Disinfectants allow us to keep our hands bacteria- and virus-free (looking at you, COVID!), however, they are not being gentle on our skin. Dry hands are an unpleasant condition that affects most of us at least intermittently during the colder months – and now that we are washing and disinfecting our hands religiously, it gets so much more severe. If you are tired of cracking skin on your hands, reddening and burning with every wash, then this article is just for you.
Step 1: Invest in a good moisturiser (and remember to use it)
What characterises a good hand moisturiser? The most luxurious ones are not always the best – if you have especially sensitive skin and are in need of deep nourishment, it’s better to go to a pharmacy than expensive perfumery. Yes, hand creams from these splurge temples may have an exquisite scent and stylish packaging, but their actual moisturising properties are not always top-notch.
Look for formulas rich in film-forming fatty substances, such as waxes, jojoba oil, almond oil, shea butter and paraffin, as well as soothing ingredients, such as ceramides, allantoin or aloe vera. Steer clear of essential oils and perfumes, especially if you have really sensitive skin – they can irritate rather than soothe it!
Step 2: Wear gloves when washing dishes
Dishwashing liquid is very effective against oily residue on your plates and cups… but also the healthy layer of natural oil we have on our skin. Moreover, we tend to wash dishes in hot water, as it easily rinses away grease, which is, unfortunately, also irritating for the skin barrier.
Have you ever noticed that your hands get all red, grimy and rough after a home care session? The hot water and chemicals combo is the culprit! This is why it’s best to use gloves when washing dishes – or doing any other household cleaning really!
Step 3: Wash your hands in warm (not hot!) water
As mentioned above, hot water isn’t the best for your skin. Many people believe that super hot water is the only weapon effective against germs but actually, it isn’t the case. Natural oils on your skin hold all bacteria and germs, yes, but you do not need to burn your hands to get rid of them! Comfortably warm water mixed with soap is perfectly enough.
Step 4: Pat your hands dry instead of rubbing them
Right after you wash your hands, your skin is a little more sensitive than usual. Excessive rubbing with a harsh fabric can easily aggravate it. This is why you should learn to pat your hands dry instead – it takes just a few seconds longer but actually makes a huge difference!
Step 5: Apply moisturiser at night before going to bed
Lastly, make a habit of applying a thick layer of cream every night before bed. Thicker formulas will not bother you then as you will not be using your hands when sleeping (unless you are a mischievous nightwalker, of course). You can also invest in cotton gloves that will help the cream to absorb even better and prevent it from staining your linen. Overnight hand cream will give you a fantastic boost of nourishment and help to begin every day with smooth, moisturised, happy hands!