Have we ever washed our hands as much in our lives? What with all the sanitising and plastic glove-wearing and handwashing, our poor hands are taking quite a battering!
So here are 5 top tips to keep your hands soft and moisturised and some ideas to help if your poor paws are already drying up.
1. Use sanitiser sparingly and when needed.
If you are on the front line, a high-risk environment or handling product, then sanitiser is a must, but the necessary high alcohol level in sanitizers really dry out hands, often leaving skin cracked and open to infection. For those of us doing our best at home, repeated simple 20 second-hand washing will break down the external shell of the virus and is the most effective way of keeping the virus at bay.
2. Not all Soaps are made Equal.
Liquid soaps may seem handier, but they are usually water-based which means that like most liquid soaps, they require synthetic additives to keep them stable, and it is these ingredients which are responsible for dry hands. If you prefer to use liquid soap, look for handmade natural versions which are free from Parabens and SLSs. Copper Coast skincare does a lovely range of natural liquid soaps. www.coppercoastskincare.ie
3. Choose your hard soaps carefully.
Moisturising glycerine which naturally occurs in soapmaking is often extracted from commercial soaps and replaced with synthetic moisturisers which can cause the dryness and tightness. Choose a natural, if possible handmade, soap brand, free from parabens and SLS and which is made using natural base ingredients like Oils and butter ( these should be seen at the top of the ingredient list on the product). Natural soapmaking entails a 6-7 week production time which allows the soap to harden naturally without the need for synthetic help and which retain all the moisturising ingredients and nourishment in your soap, keeping your hands soft, even after multiple washes
4. Maintain a good Soap Routine.
Ideally, wash your hands as often as you can. If you do feel your hands drying out, make sure that you are physically drying them properly. Maintain good towel hygiene and treat your hands to a little natural hand cream or natural body oil once a day to keep moisture levels up. Extend the life of your soap by keeping it in a soap dish out of puddles and standing water .
5. Scrub upIf you like using scrub soaps, make sure you use a soap which is microbead free. Handmade soap makers tend to use natural ingredients in their scrubs such as oats, poppy seeds, husks and botanicals. We ourselves use oats because not only are they a gentle scrub, but the crushed husks emit a very gentle oil which is great for tender skin and best of all, comes from up the road in Waterford.
There's lots of good Irish made handmade soaps and moisturisers to choose from and many are continuing to deliver online during the crisis, so have a look and mind your hands and yourselves. Stay Safe. xxx