This year probably more than past years, our hands not only have to worry about the harsher winter weather but the drying effects of frequent hand sanitizing – both washing and using commercial sanitizers. The combination of constant hand washing and colder, drier weather can lead to irritated and dry skin. Here’s what we recommend at the Euro to keep your skin safe and moisturized.
While some people have more sensitive skin and may be more prone to irritation including rashes and dermatitis, everyone is at a higher risk of developing an alcohol or cleansing agent condition. This is due to ingredients which can impair the barrier function of the skin and exacerbate an already dry condition.
Substances like alcohol-based hand sanitizers, soaps and cleansers can cause both irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.
Moisturizing regularly and immediately after every wash or sanitizer use will make a big difference in alleviating dry hands syndrome. Apply your moisturizer while your hands are still damp after washing or dry after using hand sanitizers. Our Euro Clinicals Glycolic Hand & Body Lotion gently exfoliates with mild alpha-hydroxy acids while hydrating dry skin. And during the holidays we’ve brought back our Black Currant and Mint Leaf Body Crème with emollient rich shea butter.
Consider use of an ointment or emollient-containing hand cream. Thick, heavier creams or oils are better than lotions. (Try applying a light film of our Evening Primrose Oil or Rosehip Seed Oil. Let it fully absorb and apply moisturizer over it.) Using a humidifier can also help by infusing moisture into the air in your home.
Use lukewarm water instead of hot when washing your hands. Use a soft towel to dry your hands instead of a paper towel. Choose a paper towel over an air dryer in public facilities. Pat your hands dry instead of rubbing.
Keep shower times shorter (10 minutes max) and not too hot. High water temperatures remove the skin’s natural oils. The oils in our skin help keep it lubricated and provide a barrier against colder temperatures. Avoid over-exfoliating during the colder months. Stay safe!