What's the best way to soothe my dry hands?

Shh! Anti-agers no one but you need know about: What’s the best way to soothe my dry hands?

  • An anonymous reader asked for advice on healing their raw and sore hands 
  • Inge van Lotringen spoke to NHS consultant dermatologist Mary Sommerlad
  • Mary suggested swapping bar soaps for a wash with mild anionic surfactants

Q: My hands have become raw and sore from all the handwashing, even though I use a superfatted vegetable soap. What else can I do to heal them?

A: Anything that foams at least 20 seconds as you wash your hands will neutralise Covid-19 by destroying the oily vessel that protects the virus,’ says NHS consultant dermatologist Mary Sommerlad.

But, in the case of ultra-sudsy bar soaps (no matter how ‘superfatted’) and washes with sulphate surfactants, skin’s protective lipid layer is also stripped.

An anonymous reader asked Inge van Lotringen for advice on healing their raw and sore hands (file image)

Now that we wash so much, this can set off dermatitis and eczema. What you want instead, says Mary Sommerlad, is a wash or cleansing bar with mild anionic surfactants (ingredients, excepting sulphates, beginning with ‘sodium’ and ending with ‘ate’): these will kill corona but won’t dry your hands.

My favourites are Gallinée Cleansing Bar (£10, gallinee.com) and Soaper Duper Clean & Juicy Passionfruit Body Wash (£7.50, soaperduper.com).

Follow, always, with a hand cream (fragrance free so as not to irritate your hands) to re-build your damaged lipid barrier: plant butters with omega-fatty acids are ideal, as are ceramides.

Other options are CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream (£6, cerave.co.uk) and Green People Scent-Free Everyday Hand Cream (£15, ocado.com).

If you use a face oil, treat your hands to a few drops, followed by hand cream, before you go to sleep.

Inge (pictured) suggested using a few drops of face oil to treat hands before going to sleep

Email your questions to Ingeborg van Lotringen at [email protected]

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