how to heal dry, rough, cracked hands

Winter’s in full force and my hands are feeling it. Today in super dry, -30 degrees weather my hands finally had enough and all around my thumbs cracked. OUCH!!!! It seems like I’m always putting on hand cream, but it’s obviously not enough!

I have some un-petroleum jelly that I’m going to slather on tonight with socks {on my hands since I don’t have any cotton gloves!} and hopefully that’ll help heal them up. How do you take care of your hands in the winter? Do you have a little routine to keep your skin soft?  Favorite products?

About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

27 thoughts on “how to heal dry, rough, cracked hands

  1. I slather Eucerin on my hands/wrist every night and sometimes cover with babylegs to help lock in the moisture. It’s the only thing I have found that really works for me… and I have tried SO many products.

  2. I met a lady from a baby show who showed me Arbonne products. We recently met up so she could give me samples to try out. I’ve only tried them for one night so far and my hands are much softer but still working on the existing cracks… ouch!!!

  3. I like Neutrogena’s hand cream and a hemp type from The Body Shop. For the cracks, I use dabs of antibiotic / healing ointment (like Neosporin) and cover each one with a tiny bandaid. It really makes a difference overnight. But washing my hands (or my kids’ hands) a dozen times a day, baths and showers, laundry and dishes, cleaning, etc. all make it impossible to completely avoid those tiny, painful cracks :(

  4. I rub apple cider vinegar on my hands before I put lotion on them.

    1. That sounds like it would sting and do quite the job at exfoliating! Do you use it full strength?

  5. I use creams with shea butter for my hands and feet. Currently using Udderly Smooth’s foot cream and it’s thick but not greasy. I love it.

  6. Most of the lotions suggested contain parabins. I use Burts Bees coconut foot cream or un-petroleum jelly to heal the cracks. And I use the jelly for dry nose related to cold weather and pregnancy! If I can catch treating the drying effect before they crack I use Time & Again lavender hand cream. I am so tired at bedtime lately that I seem to forget anything on and now am in pain… Tonight!!

  7. I use pure coconut oil – goes on a little greasy, but doesn’t stay that way. Makes yours skin feel sooo nice, and doesn’t contain any other chemicals etc.

  8. I use Zim’s Crack Creme – it’s a liquid containing glycerine, willowherb, arnica & myrica oil. ( It really helps heal the cracks and also helps with the pain.
    I follow this with Burts Bees foot creme and cotton socks on feet, or mittens on hands.
    Makes a big difference. I try to remember to lotion after each hand-washing, but it almost never happens.

    1. My husband has really dry hands and has been asking me for some lotion. I forgot we have two cans of bag balm somewhere! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Another vote for coconut oil! Slather it on after a shower so the moisture in your skin moves the oil deeper and put on cotton gloves to keep it on you and off the sheets. Also, if your fingertips crack (especially if you’re a crafter etc.), try New-Skin. I take that back, I used it before I even thought to check ingredients and 2 of them leave me with ??s.. it’s basically an antiseptic liquid bandage you brush on and it dries inside and on top of the crack and eases the pain immensely. I remember my cuts healing in about 2-3 days instead of a week like it used to take. I wish I could find a ‘greener’ solution though (EWG rates it a 5, but the data gap is large–71%).

  10. I use straight shea butter on my hands when they get really chapped or cracked, especially around the cuticles and finger tips. Works wonders! This year I found some awesome unrefined gold shea and it’s even more amazing. Smells delicious, and really sinks in deeply. I love it!

  11. I just try to avoid my hands becoming dry in the first place by drinking lots of water, avoid “unnecesarily” washing my hands, I dont touch hand sanitizers, and then I just use whatever pretty smelling lotion I find on a somewhat random basis. Current favourite lotion is the “warm apple cider” body lotion by Hempz treats…

  12. The ONLY thing I have found that works for me is Camille Beckman’s Glycerine Hand Therapy. I LOVE Coconut oil and tried it hoping it would work for me…but the winter gives me alligator paws that bleed easily at the knuckles…Camille’s WORKS!

  13. All awesome suggestions everyone! Keep ’em coming and I’ll pop them all up in an easy to find post that we can reference.

  14. A third vote for the Coconut oil! It leaves my skin feeling very smooth and silky. It also seems to keep my excema at bay. When I have breakouts of the excema, I’ve been lately using Olivier’s dry skin cream and oil (a local NB company; all natural!) – it seems to be working really well.

  15. My hands crack open every winter and I have found that the 3m crack repair works for me!

  16. I know that pain, especiallly with the cold weather. My GP recommended grapeseed oil mixed with olive oil – 3x/day. So I did that together with constant moisturizing everytime I washed my hands. Could have also been any of the moisturizers that I used – JR Watkins, hand & body lotion or Hand Medic. I came across Hand Medic at work and it always seemed to clear up my hands the few days that I was in the office.

    The cracks have sealed up for now but winter has only just begun!

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  19. I have tried so many things for the painful cracks in my hands. I have found the only thing to work wonders is slathering mayo all over and leaving it on for a couple of hours, and your hands will be so soft and smooth.

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