Wash your hands! As we face the Coronavirus outbreak - this is such a critical refrain that I find myself repeating to my family (and myself) constantly.
But how we wash our hands is also important. We need to wash thoroughly and completely with warm water and cleanser - to do our best to wash away germs that may have taken up residence on our skin. But all of this washing can strip vital lipids from our skin barrier and create dryness, irritation and even cracked skin.
This all conspires to make our skin barrier more vulnerable to irritants, bacteria and germs entering through the damaged skin barrier.
Washing with cleansers that are sulfate, fragrance, essential oil and alcohol-free is key to keeping the barrier healthy and intact.
I recommend washing with a cleanser like Skinfix eczema+ foaming oil body wash which will thoroughly cleanse skin without stripping lipids and causing barrier damage. I also keep a small tube of cleanser (sometimes sulfate-free facial cleanser like barrier+ foaming oil cleanser) in my handbag for hand-washing on the go in order to avoid using harsh cleansers that are often in public washrooms.
And I always follow with a nourishing and protecting fragrance-free hand cream that can help replenish lipids and provide an invisible glove for added defense against the environment. A good option is Skinfix eczema+ hand repair cream which is clinically proven to help treat dry, irritated and cracked skin on hands, and adds a layer of occlusive, emollient protection to our precious skin barrier.
Founder & Total Skin Nerd