Though the pandemic did procure a better habit of hygiene for most of us, the paranoia it instilled has also driven us to overdo it. I can't blame you—I, too, am guilty of double washing and sanitizing every time I touch anything that's been outside. The effect of this, especially on the hands, is that it strips away the natural moisture from the skin's protective barrier, leading to dry and dehydrated skin prone to cracking, soreness, and sometimes even eczema.
If you're experiencing the same, now is not the time to neglect this part of your body. Just as how much you take the time of day to do your skincare routine, why not start giving your hands its well-deserved TLC, too? Below, we prepared an easy five-step routine for your hands to save you from the nasty effects of overwashing.
Step 1: Cleanse
Dry hands are a small price to pay to minimize your vulnerability to the virus. That’s why no matter how dry your skin would feel afterwards, never fail to cleanse your hands. The secret? Wash them with gentle and moisturizing soaps instead. Look for products with glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid as these are hydrating ingredients. If you want to go on the natural route, products with coconut oil and shea butter are good, too.
Attitude Sensitive Skin Soothing Hand Soap, Healthy Options
This plant and mineral-based hand soap infused with oatmeal is great for soothing and gentle cleansing. It also contains no fragrance, which is ideal even for the frequent use of scent-sensitive individuals.
Sensitive Skin Soothing Hand Soap, P485, ATTITUDE, Healthy Options
The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel
If soap and water are unavailable, you can sterilize your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that isn't too moisture-stripping. This one from The Body Shop has a high alcohol content that is enough to kill bacteria while still keeping your skin moisturized. The coconut scent is also a major plus!
Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel, P250, THE BODY SHOP, Lazada
Step 2: Exfoliate
Similar to the rest of your face and body, your hands need exfoliation, too. This step when done at least once per week would enable the build-up of dead cells on the top layer of the skin to slough off. Remember, though, to choose a scrub that’s not too harsh so as to not aggravate your already sore hands from overwashing.
(Ed's Note: If your hands are heavily irritated, feel free to skip this step!)
Wishful Yo Detox Face and Body Enzyme Scrub
This three-in-one gentle scrub contains pineapple and papaya enzymes, alpha and beta-hydroxy acids, and purifying charcoal that work hand in hand to draw out impurities and refine pores without downtime. These key ingredients shed dead skin cells while smoothing the skin. It's perfect on days when your skin begs for an intensive, deep skin detox.
Yo Detox Face and Body Enzyme Scrub, P2340, WISHFUL, Sephora.ph
Two Lips Scrubbs Konjac Jelly Scrub
This superfood gel exfoliator is rich in prebiotics and has the hydrating properties of saccharide isomerate, which provides an intense surge of moisture while effectively scrapping the dead skin away. Also it's suitable for your face and your intimate area!
Scrubbs Konjac Jelly Scrub, P3150, TWO LIPS, cultfavorites.com.ph
Step 3: Moisturize
A good way to restore your skin barrier after washing your hands is to immediately moisturize while your skin is still damp. To do so, lightly pat your hands dry with a clean towel and then apply a thick layer of moisturizer (check our hand cream recos here!) to seal in the moisture. During bedtime, however, you can opt to deep condition your skin with heavy moisturizing products or ointments. This way, your skin gets to restore itself overnight, giving you hydrated skin when you wake up.
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
Aesop is a vegan and cruelty-free brand, well-known for its hand care products. This one, specifically, is a balm that can also double as a body lotion. Its key ingredients include skin-softening emollients that moisturizes labor-wearied hands without leaving them greasy. Definitely aromatic, with hints of citrus and herbs.
Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, P1400, AESOP, aesopskincare.ph
Sephora Collection Hand Mask
If you're familiar with the innovative products of Korean and Japanese skincare, you're probably aware that they have different masks for specific parts of your body—including the hands. Like a regular sheet mask, you put these on for fifteen minutes and then remove to reveal hydrated and repaired skin. This one from Sephora is made with botanical ingredients and you can remain active while using them!
Cucumber Hand Mask, P260, SEPHORA COLLECTION, Sephora.ph
Cerave Moisturizing Cream
This product is the ultimate barrier-restoring cream that is perfect for overnight deep conditioning. It is developed by dermatologists and is equipped with the patented MVE technology, that releases a steady stream of moisturizing ingredients for a 24-hour intense hydration. It's also suitable for dry and fragrance-sensitive skin on the face and the rest of your body.
Moisturizing Hand Cream for Normal to Dry Skin, P1490, CERAVE, Shopee
Step 4: Protect Your Cuticles
Another result of dry skin are those nasty hangnails beside your nail bed. These are jagged pieces of torn skin that can bleed if you pull them. The easiest way that you can prevent these is by nourishing your cuticles. Show them some love too by putting oils or creams to keep them moisturized!
Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter
Lush crafted this product in the traditional method of cream-making. A little goes a long way, and every application will provide you with ingredients like shea butter and beeswax, which are heavy-duty moisturizers. You can also apply it to other dry areas of your body such as your knees, elbows, heels, and nail beds.
Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter, P715, LUSH, lush.com.ph
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil
This one from Sally Hansen contains Vitamin E oil that can intensely soften cuticles and brittle nails. It is packaged similarly from nail polishes for convenience and ease of application. To use, brush on product every night and massage into the nails to stimulate growth and circulation. This can be used on bare nails or on top of your polish.
Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil, P525, SALLY HANSEN, Lazada
Step 5: Protect
Unlike your face and body which are covered with clothing, sunscreen, and a mask, your hands are usually exposed and unprotected from the harmful rays of the sun. If you're not aware yet, your hands age faster than the rest of your body especially with all the work that they do throughout the day. By neglecting your hands—that is, not keeping them moisturized and protected—it loses more of its radiance and elasticity and keeps it from repairing itself faster.
All Good Sunscreen Butter SPF 50
This mineral sunscreen butter is made from organic and reef-friendly ingredients. It's smooth and rich, ideal for daily protection for body! While you're at it, slather some on your hands to provide another layer of moisture, and of course, SPF!
Water-Resistant Mineral Sunscreen Butter SPF 50, P395, ALL GOOD, Healthy Options
Avon Skin So Soft Hand and Body Lotion SPF 15
If you want a lighter alternative, try a body lotion with SPF instead. For example, this lotion from Avon has both brightening perks from glutathione and SPF 15 for sun protection.
Skin So Soft Glutathione Hand and Body Lotion SPF 15, P310, AVON, avonshop.ph
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