Ahhhh winter. You get your sweaters, and your nog, and your glisten of frost on everything. Winter is beautiful. Winter is also the arch nemesis of my hands.

My first indication that winter is HERE is that my hands become so dry, the mere act of clapping is a legitimate fire hazard.  

Once my hands start giving me The Signs (and if you know what I mean, you know what I mean) and I add another few steps to my nighttime routine. Here are the steps that have helped me, and the products that have really done the job.

Related: Zenmed’s cult-favorite skin care products: I tried, I tested, I have some thoughts.

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3 steps to moisturized winter hands


1. Wash your hands before bed

Yes, I know we’re all washing our hands all day every day. But still, right before bed, I wash my hands again with a good moisturizing soap. Right now I like the unscented hand soap from Whole Foods 365 brand, or the grapefruit scent if it’s available near you.

A lot of people also swear by CO Bigelow’s hand soap for moisturized hands, if you want to get fancy. 

2. Use a good hand scrub

Next, I do a quick treatment with a hand scrub or exfoliator. I’m sad that my Sephora hand scrub is no longer, because it was so affordable and had a scent I really liked. Now I’m using Lush’s Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub on my hands, or Lush’s Ocean Salt Brightening Scrub. I always have them In my stash.

Another options you can try is the OleHenriksen Mini Lemonade Smoothing Scrub – just $15, with mini trial sizes available. And the best thing is that it comes in a tube! You don’t have to fumble with a jar in your wet hands! It’s also the perfect size to toss into a purse if you need to travel. 

An easy nightly routine for dry winter hands | include a hand scrub like OleHenriksen

I like to squeeze some hand scrub onto the back of my hand before adding water and rubbing until the sugar has dissolved and my hands feel softened. 

If you don’t necessarily need a tube, another option a lot of people like is the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Illuminating Hand and Body Scrub. Plus it’s really affordable — just $8.99 for that 12-oz jar at Target.


3. Lotion lotion lotion!

The final step in my bedtime ritual to get my hands winter-ready is really easy: Lotion.  The last thing I do before turning out the lights is apply a good hand cream.

I keep a couple of different creams and lotions on my nightstand, but my current favorites are:

Our best hand creams for dry winter hands | cool mom picks


Origins Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream. (Shout out to my editors’ sample, which how I discovered it.)

JR Watkins Hand Cream which is my OG favorite, so much so that I have a bimonthly Amazon subscription for the stuff.

If you prefer something you can pick up in your drugstore, I always have Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Cream in my bag these days too. It seems to be the one hand lotion that works works on hands ruined by repeated applications of hand sanitizer.

Whatever works for you is great, but I’m telling you, these are just full of the moisture my thirsty hands need in the winter — plus, you get to climb under the covers with your hands smelling nice.


Bonus:  A little extra love for the cuticles

Pro tip: Lip balms of all kinds are terrific for cuticle care in the winter

Glossier Balm Dot Com

Do you have any fancy lip balms tubes or even drugstore lip balm sticks lying around that you don’t use?  I’m allergic to most lip balms, but I’m constantly receiving them as a gift with purchase when I make beauty purchases. So I decided on a whim to try one on my cuticles and it worked!

Lip balms are wonderful cuticle moisturizers!

Now I have a use for all of the balms that would have otherwise gone to waste, especially in the winter. 


This easy nighttime routine has made world of difference for my dry winter hands, and I hope some of these tips work for some of you!. Let me know if you have any other products or steps you take to combat dry hands in the winter — I’m always open to new ideas.