Right now, most of us are washing our hands much more frequently than usual. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, we’re all taking precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy.
One of the most significant precautions, according to CDC guidance, is handwashing. The only problem, though, is that all that hand washing takes a toll on the skin. Eventually, it leads to dry, cracked, chapped skin – and slathering on hand sanitizer isn’t making things much better.
Don’t worry, though – there are things you can do to protect your skin and help reduce the impacts of all this handwashing. Here’s what you need to know:
6 Hand-Saving Tips to Use While You Sanitize
Keep germs at bay and save your skin with these tips:
1. Use warm (not hot) water
Lots of people believe that hot water kills bacteria most effectively, which is not the case. The truth, though, is that hot water dries skin out. To keep your skin safe and get rid of germs, use lukewarm water instead of hot water.
2. Use skin-protecting soap
Some soap moisturizes more effectively than others. With this in mind, look for cleansers with a creamy, dense consistency and ingredients like glycerin and lanolin, which create a protective barrier on the skin and keep moisture in. Options like shea butter soap are also great for moisturizing without compromising cleanliness.
3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
All the excellent handwashing practices in the world won’t do much unless you’re also moisturizing. Each time you wash your hands, slather on a thick moisturizer made with moisture-locking ingredients like shea butter, Calendula, and Comfrey. We recommend this all-purpose salve from Sope. Used regularly, it will restore nutrients in your skin and prevent painful cracking and dryness.
4. Look for deep moisturizing treatments
If you work in healthcare or another industry where you’re washing your hands regularly, a deep conditioning treatment could save your skin. Look for glove treatments, which allow you to seal your hand into a glove full of luxurious moisturizer. These treatments are perfect for unwinding at home and can help you avoid painful chapping and cracking.
5. Blot (don’t rub)
As a general rule, rubbing irritates the skin. With this in mind, take care to blot your hands dry after washing. While paper towels are the most absorbent material you can use, cloth will work just fine, as well. Take your time, here – patting the top, back, and sides of hands gently to remove water, rather than rubbing vigorously, which causes micro-abrasions that promote cracking and bleeding.
6. Avoid artificial fragrances
If you have very sensitive skin, do your best to avoid artificial fragrances in your hand soap and other skincare products. Perfumes are often alcohol-based, which can wreak havoc on sensitive or chapped skin. Instead, look for hand soap scented with natural fragrances, like essential oils which won’t strip or irritate skin.
If you have very sensitive skin and need to avoid fragrances altogether, look for unscented products, instead. We recommend our Ultimate Moisture lotion, which is great for hands and body.
Protecting Your Hands Made Easy
While handwashing is a good practice all the time, it’s especially critical right now. In addition to preventing the spread of illnesses and viruses, good handwashing practices help us promote healthy communities. If your hands are having a tough time keeping up with all the handwashing, though, these tips can help you restore and protect them.
By simply being mindful about the ingredients you put on your skin and replacing lost moisture with thick balms and salves, you can keep your hands healthy and happy – even when you’re washing them eight hundred times a day.