There’s no denying that we have all begun to wash and sanitise our hands far more than we ever did before – and, overall, this is a good thing! Keeping our hands clean is essential in helping to stay the spread of germs and keep our communities safe. However, there is one pitfall to all this cleanliness and that is dryness, redness and irritation. You might even notice the skin on your hands has become visibly cracked, and this will only get worse as Australia heads into its winter season. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks we can share with you to keep your hands hydrated, and healthy while staying clean and germ-free!
Use a gentle, sulphate-free soap
The chemicals, fragrances and alcohol content found in many hand soaps or liquids can have an extremely drying effect on the skin, so it is important to check the ingredients before purchasing. Try to avoid soaps with sulphates, which can often be listed as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). Sulphates are used to create that foamy, lather effect which helps to break down oil and dirt but also strips your skin of its natural oils.
Instead, opt for liquid soaps that contain moisturising ingredients such as glycerin, lanolin, hyaluronic acid and plant oils, such as olive oil, jojoba and avocado.
Avoid scorching hot water
Hot water might make your hands feel cleaner, but all it really does is strip your skin of moisture and lead to excessive dryness. In reality, cool or room-temperature water is just as effective at cleaning your hands – when used in conjunction with soap and good hand-washing techniques – plus, it won’t dry out your skin!
Pat your hands dry
We know not to rub our faces with a stiff, rough towel after cleansing and the same goes for our hands! Gently pat or blot your hands dry with a soft towel to prevent further irritation of dry, cracked skin. If you’re using a public restroom, ensure you avoid hand dryers wherever possible as this can exacerbate the issue. Opt for a paper towel or allow your hands to air dry instead.
Moisturise your hands regularly
Once you have gently washed your hands under cool water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) and blotted them dry, it’s time to move on to the most crucial step: moisturising! Keep a suitable hand or moisturising cream next to your bathroom the sink or in your purse and try to use it after every wash.
Regularly moisturising will help to restore and maintain the skin’s protective barrier and natural moisture levels in your skin. You want to look for thicker, heavier hand creams and repairing lotions than what you would usually use on your face.
Apply Recovery Cream overnight
An overnight treatment can work wonders for dry, cracked hands. We recommend trying this with the Balense Recovery Cream, which has a calming and restorative formula designed to smooth, repair and hydrate the skin.
Apply a thick layer of the Recovery Cream all over your hands before bed and cover them with a pair of light, cotton gloves. The gloves will assist in two ways: firstly, it stops the product from escaping and helps it to absorb into the skin and secondly, it stops the product from being spread to other areas you may not want it (like all over your duvet)! While you sleep, the nurturing actives from the Balense Recovery Cream will form a nourishing hydro-film to reduce redness, irritation and inflammation and boost your skin’s moisture levels.
If you have followed all these tips and tricks and are still experiencing dry, red or irritated skin on your hands or any other parts of your body – book a complimentary consultation with one of our trained dermal technicians. For Queensland residents, clinics reopen for skin and laser services as of May 16th, 2020 and you can find your local clinic here. For all other states, we are still offering our free online virtual consultations to support your skincare needs during this time!