The government has recommended washing your hands frequently with soap, antibacterial handwash or by using a hand sanitiser to keep yourself safe.
This can however cause your skin to become dry, cracked, sore and can cause eczema.
Why do your hands feel dry after washing?
You should be washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, which is roughly the length of time it will take you to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice or use an antibacterial hand sanitiser frequently throughout the day.
When you do this, you are exposing your skin to certain ingredients such as Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) that are great at stopping infections and bacteria from reaching the skin but will also strip away your skin’s natural moisture.
If your hand sanitiser contains a high volume of this skin-drying ingredient, it’s normal to notice that your hands feel dry after frequent use.
It’s not just Ethanol that causes dry skin, one other ingredient that I’ve discussed before, as you will find it in many traditional horse shampoos, is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate which draws moisture out of the skin and therefore can leave the hands feeling sore and irritated.
What can you do to protect your hands?
Use Hand Cream
Having dry skin is uncomfortable, it can also mean that your skin barrier has been compromised. A strong, healthy skin barrier plays an important role in keeping bad bacteria away from the body. If you are seeing more dry skin them make sure you are giving some moisture back into the skin with a hand cream.
Our Stable Hand Cream is a great choice, its has been designed specifically for horsey hands and for those that work outside. It contains the natural anti septic honey and is used to hands being dipped in and out of water frequently.
Use an SLS free Soap
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is often added to soaps and hand washes because it helps them to foam but it can be a skin irritant and can cause your skin to become sore, irritated and dry.
An easy way to avoid dry & irritated skin is to use an SLS-free soap. I would recommend Superfly Soap’s Avacado & Banana vegan friendly soap from The Eco Friendly Living Co
Natural ingredients like shea butter & coconut oil are used as they are kind to your skin. They use castor oil to create some natural lather and then the avocado oil makes the soap silky, so it glides over your skin nicely.
Dry your hands properly
After you’ve washed your hands you should make sure that you dry them properly.
Excess soap can cling to your skin which then can cause irritation and dryness. Damp hands may attract more germs so it’s important that they are dry, especially areas between your fingers.
Use gloves when washing up
Most washing up liquids contain harsh chemicals, SLS and artificial fragrances. All possible ingredients that can cause your skin to become irritated and dry.
A good alternative is the Dish Washing Plastic Free Soap Bar from The Eco Friendly Living Co again no SLS, all natural ingredients, made in the UK and when you’ve finished with the dish water you can even use it on your plants!
To compliment this why not use one of our handmade reusable tack pads when doing your washing up.
Simply wash when dirty, dry flat and reuse.
When it’s on its last legs you can simply dispose of it on your compost heap!