CORONAVIRUS: HOW TO PREVENT DRY SKIN FROM CONSTANT HAND-WASHING
THE number of people in the UK diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus is rising every day, and the Government has said the single most important thing you can do is wash your hands properly.
The official advice is to cleanse for 20 seconds, and to do so regularly. Hand-washing is key in the fight against coronavirus, but it comes with an unfortunate side effect: super dry hands.
Soap is drying because it often contains ingredients which attack the skin’s natural protective layer: sebum. When the skin becomes dehydrated and stripped of some of its natural oils, it can lose elasticity and become cracked, red, uncomfortable and itchy.
Dry hands is something Dr Amber Woodcock, medical director of Cosmetics Doctor (cosmeticsdoctor.co.uk), is familiar with. She says: “I can relate to this, because as a medical doctor, I already wash my hands at the hospital tons of times a day.”
Her top tip is to “wet the hands first rather than put the soap directly onto dry skin, which can be irritating”.
After you wash your hands, a good quality hand cream is also vital if you’re prone to dry skin.
Try Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream, £3.66 (was £5.49), Boots. Or
Bioskin Zeoderm Skin Repair Moisturiser,
Salcura’s best-selling deep nourishment cream, currently reduced from £19.99 to £15.99 at salcuraskincare.com.
If a good hand cream still can’t ward off dry skin, there are things you can do to protect it from drying out further.
“I would also recommend using gloves for washing up, housework and gardening,” says Dr Woodcock. This reduces the likelihood of your hands coming into contact with damaging chemicals or detergents, which could potentially irritate the skin.
An overnight remedy is cheap and easily available. “If your skin feels really bad, sleeping in gloves at night with cream on helps,” she advises.
Or, for a really luxurious hand treat try Rosy Hands Instant Manicure,
£7.99, from Seoulista, seoulistabeauty.com
Wash your hands regularly