In the current climate with frequent hand cleansing and application of antiseptic gels , the delicate naturally acidic skin barrier is going to suffer. I suspect we will start to see an increase in irritant hand eczema. So, applying suitable moisturisers is going to be key.
What should you look for in a moisturiser?
It is important to consider the key oils/fats that are integral to the skin barrier. These are fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides. Ideally a moisturiser will contain substitutes for one or all of these protective components. There are some fantastic ceramide rich creams , CeraVe products are known for there ceramide rich content. Shea butter is an excellent replacement for these naturally occurring oils. Lipkar AP balm by La Roche Posay is excellent at replacing lost moisture. Lipkar Xerand for hands contains shea butter and allantoin. Allantoin is a naturally occurring ingredient that comes from chamomile amongst other plants . It has soothing , anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Lipikar Xerand is easily absorbed and perfect for applying at night under cotton gloves to allow 8 hours of hydration for the repair of a damaged skin barrier
Humectants such as glycerin absorb easily into skin without a sticky residue and attract water ( a 1000 x their weight in water) into the top layer of skin. Neutrogena’s glycerine hand cream is perfect for chapped hands and easily absorbed.
So here are my key steps:
Step 1: Thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds ( 2 rounds of happy Birthday )
Step 2: Dry them carefully. Apply a generous amount of moisturiser
Step 3: Apply a generous amount of moisturiser a 20 pence piece amount to both hands and massage well.
Step 4: Apply cotton gloves (or cling film) and leave on for as long as possible preferably overnight .
Step 5: If you do this for a week, you will notice a significant difference to skin hydration and will start to really help the skin barrier to recover.