Treating Dry Hands from Over Washing
Dry, parched hands? Thought so.
We've never been so vigilant with our hand washing. The current climate means that most of us are washing our hands with increasing frequency in a bid to stay fit and healthy.
Add in multiple squirts of alcohol sanitiser and it makes for over dry, parched, sore, hands, not quite the result most of us want.
The ultimate irony is that over washing can lead to cracks developing in our skin, allowing bacteria and bugs to enter our bodies.
Here are my favourite tips for treating dry hands, and keeping them soft and comfortable.
What happens when you wash your hands?
When washing your hands, soap works by breaking down the chemical bonds that allows bugs, bacteria, viruses and dirt, lifting them off the skin.
Our skin is an amazing organ made up of 3 key layers.
Layer 1 is the epidermis or strata corneum, the outer layer, the bit we recognise as skin.
Layer 2 is the dermis, made from elastin, collagen and fibrillin to give it its strength and elasticity.
Layer 3, the hypodermis is made of fat and connective tissue and provides cushioning and warmth.
Very frequent washing, harsher soaps, and some commercially made soaps can also disrupt the natural skin barrier, removing the natural oils in our skin.
Applying a hand cream can help avoid dryness, redness, itchy, flaky skin and prevent cracks forming.
How to wash hands while avoid dryness?
Pick the right natural soap.
Hand made, cold processed natural bar soap is very different to commercial soap bars.
Glycerine is a by product of the natural soap making process - but most commercial producers remove the glycerine because they are able to sell it on at a profit, and because removing the glycerine makes for a harder bar.
Sneaky, I know. Great if you are a commercial manufacturer driven by the bottom line. Not so great for you.
Additionally hand made cold pressed soap takes time to cure - anywhere between 4 and 8 weeks, as the water evaporates from the soap. (I like to cure my Apricot Geranium bars for about 6 weeks so they are at their best).
Most commercial soap making manufacturers just don't have time to wait, which is why soap often has that reputation for being drying.
Hand made soap made using the cold pressed method does the opposite, with all that naturally forming glycerine, the glycerine acts as a humectant, pulling moisture to your skin.
Take your time
Use hand hot water, dispersing the suds for 20-30 seconds, then rinsing any dirt and bugs down the drain.
Use a hand cream to prevent dry hands
Apply your chosen hand cream straight away, as soon as your hands are dry, and use it regularly. Not rocket science, I know. But it's surprising how many of us don't do this. We mean to, get distracted and the moment has passed.
Ingredients to avoid with dry hands
Some fragrance ingredients can irritate already sensitive skin.
I use essential oils suited to sensitive skin within my Apricot Geranium Cleansing Bar - I find this super gentle bar a better bet than garishly coloured, strongly artificially scented soap.
But be aware that sensitive skin can react to essential oils, if you very sensitive skin, a patch test is always to be recommended.
What's the best hand cream for dry skin?
Avoid the prettily packaged creams with a blend of water with paraffin derived ingredients and a concoction of cheap, sticky synthetic ingredients.
My pick is a hand balm.
A balm works as an intensive treatment for hands, I've designed mine with nature's most potent hydrators including Coconut, Avocado, and Rosehip.
I have designed our blissful aromatherapy hand treatment balm to transform dry, tired hands and lift your mood/spirits.
Less dehydration, stronger nails, younger looking hands and a built in mood boost in a 100% natural and 90% organic formula! When a normal hand cream just won't do.
As an added bonus, while all those glorious botanicals are doing their stuff, imagine whispers of therapeutic loveliness being absorbed through your olfactory system to calm and de-stress…