moisturizing with gloves at night: tell me everything
December 6, 2022 12:24 PM   Subscribe

My hands are weirdly dry this year and I've started trying moisturizing at night and wearing cotton gloves. I have so many questions.

Can you wash the gloves with other laundry? Are both vaseline-covered gloves and lotion-covered gloves okay to wash with other laundry? If not, how DO you wash them?

Which is better under gloves at night, vaseline or a lotion or cream? (I have Aveeno Skin Relief and Trader Joe's Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream on hand. The gloves are these basic cotton gloves.)

Is there any risk of vaseline or lotions seeping through the gloves and getting on my sheets or other stuff I touch at night?

Do you use the gloves every single night, or just a few nights a week?

I've never had much trouble with dry skin the past so this is all really new to me. I generally dislike lotions (the feel, the smell, but mostly worrying about getting it all over whatever I touch next). I've tried the gloves for three nights so far and the practice seems to have helped a lot.

I'm especially concerned about the laundry question, though. I really don't want to get greasy weird chemicals all over my clothes.

Any and all details about how you moisturize your hands, especially at night, and all related logistics would be most welcome.

posted by kristi to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used to have big problems with chapped hands during winter time. I applied A&D ointment to my hands every night and then wore thin cotton gloves. I also tried using Vaseline. I think the ointment/Vaseline did seep through the gloves and get on the sheets sometimes. I believe I washed the gloves with regular laundry, but this was years ago, and I'm not sure now. I do know that my moisturizing strategy didn't work nearly as well as applying O'Keeffe's Working Hands at night (minus the gloves). O'Keeffe's basically cured my problem of dry hands. On occasion, I also apply it once during the day, but I find that's usually not necessary.
posted by alex1965 at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've used disposable nitrile gloves over lotion at night, then I throw them away afterwards. I've never developed enough of a routine with this that I use anything other than "whatever I have around" for lotion.

The o'keeffe's lotion is really nice too, I haven't tried using it at night though.
posted by yohko at 12:52 PM on December 6, 2022

Best answer: Is there any risk of vaseline or lotions seeping through the gloves and getting on my sheets or other stuff I touch at night?

I am a Certified Goo Bitch and I just want to assure you that this is not a problem you need to concern yourself with. I am an absolute nasty freak for lotions and vaseline and reapply all day long, even throughout the night when I wake up, and I don't even wear gloves. My laundry is fine. All fine. I leave noticeable grease marks on hard plastics (keyboard, kindle, light switches) like the gross little slug I am, but those all wipe off easy with a Clorox wipe (and are things that should be cleaned regularly anyway so it's all good). All this to say that you should have zero concern about any "seeping" through gloves in a way that would be a problem for your sheets or pjs.

The most you may want to consider is washing your gloves in with your towels and slouch wear, and not your nice clothes.
posted by phunniemee at 12:53 PM on December 6, 2022 [26 favorites]

Running the humidifier whenever the heat is on in my house is a big help for me with dry hands. I also enjoy doing the disposable “hand masks” that come with their own plastic gloves - you only need them for a little bit, not overnight.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: As far as a strategy, vaseline is an occlusive. It doesn't provide moisture, it keeps the moisture that's already there there. Since your hands are dry, an occlusive is just going to trap in that dry.

A moisturizer (lotion) that you let sink in, with an occlusive on top, is the most effective strategy for moisture bombing your skin. That's what the gloves are there for--to provide the barrier to the world so that the lotion stays in longer contact with your skin. An occlusive plus gloves on top isn't going to hurt at all, but it's a little bit of doing the same thing. If I were you I'd do a good lotion with the gloves and no vaseline for a while and see how that goes for you.
posted by phunniemee at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2022 [10 favorites]

Best answer: My overnight heal-the-raspy-hands routine consists of slathering on Aquaphor or my favorite unscented cream of the day. Then I put my hands into thick cotton socks. Gloves wipe the goop off. I only wash the hand socks when they're really grim and the rest of the laundry has never complained. If I regularly moisturize during the day then I can avoid the sock treatment. I like La Roche-Posay Cicaplast and Marcha Labs Wool Wax Creme (contains lanolin) for daily use.
posted by gerygone at 1:47 PM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Propylene glycol, my old nemesis, is something you'll want to avoid in lotion (even if you're not allergic). Aveeno is free of it.
posted by amtho at 1:57 PM on December 6, 2022

Best answer: I'll answer this as someone who has traditionally had horribly dry/bleeding hands during the winter, and who tried sleeping with cotton gloves and hated it.

I wash my hands probably more than the average person, which undoubtedly contributed to the dryness. What has helped my hands has been this:

1. Figuring out ways to wash my hands less without feeling like I'm going to make myself more likely to get sick.

2. These two moisturizers:
- At bedtime, if my hands are feeling at all dry: Cetaphil "Moisturizing Lotion" (the pump bottle that says "New & Improved Formula" is what I've been using on my hands and has been working). It's not the lightest-weight lotion, but it sinks in enough to not feel gross when sleeping.
- As needed during the day when heavy-duty intervention is needed: Eucerin "Original Healing Cream" (comes in a tub, or in a very difficult to squeeze tube). I only put this on the backs of my hands because it's quite greasy. I don't use it at night because the texture is quite unpleasant, and I feel like it will get all over my pillow and face. But man, it works.
posted by wondermouse at 2:02 PM on December 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Have you changed your handsoap lately? The ONLY thing that stopped my hands from being red, ragged, chapped, cracked and bleeding messes was avoiding any liquid soap unless it was pure glycerin. Glycerin soap, and glaxal base with gloves overnight until they settled down, and then just as needed. Hope you heal up soon!
posted by kate4914 at 6:15 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

I apply lotion by squeezing a small blob into the back of one hand and then rubbing the backs of both hands together.

This way I can moisturise at any time of day without dealing with the feeling of lotion all over my hands, or potentially getting it everywhere.

It sinks in after a couple of minutes, I don't see a need for gloves.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:13 PM on December 6, 2022

Best answer: I had problems with my skin when I used Aquaphor, which is similar to vaseline. Jergens Ultra Healing was way better.
posted by coberh at 8:44 PM on December 6, 2022

Best answer: I use Eucerin original healing cream, the thick one in the jar. I use it every night in the winter (when it's dry here) - I slather it thickly on my hands, then put on the gloves.

Honestly I don't bother to wash the gloves very often. I think that when they're saturated with lotion they probably work better (or at least that's a convenient justification for my laziness). I haven't had problems with them getting lotion on other things that I have noticed.
posted by medusa at 9:27 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used to hate lotion anywhere but on my face, too, but I basically have to use it or I end up with eczema and rashes from dry skin on my hands,

My tip isn't so much about gloves, though I did that, and I used cheap cotton gloves I bought online along with Eucerin cream in a tub, and I washed them with regular (hot wash) laundry, and I did notice some of the lotion on my sheets but it washed out.

But I'm here to say that you should know this: The MOST effective way to use lotion is to put it on right after you shower. There's something to do with how the water soaks into your skin, so it doesn't work so well after handwashing. I am not great at putting lotion on at other times (I still don't especially like it), but I always put it on after I shower and it's dramatically changed the skin on my hands. I use a Neutrogena hand lotion.
posted by hought20 at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am both a noob and an amateur here, but I was having dryness problems a year or two ago and on a whim picked up these "Epielle" "Detoxifying" gloves and socks. They are worn for only 20 minutes which may point to ingredients that some people might be allergic to, and I see that they do have butylene glycol, but that's supposed to be less irritating than the propylene version. They aren't listed on the website anymore, but they do list a "repairing" product line, so if you have a Big Lots near you you can drop $1 apiece and see if they suit you.
posted by rhizome at 2:42 PM on December 7, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you all so much!

These are all great and helpful answers, and I really appreciate all the different perspectives and all the great specific product recommendations.

phunniemee, you get all the bonus points for style. I think that's the first time I've both favorited and marked as best answer.

My hands are feeling much better now, thanks to all your helpful suggestions. (Unfortunately, the back-of-the-hands tip doesn't help me - it's something I've often done in the past, but this year the skin on my palms and fingertips was cracking, too, so I needed to apply the lotion all over my hands.)

Thank you all for your great replies!
posted by kristi at 8:18 AM on December 13, 2022

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