Winter is just around the corner, and you know what that means: dry skin season. If you live in a cold climate, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. The chilly winter months equal parched skin, staticky hair, and chapped lips. But the absolute worst part? Having dry hands in the winter! What a the terrible feeling.
Christina Ambers, also known as the supermodel of hands, knows all about keeping her hands in tip-top shape. I mean she must- it’s her job after all! And we’ve been lucky enough to have her hands featured in a number of Dermelect nail shoots. So we spoke with Christina to get a deeper understanding of hand modeling, and what it takes to have famous hands and fingers. If you want to know the secrets of a hand model - keep reading!
What do you look for in hand and nail products?
"I like products that do not contain too much fragrance, as these tend to have a lot of alcohol which can be drying. What you cleanse your hands with can be just as important as how you moisturize. As a germaphobe Manhattanite, I am constantly washing my hands and I find that bar soaps are much more gentle than liquid ones. Lastly, I feel that cuticle and nail beds should be moisturized at least once a day with oil or cream. These products penetrate the nail plate best if applied to nails that do not have any polish."
Could you tell us about an unusual/awkward scenario that you were placed in during a hand shoot?
"Often, hand models are used as the hands of celebrities. This can be done for a variety of reasons. The celebrity can be too busy to do a hand shot, which can be much more time consuming than one would think. Many times, especially for tv commercials & videos, the movements are very precise and are unnatural to execute (although they appear to look natural) so they require someone who understands these specialized skills. For example, separating a slice of pizza from a whole pie so that the cheese looks all gooey, melty, and delicious is not such a straightforward, easy task. Also, consider the scenario where one would have to place a product with writing on the package into frame so that it’s exactly in focus. If you’re off your mark by even a millimeter it can look blurry. Another more obvious reason for using a hand model is that a celebrity may not have beautiful hands. Sometimes when hand models work with celebs, we see them, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the shot requires the hand model to touch the celeb’s face, hair, shoulder, etc. Some are fine with posing with the hand model and others refuse and insist that the hands be swapped out in post."
What are your secrets to keeping your hands in tip-top shape?
I always moisturize after every time I wash my hands. Sometimes I use a little extra cream &/or oil, and lastly I protect my hands from the cold weather outside by wearing gloves. I absolutely to not wear gloves inside or in the summer! I like my wardrobe entirely too much to do that!!!!"
While nothing can beat the secrets of maintaining beautiful hands from a hand model, I too have learned a few tips and tricks to avoid dry, papery, and cracked hands in the dryer months. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Are My Hands So Dry?
So, why do we get dry skin during the winter anyway? The combination of winter’s cold outdoor temperatures and dry indoor heating means that there’s less humidity in the air. The dry air sucks the moisture right out of your skin, leaving it parched and dehydrated.
Plus, since winter can be considered cold and flu season, you might be washing your hands more often than usual. Washing your hands (especially with hot water), scrubs away the natural moisturizing oils from your skin and makes the issue even worse. The result? Itchy, dry skin on hands and when left untreated, the condition can get worse– leading to flaking, cracking, and even bleeding.
How to Prevent Dry Hands in Winter
If you really want to avoid having chapped hands this winter, you need to start now before the weather gets too cold. Here’s what I do to prevent dry hands in winter.
Strengthen Your Hands
Skin is protected by a natural barrier of proteins, lipids, and oils. Unfortunately, some people just have a weaker barrier than others, and are thus more prone to dry hands in the winter. Even worse, cold air dries out the cuticles and nails. If you’re already prone to weak nails, you’re looking at a long winter of broken nails and ragged cuticles
So how do you strengthen your hands, nails, and cuticles? By using targeted treatments like those found in our Hand Recovery System. With an ultra-hydrating hand moisturizer, a fortifying nail and cuticle cream, and two nail treatments, this kit has remedies for all the effects of winter on our hands, not to mention it’s the perfect holiday gift set!
Make Hand Lotion Your BFF
Many experts recommend washing your hands less frequently to prevent dry skin. But if you have kids, that’s just not an option, especially during flu season!
The trick to keeping your hands clean without over-drying them is to use a gentle hand soap and apply hand lotion often. Hand lotion replaces any moisture lost while washing hands, plus it creates a protective barrier to prevent further moisture from escaping. But for hand lotion to work its best, you need to be applying it several times per day – once per day just won’t cut it! My secret is to make sure I have hand lotion stocked up in multiple places. I have a bottle next to every sink in my home so that every time that I wash my hands, I make sure that I also apply hand lotion right afterward. Once you get into the habit, you’ll do it without thinking, and your hands will thank you for it!
So what’s my favorite hand lotion, aka the best hand lotion of 2018 (according to NewBeauty Magazine)? Dermelect Timeless Anti-Aging Hand Treatment. This luxurious hand treatment is water-reactivated, to help lock in moisture sans the greasy residue feel. Plus, its peptide-infused technology to help strengthen the thin skin on the back of the hands. So not only are you keeping your hands moisturized and supple, but you’re also making them look younger in the process. It’s a win-win!
Invest in a Humidifier
Let’s address one of the other culprits of dry winter hands: dehydrating indoor heating. Obviously you can’t go without indoor heating in the winter (unless you live in Hawaii, of course). Some people are lucky enough to have radiators, which use steam heat and thus keep the atmosphere indoors from getting too dry.
However, if you don’t have a radiator, I suggest purchasing a humidifier. A humidifier will help to keep your skin, hair and nails soft and moisturized all winter long. I keep one in my bedroom and run it while I’m sleeping. Just make sure to clean it frequently, otherwise you could be inhaling mold while you sleep!
Don't Forget to Wear Gloves!
This is really one of my pet peeves because nothing will dry out your hands faster than exposing them to cold winter air. Even if you’re just making a quick dash from the grocery store to the car, keep your hands protected with gloves! I have multiple pairs to match my coats and scarfs.
But why stop at winter gloves? Make sure that you also wear rubber gloves when cleaning and washing dishes. Household cleaners may work wonders on soap scum and other grime, but they’ll wreak havoc on your delicate skin. Rubber gloves protect your hands and have the added benefit of extending your manicure.
Do you have a trick for preventing dry hands in winter? Let us know in the comments!