With the current pandemic we're all using alcohol-laced hand sanitisers at the moment. What effect are these having on our skin?
"Excessive hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers can cause skin reactions," Explains Dr Pamela Benito. "Repeated use of hand sanitiser, can cause chronic irritation, skin breakdown and dryness. The topical application of ethyl alcohol can lower the skin barrier function and make the membrane more permeable to harmful chemicals from cosmetics."
Are there any great ingredients to look for in a hand cream, or anything to avoid?
"To help alleviate the dryness and to restore the protective skin barrier, look for hand creams that contain emollients, including Ceramides, and humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin," Says Dr Pamela Benito. "Ceramides are lipids that help form the skin's barrier and help your skin retain it's natural moisture, hand creams with ceramides also help to protect against environmental aggressors like irritants and pollution. I would recommend to stay clear of parabens, perfumes, alcohols, and silicones when shopping for hand creams."
Which hand cream or salve (available online at a major retailer) do you recommend, and why?
"I recommend Cerave Therapeutic hand cream which is widely available," says Dr Pamela Benito. "It contains ceramides to replenish the skin’s natural barrier and hyaluronic acid to help rehydrate your skin and alleviate any symptoms from excessive hand washing. Cerave Therapeutic Hand cream is fragrance-free and is an effective option even for sensitive skin."