How to care for dry hands when you're washing them so much
With all of this diligent hand-washing going on, it's likely that your hands and nails are going to need a little extra TLC.
It goes without saying, washing our hands is an absolute must. The challenge is how to keep our skin and nails hydrated and healthy in between time spent under the tap. Here are some ways to ensure you do both.
First things first
“Scientific evidence clearly shows that washing your hands without soap is virtually useless (in terms of killing bacteria and viruses including Coronavirus)” says Pharmacist and founder of QED Skincare, Shoshana Eisner. She recommends choosing a quality, low-foaming hand wash and wetting your hands with water before applying enough to cover your hands. “Putting hand wash on your hands before your rub it in rinses it right off with the first splash of water” warns Shoshana.
A couple of times a week, use a pea sized amount of exfoliating hand scrub and gently massage over the back of your hands, your palms and around your knuckles to rid them of dry skin and impurities and help them feel soft and smooth.
Carry a hand sanitizer for those times where you might not be near a bathroom.
Replace moisture loss
“Increased hand washing and sanitising really does strip your skin” says Soshana. “This has the potential to generate cracks in the skin’s surface which can allow easier sharing of infections as well as irritate sensitive skin.” To overcome this, Soshana recommends we start moisturising more.
Keep a pump hand cream at the bathroom sink to use after washing, along with a tube in your handbag, your desk draw, next to your bed... wherever you are likely to stop and have time to apply.
When you have a free night on the couch, treat your hands to an intensive treatment with specially designed, skincare-infused gloves. Alternatively, slather them in a rich body butter, then slip them into regular gloves for 20 minutes to help those replenishing ingredients penetrate.
bh loves: Kōtia Revitalising Hand &Nail Cream; The Aromatherapy Co. Hand & Body Lotion – Lavender & Clary Sage; Skin Republic Hand Repair (includes 2 gloves).
Don't neglect your nails
Along with drying out our skin, repeated washing can also take its toll on our nails and lead to peeling of the nail edges, as well as dreaded hangnails (those annoying dry bits that appear at the side of nails).
You can help prevent them by massaging hand cream well into your nail area as well as the skin on your hands. Before you go to bed, stroke your nails with cuticle oil to give the nail bed extra nourishment. If they're really struggling, a nail strengthener will provide further protection.
And keeping your fingernails on the shorter side is a good way to minimise the potential for bacteria to become trapped underneath them. If you can’t give up your talons, consider introducing a nail brush to your handwashing routine. Just ensure its bristles are soft so as not to damage your cuticles.
Did you know?
It’s really common to get a red rash under the rings on your fingers, especially when you are washing your hands a lot. Be sure to wash, rinse and dry thoroughly under them so soap residue and moisture doesn’t irritate your skin and develop into dermatitis.
What are your favourite hand products?
Main image: @kotia.anz