The outbreak of COVID-19 has made all of us realize just how important it is to take care of hands and wash them regularly in order to stay healthy. While we would normally wash our hands 4-5 times a day, with COVID-19, the frequency of handwashing and sanitizing them with alcohol-based sanitizer has increased. But, when you start using too much sanitizer or follow a frequent hand washing routine, it can cause certain problems, let’s discuss this further:
What happens if you wash your hands too much?
Frequent hand washing with soap can dry out the skin. If your skin is sensitive, very dry or eczema-prone then frequent washing of hands can irritate the skin and make it dry, causing redness and itching. The skin on hands also starts flaking which again can hamper your day to day activity. Not just that, extreme dryness of skin can also lead to cracks in the skin which can even cause infections. However, you can take care of your hands by moisturizing them after washing them in order to protect the skin from dryness and irritation.
Ways to take care of your skin with frequent hand washing
While we cannot forgo frequent hand washing in the light of COVID 19 situation, we can take some steps to ensure that our skin remains healthy and soft, especially if you or your loved ones have sensitive skin.
1. Use a moisturizing hand wash
It’s always better to use a hand wash over a bar of soap when it comes to washing your hands because the binders used in a bar of soap have high pH levels that can make your skin dry. The best hand wash are the ones that are dermatologically tested, provide long lasting moisturization, are natural and also have moisturizing ingredients such as Cucumber Extract and natural oils such as Apricot and Jojoba oils and Pro-Vitamin B5.
2. Apply hand creams on hands
Frequent hand washing can leave the skin dry and stretchy. It’s best to care for hands by moisturizing them immediately after washing them to keep the skin healthy and soft. Use a natural hand cream or ointment to take care of the hands instead of lotion as they are better at sealing in the water content in the skin. Applying a cream or ointment will not only moisturize your skin, it will also soothe the skin and improve its texture and appearance. Using a cream will help restore the barrier function of the epidermis which is important for the skin to remain healthy and provide a protective film to the skin which prevents loss of moisture. Use a hand cream after you wash your hands, whenever your skin feels dry and before going to bed to keep your skin soft and nourished.
The Moms Co. Natural Cocoa Hand Cream for soft hands moisturizes, softens, and repairs hands damaged by frequent hand washing, sanitizing, and lack of moisture. Wheat Germ Oil & Rice Bran Oil add extra protection for dry hands and cuticles. This quick-absorbing, non-greasy Hand Cream is infused with the heavenly fragrance of Lily and Freesia. Use it as on-the-go hydration for soft and supple hands.
3. Blot your hands dry
After washing your hands, don’t wipe your hands on a towel or a tissue paper. Instead blot your hands dry as wiping can cause micro-abrasions on the skin which can further irritate it. Always ensure that every member of your family has their own towels and towels are replaced every 3 days to prevent spread of germs, viruses and bacteria.
4. Wear gloves
While taking care of hands, apart from washing them with a moisturizing soap and applying moisturizer to damp skin, wearing gloves for 1-2 hours can help the skin soak in the moisture. If your skin is dry and chapped, apply a thick moisturizing cream at night and wear cotton gloves before you go to sleep. This will ensure the moisture works its way through your skin. If the weather outside is cold and dry, then wearing gloves can reduce the skin’s exposure to the elements and prevent further damage.
5. Use hand sanitizers instead of soaps
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the best when effective at killing germs and bacteria. However, you should still wash your hands with soap before cooking or eating and after using the washroom or when your hands are visibly dirty. When buying a hand sanitizer, choose one which has at least 70% alcohol and has moisturizing properties to keep your skin healthy and clean.
6. Wash your hands with warm water
Hot water can strip your skin off natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and stretchy. To take care of hands keep note that whenever you wash them, at least do it for 20 seconds with soap and warm water and rub between the fingers, back of the hands, palms, wrists and fingernails to clean off dirt, dust, germs and bacteria.
7. Choose a natural hand wash
The best hand wash for sensitive skin are the ones that are made with natural ingredients and are Sulphate-free. Sulphate is often added to personal care products such as shampoos, body wash and hand wash to create lather which removes dirt and pollutants from the skin and hair. However, Sulphates are known to strip the skin of natural oils and leave it dry, causing irritation to the skin, eyes, lungs and mouth. Instead, care for hands by choosing a foaming hand wash which has Coconut-based cleansers which gently clean the skin without causing irritation or stripping it of oils. When looking for a hand wash, ensure that you use one that is free of artificial fragrances and other skin irritants such as parabens and phenoxyethanol.
Always go for products that are natural, dermatologically tested and toxin-free. Check out The Moms Co. Range of all natural and safe products.