Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Ways to Prevent Your Hands From Drying Out in the WIntertime

Have you noticed that your hands get really dried out in the wintertime? Actually, hands can be dried at any time of the year but it is really noticeable during the winter caused by the dry air in homes because of the heating systems. During the summer it is usually the opposite, we have higher humidity in homes from the warmer temperatures. There are several other factors that we do have more control over that will affect the moisture level of our hands.

First, the soap we use has a big impact on the dryness or moisture level of our hands. Of course, there are many different types of soaps on the market. The worst are the conventional soaps found in supermarkets that are made almost entirely of synthetic or petroleum derived ingredients. These are full of artificial fragrances and coloring that really dry out the skin and add toxins into one’s body. The skin is the body’s largest organ and will absorb whatever liquids are placed upon it. The healthier soaps are made of natural ingredients. You can tell by reading the ingredients list and actually being able to understand what you are reading. If you don’t understand, it’s synthetic and toxic. So, it’s best to use natural ingredient soaps to improve the health of your body and the natural soaps will dry out the skin less. My favorite soap at the moment is called Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap from India that seems to dry the skin less and is made of natural, plant based ingredients.

Second, avoid soaps or body care products with palm oil as an ingredient. Palm oil has many other names, including vitamin A palmitate, stearic acid, and hydrated palm glycerides to name just a few. The massive production of palm oil is responsible to much rainforest destruction in Southeast Asia, many human rights abuses of the workers, and is wiping out several rainforest species such as the orangutan in Indonesia. By boycotting products that contain palm oil, we are helping the rainforests and endangered species. (1)

Third, is the temperature level of the water you use. Hot water will dry your skin out quickly. Cool or cold water will keep the moisture in the skin. I know it is hard to use cold water in the winter, but simply washing your hands with cool water will make a noticeable difference.

Fourth, whether to use soap at all will have a major influence on our skin’s moisture level and overall health. My father was a major proponent of not using soap. He simply washed his hands with water. He did a lot of gardening and purposefully got his hands into the soil. He felt the soil “cleaned” his hands. Anyways, I believe that we don’t need to use soap every time we wash our hands. I only use soap when I come into contact with toxic or bacterial laden materials. Other times, I just use water. 

Fifth, applying moisturizer may not be the ideal solution. Many people depend on moisturizers or creams to keep their hands or body moist and prevent dryness. However, doing so masks the true unhealthy condition of the body or environmental conditions present. You see, the skin becomes dry either from eating a dry diet of toxic, processed and cooked foods and also from the environment, like dry air or hot water or toxic soaps. By changing one’s diet to juicy foods like organic fresh juices, smoothies and organic, plant based, raw foods, one’s skin be juicier as well. Also, changing the environment will help too as I already mentioned. 

Furthermore, most moisturizers and creams are old, toxic ingredients that only add toxins to the body. The healthiest moisturizers I would add to the skin are found in nature, such as avocado and Aloe vera pulp. The second best moisturizers are least processed oils, like organic, extra virgin avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.

In summary, the health of our skin and our hands is indicative of our overall health and the better we take of our skin, the healthier and happier we will be as well. Dryness of the hands is one sign of an unhealthy condition in one’s life. Age spots, brittle nails, white spots on finger nails, warts, and so on, are other signs of unbalanced living. Take care of your body and it will take of you through a long, healthy, and happy life!

Article Sources:

Rainforest Action Network’s The Understory article, “Palm Oil’s Dirty Secret: The Many Ingredient Names for Palm Oil: (1)


Katherine - Real Food Runner said...

Just found your blog! I'm getting into raw foods :)

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