COVID-19 has ushered in a new era of hand hygiene. With more frequent and longer handwashing (see the Mayo Clinic recommendation), we are seeing an increase in dry hands.
When my kids were still in school, their teachers started drilling down on handwashing. They would demo handwashing several times a day, reminding the children to do it for at least 20 seconds under running water, getting between their fingers and under their nails.
My kids became so well-versed that they started policing me ("Mom, that was not 20 seconds!"). Soon enough though, their hands became dry and cracked- the cleanser used in school may have been a bit harsh. My six-year-old's hands became inflamed and he was almost in tears. Thankfully, his momma knows a thing or two about skincare.
Let’s first examine why overwashing leads to dry skin and even hand dermatitis and eczema.
What can we do then?
We need to include hand care in our lessons as much as hand hygiene.
The truth is, you don’t need a harsh cleanser to wash your hands (or even to kill off a virus). It is also worth noting that studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers for antibacterial soaps over plain soap. Gentle ionic and non-ionic surfactants use in natural products are just as effective yet gentler on the skin. They also usually have a pH of 5, protecting the skin barrier and microbiome.
Look for cleansers with some of the following surfactants (look at the ingredient list!):
✔️ Coco-glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate
✔️ Disodium/Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
✔️ Yucca Extract
✔️ Coco Glucoside
✔️ Decyl Glucoside
✔️ Cocamidopropyl Betaine
✔️Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI)
When we are home, we use the balm cleanser rather than with soap. This helped to heal my son’s hands when they were raw from washing.
The cleanser transforms into a milk upon contact with water. Unlike soaps and foamy cleansers that strip the skin, Lullaby is an oil-based formula that deeply nourishes, leaving the skin lusciously soft and hydrated.
P/S: You can still follow up with a hand lotion or balm after washing!
We recommend cloth hand towels- in general, the higher the thread count, the softer the towel, and the more likely it will wear well over time. Assign one to each person in the household and change it frequently, as often as twice a week.
In conclusion, handwashing remains one of the best ways to protect your family and yourself from getting sick and spreading germs to others.
Let us know if there are ways we can support you here through this pandemic at Kiss Kiss Goodnight!