HAND HEALTH IN ISOLATION
Updated: May 23
NEVER has there been a more important time to talk about hands! With COVID-19 ruling our existence right now, we cannot be complacent about how we clean, protect and care for our hands.
Let's talk skin. The skin on your hands differs from your face and other areas of your body in that it has a thick watery layer that cushions the pressure of the eternal world we touch. The hands are the most neglected part of the skin because we tend to focus so much on our faces and neck. No more in the Corona Virus vigilant society we now find ourselves all living in.
Washing your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds is the cornerstone for all hand hygiene practices. We are doing that more often during isolation times.
If you need some guidance on hand washing check out this video from the World Health Organisation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PmVJQUCm4E
Pack a bar of soap in a zip-lock bag with a bottle of water with you wherever you go, why? Soap and water and the minimum 20 second hand wash will always be the best form of hand hygiene no matter where you go. I have been known to wash my hands on the side of the street in the gutter because I have forgotten my hand sanitiser or have used so much hand sanitiser and needed a fresh start.
Hand sanitising has become THE thing to do these days, that is, if you can find any after you've searched high and low for your toilet paper! Seriously though, this form of hand treatment should not be replacing soap and water hand washing. Hand sanitisers are great for impulse cleansing when you've been moving about on your travels to the supermarket, post office, petrol station or pharmacy. The base ingredient of hand sanitisers is alcohol and should be a minimum of 90% isopropyl to effectively destroy the protein shell that harbours a virus, including COVID-19. In addition, some of the general hand sanitisers contain corrosive, caustic ingredients that strip, dry and impair the skin's natural resistance to the environment we touch day in and day out. Even then when you return home to wash your hands with soap and water!
At the end of a long day of hand washing and or hand sanitising, the skin on your hands has taken a pretty hard belting of barrier stripping, that keeps it healthy and safe from germs and contagions. Indications your skin is under stress from the constant hand washing and or sanitising are as follows;
Dry cracked fingers
Itchy scaly skin, wrinkly
red, sore open skin
This is NOT a good sign. Open skin put you more at risk of catching germs and virus' such as COVID-19. So at the end of your day it is essential to seal, nourish, heal and protect the skin of your hands with some very simple at home hand rejuvenation steps.
STEP 1 Trim and Keep your nails short! Acrylic and gel nails harbour bacteria and moisture which are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and viruses. If you are now in a financial position where your regular Gel polish re-do is no longer in your self care budget, think about removing them. After all, what better time to allow your nail bed to breathe and repair itself too during this time.
STEP 2 Repair and Regenerate
Nurture you nails and cuticles. Using a nail treatment is essential for post gel nails to recover, strengthen and protect you from external pathogens that can enter weak and brittle nail beds and cuticle. My favourite is pure cold-pressed Almond Oil packed with fatty acids and vitamins to deliver an overdose of nourishment and goodness to your nails and nail beds. Nighty rituals before lights out makes a massive difference to your nail health.
STEP 3 Moisturise
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Get out all of those mini hand creams and any of those Hand moisturiser has never been more in demand. Just as you moisturise your face morning and night you now need to get your hands involved more than ever before. The reason is the same, hand moisturising helps keep the barrier function of your skin on your hand intact, sealed and reinforces its elasticity and flexibility as it battles the daily grind.
My go to is Clinical Skincare AntiAgeing Hand & Body Lotion rich in Shea Butter to soften and smooth skin texture, a Natural Emollient Blend of Cocoa Butter to deliver intense hydration and a powerhouse complex of Vitamins A, B, C & E to help smooth skin texture and deliver antioxidants for ongoing protection.
STEP 4 Treatment Booster
Weekly Hand Masking. Yes that's right, weekly hand masking. Just like a face mask the hands need an intensive mask too. You can do a DIY homemade treatment with natutal ingredients that you may just find around the house! Double doses of nourishing skin oils, phyto nutrients and vitamins will comfort the skin in the coming Winter months. Check out my favourite recipe right here; TURN WRINKLE HANDS 5 YEARS YOUNGER IN MINUTES, TREAT DRY ROUGH HANDS - Excellent to help reverse signs of aging instantly while beautifying your nails - yasss!