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Home Remedies for Dry Hands and Feet: 6 Tips for Softer Winter Skin

Is the cold air leaving your skin painfully dry? These soothing remedies are sitting right in your kitchen.

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Soothe winter skin with simple home remedies

Regular moisturizers only go so far to protect and soothe dry winter skin. Thankfully, there are plenty of other alternative home remedies for softer hands and feet that are easy to use. Read on for the best ones, and check out the things that people get wrong about winter skin care.

Hand wear socks of woman on bedsrisakorn wonglakorn/Shutterstock

Sleep in socks

Treat scaly, cracked feet while you sleep. Papri Sarkar, MD, a board-dermatologist in Brookline, MA, suggests this bedtime ritual: Soak feet in tepid water for ten minutes then apply a thick cream like Cerave or an ointment like Vaseline and put on socks. The hydrating ingredients will seep into dehydrated skin overnight to soften your soles and heal cracks. Here are other ways to give your feet some TLC.

Greek yogurt or sour cream in a wooden bowl on dark table top view. Healthy food nutrition.Lesterman/Shutterstock

Soothe with a yogurt mask

For a cheap alternative to that high-end cream, try coating dry feet and hands in full-fat yogurt. The lactic acid in yogurt acts as a natural exfoliant to gently remove dead skin while the fats restore moisture. For an extra boost, mix a teaspoon of raw honey into the yogurt before slathering on your skin (it's super hydrating). Leave the mask on for ten minutes before rinsing off. For more pampering, homemade foot scrubs are the perfect addition to this mask.

essential oil with pipette and bunch of dry lavender flowers. Top view or flat-lay. Copy space for text.Fascinadora/Shutterstock

Spritz dryness away

Rose, lavender, or bergamot essential oils are great for hydrating the skin. To create an herbal spritzer, mix a few drops of any or all of these essential oils with water in a four-ounce spray bottle. Spritz on dry hands and feet whenever your skin needs a boost. These simple home remedies also work for treating everything from acne to irritation.

natural lip balms from beeswax in tin potsimages72/Shutterstock

Whip up an at-home cold cream

This one is guaranteed to soften skin. You'll need 1 ounce beeswax, 1/3 cup virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons water or rosewater, and 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil. Melt the beeswax. Heat the oil slightly over a saucepan, then pour into the melted beeswax. Heat the water or rosewater in the saucepan, then stir it, drop by drop, into the oil and wax mixture. Remove from heat and stir until the mixture is cooled and thick. Blend in the lavender essential oil. Spoon the mixture into a jar and store in a cool place. It should last about three months.

AvocadoNew Africa/Shutterstock

Mash an avocado

Avocado is a great moisturizer, Dr. Sarkar says. The fats in avocados are extra nourishing for dry hands. Mash half of an avocado and combine with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/8 cup sugar. The sugar will exfoliate dead skin away while the oils moisturize skin. Learn some other amazing benefits of avocados.

Closeup shot of hands applying moisturizer. Beauty woman holding a glass jar of skin cream. Shallow depth of field with focus on moisturizer.Rido/Shutterstock

Try products with vitamin B3

"Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, has skin calming and brightening benefits," says Josh Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. "In addition it helps strengthen the skin barrier." The better your skin barrier functions, the better it is at retaining water and keeping your skin moisturized. Now that your hands and feet are supple, find the best face moisturizer for your skin type.

Sources
Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD, on January 10, 2020