You’ve been washing your hands A LOT lately. And you should be, given our current circumstances. But all that excess soap and sanitizer can make even the healthiest hands become dry, itchy and, in some cases, cracked and bloody.
Read on to learn about the importance of hand washing and how to properly hydrate your hands, especially during this time of heightened concern over germs!
Importance of hand washing
Why should folks wash their hands regularly? Because if they don’t, they could transfer germs, like bacteria and viruses, to others. These germs can cause gastrointestinal infections, such as Salmonella, as well as respiratory infections, like influenza and coronaviruses. Such infections can lead to serious complications for certain populations, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
We all need to do our part to keep our family and community safe, and it all starts with washing our hands at these key times:
- After using the restroom or changing diapers
- Before and after preparing food
- Between handling raw and prepared foods
- Before and after eating
- After blowing your nose
- Before and after attending to anyone who is sick
- After smoking
- After gardening
- After touching animals
And, at present, it may also be a good idea to wash your hands after touching items that others may have recently touched, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons and banisters.
Moisturizing help for dry, cracked hands
Many of us have upped our hand washing game as of late. But over-washing the hands can not only cause dryness, redness, flaking, itching and irritation, it can actually promote the formation of cracks in the skin. These cracks can then serve as entry points for germs to invade our bodies.
That’s where hand cream and lotion come in, well, handy! We can’t emphasize the importance of moisturizing over-washed and under-hydrated hands enough. Be sure to choose a high-quality product and apply it liberally whenever your hands are feeling parched.
If your hands are especially dry, try slathering them with petroleum—or better still, un petroleum—jelly, then covering them with a soft pair of gloves (socks will also work in a pinch!) at bedtime and allowing the moisture to penetrate overnight.
Following are some of our favorite products to help you achieve smooth, soft hands, despite constant washing:
Desert Essence Organics Fragrance-Free Soothing Hand and Body Lotion
This unscented lotion “contains sunflower and organic jojoba oil as well as organic shea butter to deeply moisturize, leaving skin soft and silky.” Plus, it’s free of artificial fragrances and colors, gluten, glycol, parabens, phosphates, phthalates and more!
Avalon Organics Moisturizing Coconut Hand and Body Lotion
Looking for a lotion without GMOs, parabens, preservatives, phthalates, sulfates or synthetic colors and fragrances? Ideal for extra-dry skin, this creamy lotion contains ingredients such as aloe, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil and vitamin E, which work in harmony to “restore skin’s natural lipid balance” and provide intense hydration.
Beauty Without Cruelty Premium Botanical Formula Fragrance-Free Hand and Body Lotion
Another great option for those seeking unscented lotion, this botanical formula boasts “nature's rich emollients, shea butter, jojoba,and kukui nut oil, combined with organic aloe vera” to soothe and nourish your hands. Contains no animal ingredients or paraben!
Out Of Africa Vanilla Shea Butter Hand Lotion
“Dry thirsty hands get replenishing moisture and revitalizing nutrients with the pure and unrefined shea butter that penetrates and absorbs quickly to without leaving a greasy residue.” Did we mention that it’s eco-friendly and free of parabens—and who can resist it’s inviting vanilla fragrance?
Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter and Rose Delicious Glow Hand Cream
Free of dye, paraben and silicone, this soothing lotion contains organic murumuru butter, which is similar to coconut oil and known for its moisturizing properties. Plus, you’ll love the delicate rose notes, "enhanced by the juicy freshness of red berries delivering an intensely feminine and refreshing scent on your hands.“