It’s fair to say that we’re all washing our hands way more than we’ve ever done in our entire lives. In addition to social distancing and wearing a mask in public, health experts still state that washing your hands with cold or lukewarm water and soap as much as possible is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across America and the rest of the world. This should be done for around 20 seconds before eating or preparing food, before applying makeup, after sneezing or blowing your nose into a tissue, after returning home from shopping or meeting anyone outside, as well as when in restaurants and cafes, for example.
However, you might be worried about the health of your hands after washing them so much. We’ll provide a few tips that will keep your hands looking and feeling great.
Skin health tips after regular hand washing
As our hands have a moisture barrier that helps our skin against environmental factors, constant handwashing will likely disturb the barrier in this will result in dry hands. To help protect your skin, it’s vital to regularly use hand moisturizer to prevent dry, cracked hands. When these smaller and even larger cracks begin to form on our hands, it becomes a little easier for bacteria and germs to get inside. Avoid using harsh soaps and very hot water, as these will damage the skin even further and can even irritate or redden skin in some instances. Try a liquid hand soap with moisturizing and antibacterial properties and find a scent that you actually like to make handwashing a pleasant experience.
Also, it’s recommended not to overuse hand sanitizer, as even though these gels do a good job of removing harmful bacteria, they also dry out skin and have been known to kill friendly bacteria that our bodies need to prevent getting sick. The last option after soap and water and sanitizer would be to use hand wipes, as these too make hands dry over time and should only be used when no other option is available.
You should only wear gloves for short periods of time, like at a laundromat or supermarket for example, as wearing them all the time can give a false sense of security. A good idea is to moisturize your skin at night to let your hands soften over several hours. See our other tips here for keeping skin healthy when we sleep.