Keeping Hands Moisturized After Excessive Hand Sanitizer & Hand Washing
If you’re like a lot of Americans, you’ve spent the last two months hyper-conscious of your hands. Trying to avoid touching doorknobs and buttons, repeating the mantra “don’t touch your face”, even become lighting fast with application of hand sanitizer when coming into contact with something even slightly suspect. We have all become proficient with washing our hands for the CDC recommended time of 20 seconds. “Maybe you’ve started wearing gloves, in which case your hands might look better than they ever have,” states Jennifer Jordan, a physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. “But if you’re one of the many people who haven’t been able to find surgical gloves for sale, or if you leave them off because you’re allergic or you just can’t get used to them, you might have had some trouble staying moisturized with all this hand washing,” Jordan continues.
In times of infectious disease, chapped skin is more than just an annoyance. It also leaves you more vulnerable, according to the Washington Post. “Your skin is your first and most important line of defense against viruses and bacteria, which is why caring for it is extra-important,” notes Jordan. Here are some ways you can show your hands some love:
- Moisturize. Yes, it’s obvious, but it can’t be overstated. “A quick application of moisturizer every night before bed will do wonders for your skin,” encourages Jordan. Also, apply a moisturizer after every hand washing, even applying while skin is slightly damp will help your skin absorb the moisture.
- Exfoliate. Hands often get neglected when exfoliating, which is a shame because nothing could be simpler. A few times a week, pour out 1-2 tablespoons of sugar into your hands, add enough olive oil to turn it into a gel, and give your hands the same twenty-second rub you would when washing them. If you have thick calluses, you may gently massage with a pumice stone instead.
- Choose moisturizing soap. Look for something organic and sulfate-free so you can wash and moisturize your hands at the same time.
- Wear gloves to bed. “Yes, we know – you’re sick to death of wearing gloves,” Jordan laughs. “But if you apply moisturizer at night and then pull on a protective pair of gloves, you can give that moisturizer the time it needs to sink in without rubbing off on your sheets or just getting canceled out by dry air,” she shares.