The emergence of Covid-19 has resulted in an important and necessary increase in hand hygiene. However, constant washing in hot water and harsh soaps, plus lathering up in hand sanitiser with a high alcohol content, can leave your hands feeling dry and uncomfortable, particularly if you already suffer from a dry skin condition.
Day-to-day, it’s important to moisturise as you go. Thicker creams retain more moisture, but try to opt for paraben- and alcohol-free options, as these ingredients can irritate dry skin further. Natural is always a great option! And remember that sanitiser is exceptionally drying due to its high alcohol content, so always opt to wash your hands where possible.
If you’re abiding by these measures and your hands still need a good hit of TLC, fear not! Here is a technique you can employ just before bed that works wonders overnight and leaves you with super soft hands the morning after.
What you need:
- A face cloth
- Two pairs of cotton gloves, or cotton socks
- Two hair ties, or elastic bands (optional)
After you have completed your facial skin care regime, brushed your teeth and are ready for bed, the first thing you need to do is grab one pair of the gloves (or socks) and run these under cold water. Wring out well, and place to the side. We’ll come back to these.
Fill your bathroom sink with lukewarm water. Make sure it isn’t hot; hot water is necessary to kill the Covid virus, but it can really dry your skin out. Don’t add any products to the water either, as many contain alcohol or chemicals which can upset sensitive skin. This is a chance to give your skin a real detox, so plain old H20 is ideal!
Take a small amount of vaseline and massage this into your hands and wrists. Regular hand washing can compromise your skin’s natural barrier, which ordinarily acts to keep moisture locked in. The vaseline acts as a replacement barrier, preventing the water from further drying your skin out. Submerge your hands in the water, and use the face cloth to gently exfoliate your hands, using small circular motions. Harsh rubbing can irritate your skin, so go easy!
After a few moments, empty the basin and pat your hands dry. Then grab your vaseline again and apply a more liberal amount than before. Rub into every nook and cranny, and don’t forget about your wrists too. Then take the damp gloves from before, and put these on. The cold wet gloves will cool down your skin, as petroleum jelly is an insulator and may make your hands hot during the night. Take the second dry pair of gloves (or socks) and slide these on over the top. This simply prevents your bed linen from becoming damp. The process is known as wet wrapping, and is used by eczema sufferers (such as myself, hello!) to soothe and cool irritated skin. I can promise, from experience, that it is a lifesaver.
The last step is for fidgety sleepers, and is entirely optional. If you think you might pull the gloves off in the middle of the night, use hair ties on your wrists to keep the gloves in place. Obviously don’t loop them over many times, you don’t want to cut off your blood circulation!
And that’s it! You’re ready to hit the hay, and wake up the next morning with considerably more comfortable hands. This process can be repeated as often as you wish.
Please let us know if this worked for you, and share with anyone you think may avail of this technique. Enjoy having lovely smooth hands again!