Washing your hands shouldn’t be a trend. But here we are, friends.
And now that coronavirus has everyone hygienically aware, it’s time to go a little further than 20 seconds of hand-washing. A lot of folk don’t moisturize and it shows.
If your hands are dry, ashy, and cracking that puts you at greater risk of infection. Slather some shea butter on those flaky hands.
As Dedham dermatologist Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip says, our skin is our first line of defense.
“Mother Nature has given us a protective barrier in our skin. We have antimicrobial peptides in our skin to help fight off infection. What happens when your skin gets excessively dry, is there is inflammation and it impairs the barrier,” says Imahiyerobo-Ip, who owns Vibrant Dermatology and skinbar MD.
“Yes, you want to wash your hands," she says. "Our best defense is hand hygiene, but part of hand hygiene is maintaining your skin’s barrier. You do that by moisturizing your hands.”
With all of the alcohol-based hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies, and straight up soap your hands are coming in contact with, skip water-based lotions. Go for a thicker protectant. Imahiyerobo-Ip advises oil-based creams and butters to maximize moisture.
Gianne Doherty, co-founder of Organic Bath Co. in Charlestown, suggests plant-based ingredients.
“Shea butter and jojoba oil are known for soothing dry skin,” she says. “I recommend avoiding moisturizers with synthetic colors and synthetic fragrances which can be irritating.”
Here are five moisturizers to add to your hand-washing routine:
GOLD BOND Ultimate Radiance Renewal Oil-Infused Cream Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip’s go-to, this blend of coconut oil, almond oil, shea butter and mango butter hydrates skin while removing flaky skin. $9.99 in drugstores and grocery stores. Cheaper on amazon.com.
Vanicream Free of dyes, parabens, fragrance, and formaldehydes, this is one of the best moisturizers for sensitive skin. It has the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association and is highly recommended by dermatologists, including Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. There’s also a can with a pump that makes it a lot more user friendly. $12 - $18 at drugstores and amazon.com.
Drenched Body Butter by Organic Bath Co. Made of four ingredients — shea butter, jojoba oil, argan oil, and sunflower seed oil — this moisturizer is natural, effective, and a little goes a long way. $10, organicbath.co or at Boston General and Cambridge Naturals.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve For severely dry hands, salve is soothing. Formulated with avocado oil, eucalyptus oil and sesame seed oil, this conditioning moisturizer is restorative. $16, you can find it at Sephora or Kiehl’s stores or online at kiehls.com.
C.O. Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy No.1012 A medicated moisturizer, this ointment is made up of glycerin. And glycerin is a hyper hydrator, restoring and retaining moisture. $14 bigelowchemists.com.
Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @sincerelyjenee and on Instagram @abeautifulresistance.