Frequent handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizer gels can often lead to dry, cracked skin. When we wash our hands, the suds created by soap remove not only dirt and germs but also the natural, protective oils from our skin. This leads to dryness, flaking, irritation and in severe cases, cracks in the skin which can increase your risk of contracting infections.
How to care for dry hands:
- Use lukewarm (not hot) water to wash your hands.
- After washing your hands, gently pat your hands dry instead of rubbing them.
- Remember to moisturize your hands with hand creams or ointments after washing your hands. These are more nourishing than lotions.
- Choose hands soaps that contain natural plant oils like coconut oil, jojoba, shea butter and/ or glycerin- without the added fragrances, synthetic colours or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
- Hand sanitizers with a moisturizing base are less harsh on the skin, but know that they will not be as effective in killing germs.
- Apply thick “recovery” hand creams or balms before going to bed. Cover your
hands with gloves overnight for better absorption while you sleep.