Everyone has struggled with the effects that COVID-19 has had 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 and continually washing are it slowly dries out your skin, stripping away your natural moisture and increasing the risk of dry patches and cracks.
PROVERB® stands for ‘a statement of truth or advice’ and the truth is all sanitisers and frequent hand washing are drying to the skin, whatever the marketing is trying to tell you. When using one or washing your hands continually you have to apply as much moisture as you can too. The higher the % of alcohol in your sanitiser or the more you wash your hands the more this dryness will worsen. Currently, it is a necessary evil, we increased our alcohol % from 42% to 70% to make sure it is working to hospital guidelines on viruses and bacteria but this is only going to make the problem worse for your sore hands!
In organic skincare, I would never suggest, or have ever in the past, used such a high alcohol % but the world is different right now. Part of our exit strategy for C-19 has been to sell our sanitiser in different grades of denatured grain alcohol % so people can make informed and educated choice or virus destroying versus protecting their skin based on where they are going, current health advise etc. They will be like SPFs and you can choose your grade. Right now though it is important that we are working to the max grade as per hospital and government guidelines.
It is crucial then that I give you as much therapist skin knowledge and suggestions to protect your hands and keep them as soft and supple as possible.
1. Avoid soaking in water. Whether that is in the bath or while doing a home manicure. Professional manicure treatments 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.
2. Fix a split. In the worst case if your hands are super 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.
3. Position for success. Having hand lotion at the sink next to the hand wash. By placing hand lotion here, you are creating the habit of using one after another. Crucial currently with the frequency we are having to wash.
4. Occulant layer - double up. In formulation, hand lotion is water-based, a hand balm has no water. We have seen amazing results by doing a double layer. Apply your cream water-based Hand Lotion first (like Proverb Hand lotion) and then coat with an occulant Hand Balm layer ( like Pinks Boutique Hand Balm. ) This occludes the water from the base layer from escaping. Increasing the chances of moisturisation. This works on your face too... any light lotion and cream layers first and then the oils and balms over the top.
5. Sleeping Regime. Apply a hand 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.
6. Cleaning protocol. 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 hope this helps, that you are able to #staysafe and that we all come out of this having learned something we can take forward for a brighter future..