Over the last few weeks, we’ve all been tirelessly washing our hands to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, we’ve also managed to wreck them in the process of scrubbing and using strong detergents.
Why do they feel so dry and in some cases cracked?
The barrier of our skin is largely made up of lipids, oils and ceramides so by washing them as often as we have been, we’ve managed to strip this barrier leaving the skin exposed and prone to redness and cracking from being so dry.
What can we do to improve our hands whilst still keeping safe?
*Use warm water instead of hot
*Pat your hands dry instead of rubbing them
*Try and use sanitiser in between washes
*Apply moisturiser after every wash
*Use creams instead of lotions
*Look for creams that contain humectants (hold moisture) such as glycerin, Shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba
*Drink lots of fluids. Such as Green teas, juices and waters. Liquids that hydrate and won´t act as a diuretic.
( Before you google it; wine is a diuretic)!
*Eat hydrating foods such as eggs, salmon, oil, nuts, greens and brown rice. Any foods rich in Vitamin A. C and E will help plump the tissues
What can we use to improve the problem?
Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is very good for treating cracks. It has the ability to lock in moisture which will allow the cracks to heal. Apply Vaseline over the affected area and cover with gauze or bandage. Try and do this three times a day particularly after bathing. It is easier to apply the Vaseline before bed and put on cotton gloves. If you don’t have these then you can use socks, (preferably clean ones).
If your hands are really suffering then you may need something that contains lactic acid which will help if the hands become scaled.
Another idea is to cover your hands in full-fat yoghurt. The lactic acid in the yoghurt will act as a natural exfoliation; gently removing dead skin cells whilst the fat restores moisture. If you really want to spoil yourself on these strange times then you can add a teaspoon of raw honey to make your potion super hydrating. Leave for ten minutes before licking off. Sorry, I meant rinsing off!