Is it okay to use hand cream after washing our hands?
Tips for applying hand cream safely
Many of us are experiencing dry and cracked hands from regular and vigorous handwashing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
But is it safe to apply hand cream after washing our hands, or are we just re-contaminating our hands with pathogens?
It is safe to apply hand cream after washing your hands, just make sure that your hands are thoroughly dry first. When applying hand cream, don’t let the nozzle touch your hand, rather squirt the cream from a distance onto the back of your hand. It is also wise to not share your hand cream with other people.
Choose oil-based hand creams over water-based lotions, as lotions with a high water content evaporate from the skin, leaving your skin feeling even drier.
If you have particularly dry or eczema-prone skin it may be a good idea to give your hands a treatment at night with a very thick cream and pair of cotton gloves. Wear the gloves a couple of hours before you go to bed, and if you can tolerate it, keep the gloves on overnight to give your skin the chance to restore and rehydrate, ready for the next day.
Look for hand creams that contain rich emollients that help to trap moisture in the skin e.g. lanolin, beeswax, shea butter and cacao butter. Botanical extracts that help to soothe irritation and small cracks in the skin, such as calendula, chamomile, pansy and rosemary, are also helpful.