • Moisturize daily.
  • Get immediate medical help to manage skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.
StyleCraze Says
Dampen your hands before you apply moisturizer for better absorption.

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.

Sources

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. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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author
Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency... more

Vd. Naveen Sharma

(BAMS, Ayurveda Specialist)
Dr. Naveen Sharma is a renowned Ayurveda specialist with an experience of 10 years. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in... more

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