If you have to use a lot of hand sanitiser to keep your hands disinfected, then you’re probably noticing how dry it can make your skin.
The alcohol levels in antibacterial hand gel need to be high to be effective against microbes, and it’s this alcohol that can strip oils from your skin, leaving it dry and vulnerable to irritants.
The result? Sore, inflamed, cracked or very dry hands.
Here are six things you can do to mitigate the drying effects of hand sanitiser:
- Moisturise regularly throughout the day, at least as often as you use the gel
- Choose a thick oil-based balm or ointment as an emollient, rather than a lotion or cream; water-based creams are much more likely to sting sore or broken skin
- Decant your emollient ointment into a small pot, so you can keep it in your pocket and reapply throughout the day
- Avoid perfumes (parfum, fragrance, scent) in your toiletries: these can add to the irritant load on sensitive skin and cause flare-up
- Wear dermatological gloves at night; apply a layer of ointment and then put on the gloves to double-down on the hydrating effect
- Choose a balm with nourishing oils to support the skin’s regenerative cycle: we use hemp, olive and safflower in Skin Salvation, which are rich in the EFAs that skin needs to repair itself, but rosehip, borage or sea buckthorn (which is in our Intensive Hand Cream) are also wonderfully nutritious.
Balmonds Skin Salvation from £7.99 for 30ml
Balmonds Intensive Hand Cream from £10.99 for 50ml
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.