One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us is the benefits of washing our hands regularly. It really does play a very important role in preventing the transmission of viruses. SO, it’s a habit that will serve us well beyond COVID-19. From stomach bugs to the common cold or flu, washing our hands can go a long way in helping to prevent us from being infected. The challenge with so much hand washing is that the skin on our hands can become super dry and cracked. It can actually be quite painful, and cracks are a perfect place for bacteria to proliferate. There are some simple tips and tricks to keep your hands supple no matter how much you wash them.
- Keep the water temperature down. No need to wash your hands in hot water. Rather warm water is the perfect temperature, and it is less drying. Keep washing your hands for the recommended 20 seconds but with a reduced temperature you save your skin from some extra stress.
- Use moisturizing soap. Not all soaps are moisturizing and can often dry out your skin. They can leave your skin feeling tight. Oil based and milk-based soaps are good solutions.
- Pat your hands rather than rubbing them dry. This leaves a little bit of moisture on the skin and doesn’t remove the natural oils. You can also just air dry them.
- Have hand moisturizer at the ready. As soon as you have patted your hands dry massage some hand moisturizer into your hands. As your skin will be a little damp or even a bit wet, it allows for the cream or ointment to hold the moisture better. Moisturising your fingers and nails is also important. It helps to prevent cracked nails. If your hands are really cracked Vaseline is often a good go to although it is petroleum based. For those wanting a natural and effective alternative pawpaw ointment works brilliantly.
- Use gloves! Putting gloves on for an hour or two after you have soaked your hands and moisturized them will leave them silky soft. Same goes for your feet. If you really moisturize them before bed and wear socks… they will feel so soft in the morning. It’s like giving your hands and feet a spa treatment.