How to care for your constantly washed hands

If all that handwashing or sanitising is leaving your hands parched, here’s how to give them some rehydrating TLC. 

Between the regular, thorough handwashing required to stave off coronavirus and other nasties, and the cooler weather, your hands might be a tad dry or even cracked.

But not washing or sanitising your hands properly is not an option, so how can you keep your hands supple and soft while you stay safe?

Wash and dry with care

Washing your hands with antibacterial handwash that contains alcohol or using hand sanitiser will dry out even the softest hands.

To renew the suppleness of the skin, save the germ-killing formulas for when you’re outside your home (or have just returned home), and instead use a milky, sulphate-free soap when you’re at home.

Germs spread more easily from wet skin than from dry skin, so drying your hands completely is important. Paper towels are the most-effective way to dry hands without spreading germs.

Exfoliate (it’s not just for your face)

The first step in reviving dull, dry hands is to slough away the dull, dry, dead cells with a body scrub or a mixture of lemon juice and rock salt, then rinse with warm water.

If your hands are particularly dry, try mixing nourishing olive oil with salt.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

Moisturising plays a crucial part in keeping hands germ-free, because being cracked or dry can impair the skin’s protective barrier.

Apply a rich hand cream, aqueous or petroleum jelly over your hands at night, or when your skin is slightly damp, and sleep with gloves on to lock in the moisture.

Hello, soft hands in the morning!

DIY hand treat

To give your hands a home-spa treatment, exfoliate your hands, then massage in a treatment cream or apply your favourite nourishing face mask.

Pay attention to the backs of your hands and around your cuticles.

Next, slip on some plastic gloves, wrap them in warm damp towels and leave on for 30 minutes.

Nail and cuticle care

  • Soak nails for five minutes in a small bowl filled with warm water and a few drops of liquid soap. This softens the cuticles and makes them easier to push back.
  • Brush over nails with a soft nailbrush to remove dirt and dead skin. Doing this daily actually stimulates nail growth.
  • Apply cuticle cream and gently push the cuticle back with a soft towel or a cotton bud. If the nail is bumpy or has ridges, smooth the surface and prep the nail for polish with a buffer.

Written by Nikki Yazxhi.