Whether you're a colorist, a cutter, a stylist, a barber, a nail tech, massage therapist, makeup artist or esthetician, your hands are your most valuable asset, your most important tool. But with constant contact with moisture, hand washing, strain and chemicals (we've all been there, sometimes you just don't use gloves--stop that!), pair that with cold weather and you have a recipe for disaster.
For some quick tips on protecting your hands, we connected with NYC dermatologist, Joyce Davis, M.D. about the best way to keep your hands and nails from cracking and becoming brittle this winter.
HAND WASHING: "Only wash your hands with a moisturizing soap," says Davis, who is on the speakers bureau of the American Academy of Dermatology. "This means no antibacterial soaps, or glycerine (clear) soaps." This will prevent drying, but still keep your hands clean.
MOISTURIZE: "Always moisturize your hands after washing," Davis says. "Keep a lotion near each sink and make sure to moisturize your cuticles, and all the skin surrounding your nails. This will help to prevent cuticles from splitting and becoming painful."
SUPPLEMENTS: "Taking supplements with Vitamin E and Biotin or Collagen will help strengthen your nails and keep your skin from drying out," she says. Bonus: These supplements can help with overall hair health and appearance.
GLOVES OUTSIDE, ALWAYS!: It is critical that gloves are worn outside in the colder weather. To make it easier, just stick a pair in every coat or jacket you wear. "The winter weather can fluctuate wildly in a day, and wind as well as cold weather needs to be avoided to keep hands and nails supple," Davis says.
SWITCH UP YOUR MOISTURIZER: "You may need a thicker moisturizing product than you normally use," Davis says. "If you have been using a lotion, try a cream."
GLOVES, INSIDE TOO: "When doing wet housework make sure to wear protective gloves," Davis says. And the same goes for applying hair color--even toner at the bowl. "When it comes to dish soap, the cleansing ingredients that cut grease also strip the protective oils from your skin and hands."