It goes without saying that our hands are currently under much more stress than usual.
With the much-needed constant hand washing and hand sanitising to prevent catching coronavirus, our poor hands are being put through their paces right now. When it comes to safety, we need to make sure we’re being clean and knowing how to protect our hands from becoming dry and sore.
By now we should all know that each time we wash our hands with soap and water, it should be for a minimum of 20 seconds which equates to singing Happy Birthday twice. On top of that the hand sanitizers we carry around with us should contain a minimum of 60% alcohol.
Now, I’m not a health professional, but I’ve spoken with a few people that wash their hands over 75 times a day, and some over 100 times a day because of the work they do.
As well as having dry skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis people are also having to put up with very dry, sore and cracked hands.
From experience we know that alcohol dries out the skin and although soap and water washes away dirt and germs, they also strip away the natural protective oils in our skin causing our skin to dry out.
So, what can we all do to help our hands?
Here’s a few recommendations I’ve tried recently:
- During the day, each time you wash your hands, instead of rubbing them dry, pat or shake them and leave them slightly damp.
- Whilst your hands are still slightly damp use a good quality hand/body moisturiser, as this helps to lock in the moisturiser. Try to keep away from lotions as they have a high-water content, and this can add to the dryness.
- From experience we know body butters or oil-based creams are more effective, due to having no water or less water than lotions. Personally, I make and use my own blend of butters and oils which have no water.
- If you don’t have a good quality oil-based moisturiser then try items from the kitchen such as olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
- If you’re taking your moisturiser out of the house, don’t share an open pot as this can spread germs.
- If you’re busy cleaning around the home, do wear rubber gloves when you’re using cleaning products. The harsh chemicals in the cleaning products can cause damage to the hands.
- Before going to bed wash your hands in warm water, pat them dry and use a good quality moisturiser straight away, the more natural it is the better and the thicker it is the better.
- Put on a pair of gloves for either several hours or throughout your time asleep. My preference is bamboo gloves as they prevent the skin from drying out, they’re eco-friendly, biodegradable, antibacterial, comfortable and the bamboo fibre is cool to the skin. You can wash them at 60 Degrees Celsius, so they can be used repeatedly (we have bamboo bed sheets at home for my son’s eczema and he love them). You can also wear your gloves inside your rubber cleaning gloves whilst cleaning. Cotton gloves are a cheaper alternative to wear at bedtime but can be drying for those with dry skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. If you don’t have any gloves you can wear socks on your hands at bedtime as a last resort. There are also silk gloves as an option, they’re naturally hypoallergenic and help your moisturiser penetrate deeper into the skin. These can be washed at 30 Degrees Celsius.
- If you have dry hands that aren’t sore, mix a tablespoon of oil (from the kitchen) with half a teaspoon of sugar and/or fine salt. Once you’ve combined the ingredients together in a bowl, use the mixture as an exfoliator for the hands. Wash your hands first, then exfoliate, rinse off with warm water, moisturise your hands then pop your gloves on. You can also use this for your body.
And there you have it! I’m sure there are lots of other ideas out there for how to look after our hands so feel free to put some forward, the more the merrier.
Remember love your hands and love your skin.
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hiya bucks says “We use the Vanilla & Orange Whipped Body Butter on our face and not only does it smell amazing but it works wonders too. Feel like you’re having a dry skin day? This Whipped Body Butter gave us an overnight fix! We love the fact all of the ingredients are organic. We recently started using the Naked pot of the new blend on our body (since we have so much time during self-isolation!) and it feels lovely on our skin.”