We’re doing our best by practicing social distancing, whenever possible, and going out only when necessary. We are reminded daily to wash our hands and not touch our faces. Some people are able to stay home. Others have lost their jobs. Others, including myself, are still going to work. And as we work, we find ourselves staring often at our own hands, wondering what might be on there, wondering how to “stay safe.”
When the pandemic started, I became much more aware of germs, along with many others. I started to regularly wash my hands, for at least 20 seconds, just like the healthcare authorities recommend. Very soon, my hands became extremely dry, scaly, and cracking.
I changed up the soap, which might have been too harsh for my sensitive skin. But that didn’t solve the problem. So as usual, I started looking for some possible reasons (in this case, why my hands are so dry) and I started looking for solutions.
Usually, dry hands are caused by environmental/medical conditions, frequent hand washing, or exposure to chemicals, to name just a few of the usual suspects. As for chemical exposure, it can be your “innocent” dishwasher. So, I decided to always wear rubber gloves when washing the dishes. There are so many cleaning products out there that people are using, especially right now when we’re trying to disinfect all the surfaces. Wearing rubber gloves will protect your hands from harmful chemicals. Moreover, it will protect natural oils in the skin.
This is not the only pair of gloves you should consider wearing. One of the best ways to rejuvenate the skin is to use overnight moisturizer. But to get an exceptional effect, use a pair of gloves to help your skin absorb it overnight. Yeah, I know, it may seem a bit weird to fall asleep with gloves on, but you’ll get used to it, even if your partner won’t!
If you don’t have those special gloves, there is no urgent need to spend money on them. You can put a pair of socks over your hands (yep, still a weird solution, I know).
Moisturizer is a key to smooth skin. Again, if you don’t have a special “cold cream” or “heavy duty” cream or a fancy moisturizer, right now is not the best time to be frivolous with money and start buying stuff when you might have something just as handy (get it?) at home already.
Vaseline is a great and inexpensive way to save your dry hands! It’s highly effective and is probably already on the shelf in your vanity mirror or drug cabinet.
Now, go to the kitchen and check for coconut oil. According to a study conducted in 2017, coconut oil enhances barrier functions on human skin and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Another savior here is aloe vera. According to Scientific American, a trustworthy source for scientific discoveries and technological innovations, the juice of the aloe vera plant has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties. It moisturizes your skin nicely and can cool minor burns or irritation.
Some people believe that a humidifier can make a big difference, especially during winter. I’m not sure if it’s going to improve your skin dramatically but you can give it a try. Put it near the bed and at least you won’t wake up with a dry throat.
The main takeaway from all of this is: protect and moisturize!