Everyone is struggling with the effects that COVID-19 is having on our lives right now. Since the outbreak, shops have been inundated with high demand for hand sanitiser and soap. However, the only problem with hand sanitiser is that it slowly strips away layers of your skin the more you apply. Washing your hands is just as important as hand sanitiser but can cause your hands to become dry and cracked if not dried properly.
Washing your hands for 20 seconds regularly and using hand sanitiser continuously throughout the day, before touching your face has become our new normal. Equally, so has dry and cracked hands. Market research company, Mintel, announced that there has been a spike in the amount of hand moisturisers sold since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Why Are My Hands So Dry And Cracked?
Generally, if you live you're like us and live in the UK - where the weather seems to be ever changing, you may find that during the colder months, your skin can become dry and more sensitive. Combined with an increase in central heating, plus the constant moving from hot and cold temperatures, it can cause the hands to dry out more than usual.
One factor that is often dismissed is that many people have jobs that require extensive hand washing - especially during the pandemic. Jobs such as doctors, nurses, teachers and even office work can require you washing your hands after everything you touch.
There are various medical conditions that can lead to extensively dry or cracked hands. For example, eczema and psoriasis are two conditions that can cause skin inflammation, peeling and cracking. In addition, those that may suffer with diabetes or lupus, may already have lowered blood circulation to their hands.
Proverb was founded by a skincare expert and ex-professional rugby player who had a passion for creating products that deliver better health and performance. This includes your hand care… no matter if you’re a salon therapist to an athlete that lifts a lot of weights, subsequently creating lots of hard calluses on your hands. Here are our top tips for treating dry and cracking hands...
What To Avoid When You Have Dry/Cracked Hands
Avoid soaking your hands in water – whether that is in the bath or doing the washing up. If you have ever had a professional manicure treatment, you will notice that they will always have a water soak - but if you have seriously dry and cracked skin, a good therapist will replace the water with a plant-based oil.
By using oil in the manicure bowl, it helps to replenish the skin of its natural oils that hand sanitiser may have stripped away. Try doing this at home. You can put any massage oil into a bowl, even nicer if it is slightly warm. You could use a kitchen option like olive oil too. Soak fingers and hands in it for 5- 10 mins
In the worst case if your hands are have started to split – meaning that they are open and bleeding you can use superglue (chemically near identical to the glue we would use in nail extensions) to hold it together. To do this you have to ensure the split if clean, spray some sanitiser in it! Then apply a small amount of the glue and squeeze it together. Crazy… we know!
Another notable mention is to avoid Non-Alcohol based sanitisers. These replace the alcohol with high-level chloride-based preservative systems which in our experience seem to risk skin irritation much more than alcohol-based sanitisers – ironically enough, this is exactly what non-alcohol sanitisers are trying to avoid.
How You Can Help Prevent Dry/Cracked Hands
Having hand lotion or balm at the sink next to your hand wash. By placing hand lotion here, you are creating the habit of using one after another. This is a crucial step currently; with the frequency we are having to wash our hands.
You need a Hand Lotion that is not paraffinium liquidium based and is made with the right ingredients. Hand products are hard to charge high retail prices for, they don’t hold the value for a consumer that facial skincare does.
Generally, you will find that brands use very cheap ingredients in their hand moisturisers to keep the costs down. If you read the INCI ingredient list on the pack it will probably list Aqua, paraffinium liquidium and propylene glycol in the first few ingredients. This means your lotion is a mix of water a very cheap, inert oil which is a by-product of the petroleum industry.
We don’t believe it is toxic like many ‘green brands’ try to tell you, but we do know it does very little, it gives the feeling of being moisturised but in fact, has no real long-term positive benefits. This is why people get trapped in the vicious circle of continually using it, the same happens with most lip balms which are also made the same way. Cuticle oil makes a great hand moisturiser. When you apply it to your nails, spread it onto the skin too.
Another great way to soothe dry and cracked hands is to apply a moisturiser and cotton gloves before you sleep – if it works for your feet it will work for your hands! The gloves will heat your hands as you sleep, encouraging the moisturiser to go into the skin.
Speaking of gloves, it can be really easy to protect your hands when you clean by using gloves! Cleaning can be one of the number one reasons why your hands are cracking, all of the chemicals can be stripping your hands of the natural oils found in your skin. A simple tip that you shouldn’t be forgetting.
We all know that you should be watching what moisturisers and lotions you should be putting on your hands, but do you think about the effect of cheap sanitisers on your hands? By investing in high-quality alcohol-based sanitisers with ingredients in them to help protect your skin where possible is crucial.
All sanitisers are going to dry your hands, but more premium brands are using ingredients to try and counter this a little. Look for a sanitiser that has either glycerine or essential oils in it. Proverb uses a blend of 4 essential oils in our sanitiser formula which makes it smell amazing but also ensure it doesn’t feel drying or sticky on your hands.
Best Lotion For Dry Hands
The Proverb hand lotion is made with cucumber seed oil mixed with rose flower water and sesame seed oil and coconut fatty acids – all of which have moisturising properties that are designed to have long-lasting benefits. Simply apply a few pumps after washing and sanitising your hands to keep the cracking hands at bay.
The product is infused with eucalyptus, lavender, geranium and wild mint essential oils to help you focus on your day and goals ahead. It is blended to make you feel uplifted and happier. In the midst of Covid, we felt that was a crucial addition to the formulation alongside the added anti-bacterial properties from the essential oils. If you love the smell of a product you are more likely to want to use it and that in turn will help keep your hands in good condition.