It’s the time of year when my hands get so dry and cracked that my fingers snag things and I fear inflicting a gaping wound on myself with one haphazard itch of my face.
Winter weather equals dry air, dry air leads to dry skin, and no amount of molesting my home humidifier helps prevent bloody knuckles and fingers that rival those of a prize-winning boxer.
I admit that I don’t do everything I can to prevent this, as you’ll see below, but I am really trying to remember that typing with Band-Aids on my fingers does nothing more than create a new language that even I can’t understand.
But for those with less of a self-sadistic nature than I apparently have, let’s examine our options.
Apply lotion early and often.
This is obvious and something I do year round to just about every square inch of my body, sometimes because it’s needed and sometimes because it smells pretty. But in the fall/winter, my skin soaks it up like a sponge and I have lotion on my desk, in my purse, etc.
The problem is that my brain often runs out of order, and so the cycle goes something like this: Put on lotion, get distracted and go do something else that necessitates washing my hands (basically everything, which I know is part of the problem) or getting them wet, realize what I’ve done and make a mental note of mistake, reapply lotion, forget mental note 1.3 seconds later and repeat the cycle again.
In other words, I go through more bottles of lotion than a horny teenage boy. Learn from my mistakes people—or buy stock in Jergens.
Limit your time in the shower and use only warm—not hot—water.
It’s been my experience that showers are a great place to spend 4 minutes thinking about all of my problems and 1 minute actually showering. I also read the shampoo bottles out loud in the multiple languages —“Shampoo/shampooing” “cranberry oil/huile de canneberge”—and compose great literary works in my head.
I think it’s something about the steam releasing all the creative things from my brain or something. Look it up. It’s probably a thing.
Anyway, while I try and limit my time in the shower—and my water bill—I do enjoy these moments of self-proclaimed genius before they’re sucked down the drain with the suds. Plus, it’s nice and warm in there, so I (incorrectly) figure extra lotion will make up for the five minutes of warm misty love.
Wear gloves when doing dishes.
This is a great option in theory. In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to purchase thick yellow gloves from the store and keep them next to the sink. However, much like putting the vacuum in the middle of the floor and then walking around it for a good day or two before using it, availability does not guarantee usage.
The sad thing is the damn gloves are right next to the sponge that I use, yet I still don’t put them on every time, as if the effort required was comparable to putting on a NASA space suit. But when I do put them on, I sometimes forget that I’m wearing them and dry my still-gloved hands with the towel because I’m a genius.
So to summarize, do as I say and not as I do and you might make it through winter okay. And for that, I shall give you a (moisturized) hand–and then promptly go wash mine again.
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