Harsh soaps, over washed hands - it's all too common that in this time of heightened health caution, our hands have had enough. Here are some tips to bring them the relief they deserve.
WHY IS HAND WASHING SO HARSH ON OUR SKIN?
Frequent use of soap and water strips the waxy outer layer of your skin which is essential to keeping in moisture! When transepidermal water loss (TEWL) occurs, the skin gets even drier and the vicious cycle continues.
TWO WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS
1. Disinfect to Protect: Hand washing is a super effective way to protect us from getting sick. Hand washing for around 20 seconds is key; soap and friction help lift dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin. Then the water works it magic to rinse all this away. When water and soap aren't available, aim for an alcohol-based hand sanitiser formulated with Vitamin E or aloe vera. *Don't be tempted to produce a massive soapy lather - more soap doesn't mean more effective hand hygiene. It just puts you more at risk for putting your skin barrier at risk.
2. Protecting your Skin Barrier: Preventing your hands from external aggressors like UV, overwashing, and more comes down to how healthy your skin's barrier is. Madecassoside is a totally-skin-friendly active that helps support the rebuilding of the barrier function and the reduction of inflammatory chain reactions. Hands are more exposed to UV rays than we realise, leaving them vulnerable to signs of ageing and a compromised barrier that can lead to dryness. Don't forget to protect your mitts and apply sunscreen in both the summer, and winter!
MOISTURISE (LOTIONS VS. BALMS)
Once you protect your hands by washing them, it's important to moisturise them again to stop the cycle of them feeling raw and dry. After washing your hands, don't forget to re-apply your cream or balm immediately! When it comes to lotions or balms, balms are a preferred option for dry skin because they're highly concentrated - formulated without water - and help to lock in your skin's moisture thanks to ingredients like glycerine. Lotions typically have a lighter consistency, formulated with high water base and low oil content