Although the use of hand sanitizers and soap should already be part of a healthy routine, the current threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased use significantly. All you need to do is look at the store shelves where they’re stocked to know that. The demand has been so high in fact, that Amazon and eBay have put restrictions on the sale of these products in an attempt to prevent price gouging. So, with using hand sanitizers and soap more frequently, what can you do to protect the skin on your hands?
• Moisturize immediately after use. This is especially true for hand sanitizers that contain alcohol (a drying ingredient in itself). Cream or lotion-based moisturizers are the best options.
• Avoid products containing fragrances, perfumes or dyes. Instead, opt for products that contain vitamin E and aloe.
• Limit hand washing to 20 seconds, no more. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends this timeframe. Any longer poses the risk of drying the skin out.
• When washing, avoid water that is too hot or cold. Use lukewarm water.
With or without an epidemic, regular hand sanitizer and soap use are important to prevent the spread of germs. Combining that with the above tips will help the health of your skin.
Sources: American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)