12 Tips to Get Soft Hands After Doing the Dishes
Dry hands. Cracked skin. Itchiness. The texture of sandpaper.
Too often, this is what happens after you do the dishes by hand.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. There is a way to keep your hands soft AND get your dishes clean, even without a dishwasher.
If you’re wondering how, then this post is for you.
We done the research, and found 12 natural tips that will help your hands look and feel great.
Soft hands tip #1: Don’t let hot water dry out your skin
Most people were taught to wash dishes using piping-hot water, on the logic that hot water kills more germs.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still recommends washing the dishes at 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and rinsing them at even higher temperatures.
They tested three water temperatures (60 degrees, 79 degrees and 100 degrees).
They found that all three temperatures removed bacteria with equal effectiveness.
In other words: you can totally use cooler water to do your dishes.
That will save you energy.
And it will also save your hands.
That’s because your skin is protected by a layer of natural oils, fats, and special proteins that lock in moisture.
Hot water removes this layer, dries out your skin, and even cracks it.
Gone are your smooth hands.
This is why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water for your skin.
Whether you’re washing your hands, your face, taking a shower, or doing the dishes, lukewarm water is best for your skin.
Soft hands tip #2: Get some rubber gloves
But there’s something to watch out for.
As long as your hands are perfectly dry inside the gloves, you have nothing to worry about.
But here’s the thing:
If dish soap or soapy water makes its way inside the gloves—especially by splashing over the edge of the cuff—something else happens.
The toxins commonly found in most dish soaps can enter your skin and harm your health.
Let us explain.
When moisture gets trapped inside a rubber glove, it doesn’t evaporate from your skin as quickly as it would otherwise.
Researchers in Sweden found that due to the lack of evaporation inside the glove, your hand absorbs 5 times more of the toxins lurking in your dish soap than it would with open-air contact.
That’s a lot of additional chemical exposure, just for doing the dishes.
But there’s a way to avoid this. You should use rubber gloves with a drip-catch cuff.
This way, no water reaches the inside of your gloves, and your hands and sleeves remain dry.
Soft hands tip #3: Start using natural soap
Conventional dish soaps irritate your hands enormously because of the harsh ingredients they contain.
That’s the main reason why your hands feel dry, tight, and get red after you do the dishes by hand.
That’s especially due to the foaming agents used in most dish soaps.
Most dish soaps get their super-foaminess from surfactants like SLS.
These surfactants are harsh. They bind with the natural oils on your skin, and strip them off.
That's the main culprit that gives you rough and dry skin after doing the dishes.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this. All you have to do is to switch to a genuinely natural dish soap that is made from saponified natural oils, and doesn’t include surfactants.
Not all natural dish soaps are alike. Many so-called “natural” dish soaps are made with surfactants anyway.
Yaya Maria’s Natural Dish Soap is different. It was developed around the notion that a dish soap shouldn’t only get your dishes squeaky-clean; it should also protect your skin.
Made from natural oils saponified with potash, the formula is carefully balanced to be tough on grease, but gentle on hands.
It also includes lavender essential oil, which is one of the most soothing oils for human skin.
...As well as vegetable glycerin, which attracts moisture to your skin.
No more rashes, dryness, or cracked skin.
It’s so gentle on hands, in fact, that it also works great as a liquid hand soap.
Here’s what a happy customer said about it:
Actually, you don’t need to read any further.
To keep your hands soft after doing the dishes, all you need to do is switch to a genuinely natural dish soap that won’t dry them out in the first place (sign up to our giveaway for a chance to win some free all-natural dish soap).
However, if that’s not your style, fortunately there are lots of great (and natural) ways to soothe dry hands after you’ve washed dishes with conventional dish soap.
Soft hands tip #4: Try some shea butter
It’s naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F, and contains a healthy amount of fatty acids.
It protects the skin’s natural oils, and has soothing anti-inflammatory properties.
Just what you need for dry or cracked skin!
For the best results, always use raw, unrefined, unbleached, organic, Grade A shea butter, because that’s what has the most nutrients for your skin (and won’t contain synthetic chemical residues from industrial processing).
Soft hands tip #5: Keep some olive oil by the sink
Sometimes the simplest methods work just fine.
It’s amazing how effective just a few drops of olive oil can be you for moisturizing dry hands.
Wanna make sure your olive oil has the biggest nutritional benefit?
Check to make sure it has all of these qualities:
Cold-pressed and unrefined
Sticking to these 3 criteria also ensures that your olive oil wasn’t produced under high heat, which would harm its nutrients.
When moisturizing hands with olive oil, remember that a little goes a long way. You only need a couple of drops.
Olive oil also makes a great cuticle soak, and can give you soft nails in just 15 minutes.
We’ve found some high-quality olive oils available on Amazon Prime that meet all of the requirements mentioned earlier.
Or, if you want to go one step further…
Here’s an amazing blend of olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and lavender oil that will boost your skin with a mix of healthy nutrients.
It makes your skin feel amazing, and people rave about it (check out the reviews).
Aloe vera contains so many nutrients, it’s hard to decide which ones to tell you about first.
According to one study, aloe vera contains 75 active ingredients that are amazing for your skin—including vitamins A, C, E, and B12, choline, folic acid, beneficial enzymes, and tons of minerals.
These nutrients keep your skin firm and well-hydrated.
Aloe vera also contains a bunch of fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory, and other nutrients that will give your skin a health boost.
We also love the fact that aloe vera doesn’t leave your skin greasy. It soaks right in.
There’s just one fully USDA-certified organic aloe vera gel that is made in the US without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives or any other impurities.
It’s made from 100% freshly-cut plants, and not from powder like most aloe vera gels on the market.
That means that this gel includes a larger concentration of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that nourish your skin, providing more value for your money.
Here are some reviews of this amazing aloe vera gel.
Soft hands tip #7: Let coconut oil sooth your skin
Coconut oil works best for getting soft hands if you have moderately dry skin.
Coconut oil absorbs into your skin more quickly than shea butter or olive oil, leaving your skin non-greasy after a minute or two.
Even though it doesn’t get absorbed quite as quickly as Aloe Vera does, it’s surprisingly non-greasy for an oil.
Coconut oil does a great job of restoring your natural skin’s softness, and locking in your skin’s natural moisture.
It smells amazing all by its natural, naked self.
Coconut oil’s high fat content makes it great for dry hands.
We found one coconut oil in particular that beats every other one of its kind.
Why is that important?
It contains 10% less moisture (read: cheap water), and as a result, has a longer shelf life without the need for preservatives. No rancidity, no discoloration, and no strong odors or taste.
Also, this coconut oil will give your skin more nutrients compared to other brands.
Soft hands tip #8: Try the power of argan oil
If you tend to get dry skin, coconut oil might not be strong enough for you.
That’s where argan oil comes in.
It’s extremely effective for battling dry skin.
Because a little goes a long way—one or two drops will do the trick—it offers a lot of bang for your buck.
Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acids that do an excellent job repairing dry skin after doing the dishes.
No more dryness, no more irritation.
One caveat: it can be hard to find real argan oil.
Many companies that claim to sell “argan oil” are actually selling a product that is diluted with cheaper oils (like soybean oil) that aren’t as beneficial for your skin, and can leave your skin oily, slimy, or sticky.
Argan oil has a distinctive nutty smell. Manufacturers know that, so they add artificial fragrances to their fake or diluted “argan oils” to make it harder for customers to detect the switcheroo.
How can you be sure you’re buying genuine argan oil?
One indicator is the smell. It should have a nutty (or rubber- or popcorn-like) smell that may be faint or strong (depending on the season it was harvested in). It should not smell like chemicals, flowers, or absolutely nothing at all.
Another sign is the appearance. The oil should be pale yellow—not bright yellow, and not clear white.
It should also be slightly cloudy, and have a small bit of sediment settled at the bottom of the bottle. It should not be crystal-clear.
It shouldn’t be cheap. Real argan oil is expensive. If you you’re seeing 4 fluid ounces for $12, that’s a red flag that it can’t be the real thing. One fluid ounce for $12 is more like it. (If a seller claims they’re offering argan oil below-cost, don’t believe them.)
Here’s a small supplier you can trust. They use real 100% pure Argan oil that has not been diluted. Their facility bottles one thing, and one thing only—and that’s argan oil. Their facility has been independently inspected and certified by EcoCert, a trustworthy third party.
This argan oil has zero artificial additives. It also has not been artificially deodorized—a process that removes not only the scent, but also many of the amazing nutrients argan oil has to offer.
Instead, this argan oil give you the full benefit of this amazing oil’s nutrients for dry skin.
Here are the reviews it received.
As an added bonus: this argan oil is fair trade, produced by a Berber women’s cooperative in Morocco. So by purchasing it, you also support a good cause.
Soft hands tip #9: Avocado oil
This is another oil that contains a generous supply of healthy nutrients for soothing dry skin.
Avocado oil is packed with fatty acids (like lecithin and oleic acid), antioxidants, minerals, and nutrient-rich properties (including A, B-5, and E).
If you tend to get dry skin after doing the dishes, it’s great for reviving your skin cells.
If you’re looking for a non-toxic way to heal and replenish you hands, avocado oil truly is a great option.
Here are the main nutrients avocado oil offers your skin:
- Oleic acid
- Docosadienoic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Beta carotene
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
And it not only works great on your skin.
It also softens you cuticles.
Here’s a top-notch avocado oil you should try: it’s USDA certified organic, 100% unrefined, and cold-pressed.
Unlike many other avocado oils, this one is made from avocados that are free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering.
It has also been tested for microbes. In addition it’s preservative-free, paraben-free, and it does not include any artificial ingredients whatsoever.
See what others have to say about this amazing vegan and cruelty-free avocado oil.
Soft hands tip #10: Try organic jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is great for the skin because its chemical structure resembles that of our skin's natural oils.
It’s a great source of minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains vitamins B, vitamin E, and a number of other antioxidants that strengthen dry skin.
Because jojoba oil is very gentle, it also works great for sensitive skin.
Its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties help reduce chapped, red, dry skin.
Like other oils, it also works great on your cuticles and nails, preventing them from breaking.
When shopping for jojoba oil, you’ll receive the most nutrients from one that is cold-pressed.
Since many manufacturers dilute their jojoba oil with cheaper (and less effective) oils, we recommend you choose one that is USDA certified organic to ensure a third party keeps an eye on the productions process.
To avoid getting swindled, make sure the manufacturer mentions which third-party company certified the product as organic. Then, check the third party’s website to make sure the brand you’re buying appears on their list of clients.
The best jojoba oils with the most nutrients for your skin should contain no additives, no artificial chemicals, alcohol, fragrance or anything other than pure, 100% organic jojoba oil.
Here’s a product that meets all of these requirements.
Read the reviews to find out more.
Soft hands tip #11: Safflower Oil
Another option for getting smooth hands is safflower oil, which (like other oils) locks in moisture and gives you soft skin with a fresh glow.
It softens dry areas on your hands and smoothes any rough patches.
Safflower oil contains a number of healthy nutrients like vitamin E, linoleic acid, and omega-6 fatty acid, all of which help your skin retain water and prevent dryness.
It’s almost as efficient as argan oil when battling dry skin, but safflower oil is much more affordable.
Safflower oil does a great job soothing rough, dry, or irritated skin.
You can read more about this oil here.
Soft hands tip #12: Natural hand moisturizer
If natural oils aren’t your thing, then you should consider getting a natural moisturizer for your kitchen.
We found an all natural cream that does the job when you need to battle dry skin.
With its powerful blend of organic sweet almond, cold-pressed olive oil, castor oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, and lavender essential oil, it returns even the driest skin back to normal.
It is also vegan and gluten free and it doesn’t contain any parabens, petrochemicals, or any other harsh and artificial chemicals.
You’ll get a nutritious mix of ingredients with a nourishing combination of natural fats, acids, and vitamins that will make your skin smooth and soft as if it had never been dry in the first place.
Just the right thing for getting soft hands after doing the dishes.
This is a great product to leave next to your kitchen sink to always keep it handy.
Read about how much people love this moisturizer.
No more dry skin or cracked hands
Whichever option you prefer, these are 12 ways to say good-bye to skin issues from doing the dishes.
Now you can focus on getting those pans and pots clean without having to worry about your hands.
Happy dish washing!