You may notice that with increased hand-washing and the use of alcohol sanitizers your hands are drier and more chapped. We use our hands daily for so many things and rarely give them the care they need. Taking care of your hands is important in maintaining the skin barrier function. Here are a few tips for taking care of your hands.
First, avoid sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and harsh synthetic detergents. Use a gentle cleanser and preferably one with humectants which are substances that draw moisture to the skin. For example, Mountain Girl Essentials bar soaps have naturally occurring glycerin, a humectant. I also superfat my soaps so that they contain extra oils to act as an emollient and keep skin from drying out. You can also find handmade foaming liquid soap with refills in my shop.
Second, use warm instead of hot water. Hot water dissolves the natural protective barrier that keeps skin hydrated.
Apply a moisturizer
Directly after washing smooth a moisturizer over your hands. I use a few drops of Body Oil over my damp skin to lock in that moisture. Be sure to rub it into your knuckles and cuticles. Thirsty skin will soak it up.
Wear protective clothing. Wear gloves in the wintertime, they provide a layer of protection from the weather. You can also wear gloves when you are gardening or working.
For nearly everything you need to know about handmade soap, checkout out my handmade soap guide.
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