Spring Sale through May 31 | Strings, Sheet Music, Books, Cases & More!

Can moisturizer make you a better musician?

If you have been learning to play a new instrument this winter, you might be frustrated with the cold weather, which can make your fingers too dry and stiff to practice. If so, you are not alone. Even the best violin teachers struggle with cracked fingertips that can easily slide out of position or wear down the strings.

However, if you are still searching for secret weapons among all your accessories to keep your hands in top condition, the answer may be simpler than you think. While some musicians caution against applying lotion right before playing, a strategic dab of moisturizer could be just what you need. So, can moisturizer make you a better musician? Let’s talk about it.

How we got here

Close-up of a hand positioning fingers on the fingerboard of a violin against a black background

Your fingers are essential for playing stringed instruments, and the condition of your hands can significantly affect your playing. If you are prone to dry hands, fingering a musical instrument can be difficult. In fact, playing when it’s too cold or with calluses can damage your fingerboard. However, hands that are too moist can be a problem as well. 

Because of oily residue, some musicians shy away from lotion. After all, you don’t want your fingers slipping off the strings during an orchestra performance. But moisturizer for musicians can make all the difference. Using moisturizer regularly will help keep your hands in good shape without leaving them sticky or greasy. If you need a quick fix for dry hands, use a small amount of moisturizer and allow it to absorb into the skin before picking up your instrument.

Cream up

If you’re still unsure how moisturizer can make you a better player, the answer is in your hands. Playing a stringed instrument with dry fingers can ruin the quality of your music, but a little hand cream can go a long way. Even changing the soap you use can benefit your skin’s health. So before you buy a ton of stringed instrument accessories to improve your playing, take a moment to give your hands some attention and care.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

Learn More


Whether searching for a job, learning about the "Mozart Effect," looking for a summer music camp, or choosing the right instrument string, you need look no further.

Learn More

Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

Learn More

JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

Learn More


Helpful "how to" videos and useful information about JSI and the products and services we offer.

Learn More