With people being encouraged to be extra vigilant when it comes to hand washing, it’s not surprising that their hands are looking and feeling dry and cracked. Washing hands regularly remains a very important step in keeping you healthy in the current circumstances, so we’re taking a look at how you can do that while still achieving soft, healthy skin.

Hygiene. Cleaning Hands. Washing hands.

Handwashing Affects Your Skin

We all know that washing our hands is a good thing, even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic – so why is it that handwashing can impact your skin negatively?

While it’s true that you should be washing your hands thoroughly, it’s impossible to escape the fact that this causes your skin to become dry, red and itchy; it can also crack, which is painful and opens up the door to germs.

This is because soap breaks down dirt, germs and debris, but it can also strip your skin of its natural oils. In order to retain or regain healthy skin, there are certain things you should do on a daily basis, even if you’re not leaving the house.

Avoid Using Hot Water

With people being told to wash their hand for a minimum of 20 seconds, you want to avoid hot water at all costs. This will dry your skin and remove the natural oils of your skin. You should either use cold water or opt for lukewarm temperature instead. The same goes for showers and baths – cut them short and don’t use hot water, no matter how good it feels.

Another thing to avoid is constantly immersing your hands in water. Wear gloves when washing dishes, as this can help your skin to keep its natural oils.


One of the most important things you can do to repair dry skin is to moisturise, because this creates a seal over your skin that keeps water in. Moisturisers also soothe the skin, improve its appearance and texture and ensure your skin can continue acting as a protective barrier against external threats.

Applying moisturiser right after a shower or bath will help you to retain that moisture. It’s just as important to stick to a skincare routine now as it was before lockdown measures were in place, so don’t skip the moisturiser if you want to repair your skin.

Take Care When Drying Your Hands

While the washing part is important, you want to make sure you’re drying your hands correctly as well. Instead of rubbing or wiping your hands on the towel – which can lead to micro-abrasions on the skin – blot them dry.

This will prevent damage to the skin, something that is especially important if your hands are already dry and cracking. Make sure to remove all remnants of soap too and replace your towels every three days to ensure their cleanliness.

Limit the Use of Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitiser has alcohol content, which can dry your skin very quickly. If you use it regularly, you may want to consider cutting back or avoiding it all-together. After all, while this product may be good for disinfecting your hands on the spot, it shouldn’t replace soap when your skin is visibly dirty or when you’re about to eat, for example.

Avoid Irritants

Certain products may damage your skin, like scrub brushes and sponges. You don’t have to stop using them completely but be gentle and keep your touch light. In addition, don’t scratch your skin whenever it feels itchy. Itchy skin is normal when your hands are dry but scratching them will make it worse. Moisturisers can often control that itchiness or you may want to apply a cold pack for relief.

Other irritants that can harm your skin and dry it are fragrant laundry detergents and softeners, so make sure that you’re only using products that are good for the skin.

Try a Humidifier

Now that warmer temperatures are on the way, you are probably looking forward to skin that doesn’t crack with the cold and the wind. However, hot indoor air can actually affect your skin by removing its moisture, which can make it dry. A humidifier can be a good solution to add moisture to the air and to help you keep your skin healthy.

At our cosmetic skin clinic in Guernsey, cosmetic skin clinic in Jersey and cosmetic skin clinic in Belfast, we are used to treating all types of skin, including dry skin.

While you may be spending most of your time indoors, you can still suffer from dry hands if you’re not careful, so apply these tips to keep your skin soft and nourished. You can get in touch with our professional team to learn more about our services and how we can help your skin, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your needs.