In times like these, upping our handwashing and sanitising game is absolutely essential for the wellbeing of ourselves, and the people around us. So, what can we do when our skin becomes dry and irritated?
Our skin naturally has a layer of oils and wax to maintain proper skin functions. It acts as a barrier to shield us from environmental threats and helps maintain natural moisture in our skin.
However, with the frequent use of soaps and hand sanitisers, it can strip away the protective oils, causing inflammation and leaving our skin barrier compromised. This can lead to our hands being red, dry, itchy, flaky and in severe cases, cracked. Those with skin conditions such as eczema may find their symptoms worsen.
So what can we do to protect our health and also our skin?
Tip 1: Soap-free cleanser
Hand sanitisers with high alcohol content can be very drying to the skin. If possible, wash your hands with a mild, soap-free cleanser instead. Always wash your hands for around 20 seconds, rinse well with warm water and pat dry. We highly recommend that you avoid hot water as it can dry out your skin further.
Tip 2: Moisturise, Moisturise
Apply your hands with a fragrance-free moisturising cream such as the Simply Better Barrier™immediately after handwashing and throughout the day. Fragrance can be irritating to chapped, sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
As lotions tend to have higher water content, it can add to skin dryness by encouraging evaporation from the surface of the skin. For this reason, we think creams are a better choice than lotions at hydrating and nourishing the skin.
Tip 3: Glove Up
Keep your hands dry by putting on a pair of cotton gloves followed by a pair of allergen-free vinyl or plastic gloves when doing wet work such as dishwashing. We recommend these because many people tend to be allergic to powdered or latex gloves.
Remember to avoid getting water inside the gloves and replace them on a regular basis.
Tip 4: Bedtime Hand Care
Apply a thick layer of Simply Better Barrier™ on your hands and cover them with a pair of cotton gloves before bed and leave them on overnight. This is going to help your skin increase absorption. Night time is a good time to give those hardworking hands a rest and hydrate them.
Tip 5: Nourish From the Inside Out
While we take care of what we put on our skin, it’s equally important to supplement it from the inside too! Keep yourself hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water and eat foods that are rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3 & 6). They are essential because our body is unable to produce them on its own so you have to get it from your diet.
Some good vegan sources you can consider adding into your diet are chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed oil and algal oil.
We hope these tips are helpful in keeping your hands nourished and well-protected while you take care of your health. As always, stay safe and stay moisturised!