HAND HEALTH IN ISOLATION
NEVER has there been a more important time to talk about hands! With COVID-19 ruling our existence right now, we cannot be complacent about how we clean, protect and care for our hands.
Let's talk skin. The skin on your hands differs from your face and other areas of your body in that it has a thick watery layer that cushions the pressure of the eternal world we touch. The hands are the most neglected part of the skin because we tend to focus so much on our faces and neck. No more in the Corona Virus vigilant society we now find ourselves all living in.
Washing your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds is the cornerstone for all hand hygiene practices. I like to sing Happy Birthday to myself instead and my kids find this a lot of fun too. I'll often hear them singing quietly to themselves after I hear the toilet flush and know they are doing the right thing!
If you need some guidance on hand washing check out this video from the World Health Organisation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PmVJQUCm4E
Pack a bar of soap in a zip-lock back a bottle of water with you wherever you go, why? Soap and water and the minimum 20 second hand wash will always be the best form of hand hygiene no matter where go are. I have been known the wash my hands on the side of the street in the gutter because I have forgotten my hand sanitiser or have used so much hand sanitiser I need a fresh start.
Hand sanitising has become THE thing to do these day., that is if you can find any after you've searched high and low for your toilet paper! Seriously though, this form of hand treatment should not be replacing soap and water hand washing. Hand sanitisers are great for impulse cleansing when you've been moving about on your travels to the supermarket, bank, petrol station or pharmacy. The base ingredient of hand sanitisers is alcohol and should be a minimum of 60% ethanol to effectively destroy the protein shell that harbours a virus, including COVID-19. In addition, some of the general hand sanitisers contain corrosive, caustic ingredients that strip, dry and impair the skin's natural resistance to the environment we touch day in and day out. Even then when you return home wash your hands with soap and water!
At the end of a long day of hand washing and or hand sanitising, the skin on your hands has taken a pretty hard belting of treatments, essential treatments to keep you healthy and safe from germs and contagions. Indications your skin is under stress from the constant hand washing and or sanitising are as follows;
Dry cracked fingers
Itchy scaly skin
red, sore open skin
This is NOT a good sign. Open skin put you more at risk of catching germs and virus' such COVID-19. So at the end of your day it is essential to seal, heal and protect the skin of your hands with some very simple at home hand rejuvenation steps.
STEP 1 Trim and
Keep your nails short! Acrylic and gel nails harbour bacteria and moisture which are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and viruses. If you are now in a financial position where your regular Gel polish re-do is no longer in your self care budget, think about removing them with a convenient At Home Gel Removal Kit will remove Gel nails without tearing and destroying the delicate nail bed.
STEP 2 Repair and Regenerate
Nurture you nails and cuticles. Using a nail treatment is essential for post gel nails to recover, strengthen and protect you from external pathogens that can enter weak and brittle nail beds and cuticle. My two favourite staples are Gloss & Co's Nail Care Duo. Packed with eco-vitamins and botanicals designed to deliver an overdose of nourishment and goodness to your nails and nail beds, the G&C Rescue My Nails coupled with highly nurturing and deliciously scented Cuticle Oil will have your damaged nails in tip top shape in no time. Nighty rituals before lights out makes a massive difference to your nail health.
STEP 3 Moisturise
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Get out all of those mini hand creams and any of those Hand moisturiser has never been more in demand. Just as you moisturise your face morning and night you now need to get your hands involved more than ever before. The reason is the same, hand moisturising helps keep the barrier function of your skin on your hand intact, sealed and reinforces its elasticity and flexibility as it battles the daily grind. My go to is Aspect's Hand & Body Cream rich in Shea Butter to soften and smooth skin texture, a Natural Emollient Blend of Sunflower Seed, Ylang Ylang and Seabuckthorn Oil to deliver intense hydration and a powerhouse complex of Vitamins A, B, C & E to help smooth skin texture and deliver antioxidants for ongoing protection.
STEP 4 Treatment Booster
Weekly Hand Masking. Yes that's right, weekly hand masking. Just like a face mask the hands need an intensive mask too. Double doses of nourishing skin oils, phyto nutrients and vitamins will comfort the skin and allow you some time to self nurture with some thermal therapy in the coming Winter months. I love the Voesh New York Deluxe Collagen Hand Gloves as an alternative to the in salon paraffin dips you may be used to. Use as a professional grade homecare treatment to boost your skin Collagen, botanicals & essential ingredients. Ultra nutritious moisturiser penetrates quickly to protect and moisturise your hands. Excellent to help reverse signs of aging instantly while beautifying your nails - yum!