In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent hand washing and disinfection has become a standard. WHO experts encourage us to wash or disinfect our hands every time we interact with outside elements, whenever we go shopping or work. They warn that hand disinfection is one of the most effective methods of preventing contamination with the new virus.
Unfortunately, harsh cleansing agents in the composition of soaps and the increased amount of alcohol in disinfectants can damage the skin’s natural barrier, which will lead to excessive drying of the hands and nails, the appearance of eczema or irritative dermatitis.
So, now more than ever you need to pay more attention to your hand’s care. Below, you can find out how you can protect your hands from the side effects of frequent washing and disinfection.
Use moisturizing soap
Given that most soaps on the market contain cleaning agents or surfactants, such as those from the sulfate range, it is recommended to go for a soap that also contains emollient and repairing ingredients such as glycerin, lanolin, ceramides, aloe vera, and amino acids. Liquid and creamy soaps are preferable to solid ones. Solid soaps usually have a higher pH, which contributes to excessive drying of the hands.
Wash your hands with warm water
The washing time of the hands should be 30-40 seconds, but not less than 20 seconds. It is essential to respect this interval and to clean your hands thoroughly, but be careful not to aggress them so as not to irritate your skin. Massage your hands with soap, taking care to cover their entire surface, including the spaces between your fingers.
Warm water is preferable to hot water because water at high temperatures can irritate the skin, by aggressively removing the skin’s natural oils, which protect our hands from dryness and irritation. Therefore, it is recommended to wash our hands with water that is bearable to the touch and with plenty of soap.
Apply a moisturizer several times a day
After washing your hands, it is ideal for applying a strong moisturizer on slightly damp skin. This will “seal” the water in the skin and will keep your hands hydrated for a more extended period. If you can’t stand a generous layer of hand cream, apply a smaller amount, as it will be just as effective. Creams and ointments are preferable to lotions, which have extra consistency and will not retain water in the skin tissues.
A well-formulated moisturizer, without denatured alcohol and perfume and with repairing and emollient ingredients, will be able to help restore the skin’s natural barrier, protect your hands from environmental factors, soothe irritation and dryness and improve the appearance and texture of the skin. The use of a moisturizer is recommended after each hand wash, before bed, and whenever you feel your hands dry.
Gloves can be used whenever you wash the dishes, take out the garbage or clean the surfaces of the house with degreasing substances, avoid contact with various aggressive substances, and limit the use of hand sanitizer. Also, you can make a personalized treatment with the help of a pair of gloves.
All you have to do is soak your hands in lukewarm water for a few minutes, then apply a generous layer of moisturizer and then put your hands in gloves, which you wear for 1-2 hours for hydration. Moreover, if you do not mind, you can do this ritual before bed and stay with gloves on until the next day, for an increased moisturizing effect.
Dry your hands by tapping
In order not to contribute to the damage of the skin of the hands, it is also important how you dry them. So, try not to put pressure on your hands when you wipe them, but press them, gently, with a towel, by tapping movements, until you feel them dry. It is also advisable, during this period, to use towels as soft as possible, so as not to irritate your skin and be sure to change them once every three days, for optimal hygiene.
The best hand creams
DermaSpa Intensive by Dove.
Chosen as the best hand cream on the market, the brand highlights four benefits: it soothes and repairs dry hands, leaving a soft and silky sensation. It does not leave a greasy feeling and has a quick absorption. It contains the brand’s Cell-Moisturisers ™ technology, which helps stimulate the natural renewal of skin cells, thus helping them to maintain optimal natural hydration.
Concentrated Hand Cream from Neutrogena.
This brand is the most sold in pharmacies for hydrating hands, so much so that it is considered a classic in skincare. As they explain in the signature, this solution is faithful to the original Norwegian formula, and not only intensely hydrates but nourishes, repairs and protects dry and damaged hands. It protects them from dryness and external aggressions and provides immediate and lasting relief, even for the most dehydrated hands.
La Riche Crème Main Texture of Chanel .
A complete treatment for hands and nails, ultra-nutritious thanks to its formula enriched with shea balm. Its non-sticky and enveloping texture is quickly absorbed and allows the sides to be used after application, leaving them delicately scented with a floral and fruity aroma. At the heart of the formula, two complementary ingredients: May Rose Wax and Iris Pallida Extract. Moisturizes and softens the skin strengthens the nails and softens the cuticles.
Is there a difference between hand cream and body lotion?
Yes. For starters, creams are more abundant in oils than lotions. These natural oils are the ones that precisely make hand creams thicker and emollient than lotions.
In contrast, lotions contain more water, but not for the purpose that is usually created. The presence of water in these cases does not have the function of moistening the skin (since it evaporates without being absorbed), but generate a feeling of freshness and cleanliness, since being more aqueous can penetrate the pores more easily. However, this is an immediate and short-lived effect.
In contrast, oils are gradually and deeply absorbed. Its thick consistency makes the cream a better choice if your goal is to decrease dryness and protect your skin for a long time.
Is hand cream good for hair?
Yes. Using a pinch of hand cream can be a useful alternative to soothe frizz, decrease hair dryness, or run out of conditioner because it’s light and contains ingredients that moisturize your hair (such as glycerin and lactic acid). It can also be used to add fragrance to the hair.
Despite these excellent benefits, keep in mind that you should not abuse its use in your hair, just like, not all creams are suitable for all hair types. So, if you have doubts, you’d better check with your trusted doctor or stylist.
Can hand cream make dry skin worse?
Generally, applying a little moisturizing cream to your hands will make the skin texture feel soft and hydrated.
However, some commercial filings may have anti-producer effects if they are overused or improperly used. This is due to the presence of parabens, sulfates, among other petroleum-derived chemical compounds that, combined with artificial fragrance and synthetic dyes, will create a pleasant sensation in your hands immediately to use, but at the end of their effect, roughness and dryness will return ultimately.
In this case, the less you use these types of presentations, the longer their beneficial effect will last.
Can the skin become dependent on moisturizing creams?
Many people think that using hand creams frequently can develop an addiction to the moisturizing sensation they generate; however, there is no scientifically proven relationship about this fact.
None of the components used in them reach the central nervous system, nor has addictive properties, so feeling the need to keep hands hydrated, soft, and healthy should not be categorized as an addiction.