Washing your hands should be a natural part of everyday life, but with flu season in full swing and concerns about COVID-19, personal hygiene is on over-drive. This hyper-focus on hand washing is a healthy reminder to soap up after touching surfaces in public places, but those extra washes can be super hard on skin.
If your hands are suffering from some extra scrubbing this season, Dr. James Beckman, Biochemist, Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and founder of Therapon Skin Health, has a few tips:
Watch the temperature of water. Try to use lukewarm or cool water even during the winter months to avoid over-drying.
Pat dry, don’t rub dry. After washing hands, gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing your skin dry. By patting dry your skin will retain more moisture you are going to seal in when you moisturize.
Drink more water. The moisture your skin receives also comes from your body.
Use mild soaps and detergents. Soaps that contain alcohol strip natural oils from your skin.
Give extra attention to your hands. Hands show the effects of a dry environment more than any other part of the body. Apply hand cream after each hand washing.