Bangor Mail - - Beauty Counter -

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 (cos­met­ics­doc­, 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 sal­curask­in­

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, seoulistab­

Wash your hands reg­u­larly

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