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Hand Lotions

Plenty of factors cause dry hands, including environmental, seasonal and health issues, but also daily activities when your hands are frequently under water during cleaning and washing. Hand lotion provides essential replenishment for lubrication that is transferred from, washed off or insufficiently produced by the skin on your hands.

Why You May Need Hand Lotions
Signs of dryness in your hands include symptoms that precede cracks and chaps in your skin. You may need to start a re-nourishing hand-lotion routine if the skin on your hands feels tight after you get out of the shower or the pool or if your hands have a rough look or feel. Itching is another sign of dry hands, usually accompanied by peeling or flaking of the skin. Skin discoloration, such as redness or an ashy appearance, is another sign, as is the appearance of fine lines. You should start using hand lotions immediately if the skin on your hands exhibits any of these symptoms, and before the skin begins to roughen.

The Ingredients That Renew Skin
Ointments, lip balm, and lotions all target dry hands. As a group they're known as emollients or moisturizers. Lotions for the hands contain more water than creams and ointments, so they're easier to dispense and to incorporate into the skin. The combined ingredients in the lotions keep moisture in the skin and prevent outside agents from penetrating it. The most well-known and accepted ingredients include petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, shea butter, glycerin, lactic acid and urea. Many natural oils and extracts also provide lotion ingredients, including coconut oil, aloe vera and vitamin E oil, known as tocopherol. Some lotions contain a higher concentration of one or more of these ingredients than other lotions, so their therapeutic regimen is considered more intense or extreme.

How Often Should You Use the Lotions?
Dermatologists recommend using hand lotions every time your hands have been under water, even after you wash them. They also recommend establishing a moisturizing routine, applying lotion at least twice a day and keeping an eye on the signs of dry hands. When your hands feel dry or itchy, they will benefit from lotion. Because of how often you should apply hand lotion throughout the day, make sure to add this item to your next office supplies order. You may want to consider adding hand lotion to your back to school supplies list for your children.

How Do You Apply Hand Lotions?
Make sure your hands are clean, and begin by dispensing a small dab of lotion, about the size of a pea, onto the back of your hand, which is where the most dryness occurs. Then rub the back of your hands together to spread the lotion evenly, and use the fingertips of each hand to work it into your skin. If you are thorough about the application, very little of the hand lotion will remain to wipe off with a towel. Containers dispense lotion easily. Some lotions come in squeeze tubes, others have integrated pumps or siphon-tube pumps and others are wide-mouth jars that let you scoop the lotion out with your fingertips.

Can You Use Hand Lotions to Wash Your Hands?
Some lotions for the hands do in fact contain cleaning agents for the skin, and should be a go-to product for hand washing. One of the hand-soap ingredients to look for is glycerin, a sugar-alcohol compound that acts as a cleanser and toner for the skin, but which also both repairs skin cracks and helps the skin retain moisture.
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