6 Ways to Avoid Dry Skin After Excessive Hand Washing
Dry Skin after excessive hand washing was once the exclusive burden of those whose lifestyles required frequent contact with dangerous substances. Now, we all must soap up and sing a couple of rounds of “Happy Birthday” after leaving the house, putting away groceries, and countless other times throughout the day.
The result? Better protection against pathogens. But also: dry, irritated skin for everyone.
Your epidermis is protected by oils and wax. These elements seal in moisture and keep your skin feeling soft. Soap strips away germs, dirt, and other contaminants. It doesn’t differentiate between the oil that is natural to your skin and that which is grime.
The more you wash, the more protective oil and wax you lose.
Unfortunately, no one can afford to back off the excessive hand washing. But keeping skin soft and supple is just as important. Beyond your personal comfort, dry skin leads to cracked skin. And cracks become new entry points for bacteria.
So, what’s the solution?
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to limit the drying effects of excessive hand washing and heal irritated skin.
Understand Best Practices for Excessive Hand Washing
The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following procedure:
- Wet your hands with clean warm or cold water.
- Lather with soap for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing between fingers, under nails, and on the backs of your hands.
- Rinse under running water.
You may have noticed these instructions do not include the use of scorching hot water or harsh soaps. Such steps aren’t necessary. Basic soap and warm or cold water do enough to kill the virus. Aggressive techniques only serve to destroy our skin.
Forgo the hot water and chemicals. Choose a moisturizing soap. And skip the scented stuff, as synthetic fragrance is a common irritant.
Pat Dry; Don’t Rub
This one is easy. Pat your hands dry after each washing. Rubbing creates micro-abrasions that irritate the skin, making the problem of dryness and discomfort much worse.
You’ll likely find that the patting technique doesn’t dry your hands as effectively as rubbing. This is another benefit. Let your hands stay a little damp, then apply a hand oil or cream to lock in the moisture.
Use All-Natural, Nutrient-Rich Products After Excessive Hand Washing
Look for a product that is deep penetrating. It’s important to replenish the protective barrier on the top layer of skin, but you also need a formula that reaches the deeper layers.
Choose all-natural ingredients, and favor those that have nourishing properties.
Our favorite solution for dry skin during this time of constant washing is Delfina Skin Dry Skin Oil. This doctor-developed formula penetrates deep and contains nutrient-rich ingredients, including rosehip oil to support immune function.
Best of all, this product is formulated to help skin hold moisture through multiple washes. Some people even find that they only need three applications a week to maintain that soft, supple feel.
Everyone needs a little extra care right now, and your skin is no different. As you put in extra effort to guard your health, take those few extra steps to protect your skin as well.
Avoid Hand Creams that Include Irritants
But if this is your first bout of chronically dry skin, know that not all creams are necessarily soothing. Some contain ingredients that cause irritation with repeated use.
Here’s a cheat sheet. Stay away from:
- Anti-aging serums
- Skin allergens
Instead, select products made with natural ingredients. We especially recommend Delfina Skin Dry Skin Oil.
Use Gloves for Household Cleaning
Excessive hand washing isn’t the only habit to blame for dryness in the midst of a pandemic. As you disinfect your home and belongings, you expose your skin to chemicals.
This is enough to cause itch and irritation on its own. But if your hands are already raw, those heavy-duty disinfecting sprays are bound to make the problem far worse.
Always use rubber gloves to protect yourself while cleaning your home. The same goes for washing dishes. Hand soap is already stripping your skin of its oils. You don’t want to expose your epidermis to the same substance you use to remove stubborn grease from your frying pan.
You might also consider sleeping with a humidifier on, if you have one. Adding a little extra moisture to the air can help soothe the effects of excessive hand washing, especially in a dry climate.