Washing your hands, the biggest trend of 2020, thanks to Coronavirus. It may be the most effective way to prevent spreading germs, but it’s a nightmare for your skin. When you’re frequently washing your hands, you strip the skin of its natural oils (same applies to your hair), which dries them out. Here are some things you can do – because cutting down on washing definitely isn’t an option.
By Beth Ludolf
1 Turn the temperature down
A lot of people think that hot water is better at killing germs than cold water – well, unless it’s boiling, this isn’t actually true. What is hot water actually better at? Disrupting the skin’s balance and drying it out. As long as you’re washing them properly (for 20 seconds, using soap), cold water is just as good and much kinder on your hands.
2 Keep them moisturised
Just like you would with dry skin on your face. Applying hand cream after washing is an easy way to restore the skin’s moisture. There are a few ground rules to prevent spreading of bacteria: hands must be completely dry before you apply (any remaining bacteria is spread more easily on wet hands, avoid touching the nozzle and, on this occasion, sharing is not caring.
3 Treat them
Sometimes you need to bring in the big guns. Go for a thick emollient cream, apply a generous layer to the hands and stick on a pair of gloves – preferably cotton, not wool or fleece – to lock the moisture in. Leave the gloves on for at least 20 minutes (overnight is ideal).