By Pamela Spence Medical Herbalist | UPDATED: 08:28, 04 May 2020
With the lockdown still in place and social distancing very much a part of everyday life, we are also all being told that washing our hands on a frequent basis is a must do if we are to keep the coronavirus at bay.
While we all know that is the way to keep us safe and protected, endless sessions of handwash can take a toll on our skin.
As well as making them red, they can become sore, cracked and irritated leaving us in pain and wondering what we can do to ease things up.
While you must not stop with the hand washing, Pamela Spence is a medical herbalist and has some ideas about how we can look after our hands the natural way so that they are soft and supple as well as safe and germ free.
To give skin a chance to repair from all the hand washing overnight, cover your hands in moisturiser before bed and then put on some gloves.
Cotton would be best to allow skin to breathe and keep the moisture in. If you don’t have any, use cotton socks!
This is a familiar beauty tip for feet, but our hands are needing the extra attention now too. If you don’t have hand cream, any moisturiser till do.
If you’ve run out of moisturiser, your kitchen cupboard will have something just as helpful – olive oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil will all have the same effect.
The skin’s microbiome is an important part of our natural defences so we need to take extra care of it with all the vital handwashing and gel use.
Simply use oils from the kitchen – olive oil or sunflower oil massaged directly in can provide quick and valuable relief. If you want to add some anti-microbial protection, add lavender, rosemary, or thyme essential oils.
Use only 3 drops essential oil to 10mls of carrier oil as essential oils are very strong and may irritate the skin. Mix in an egg cup and pour onto your hands, or scale up and make a larger amount. Decant into a soap dispenser for ease.
Coconut oil is wonderfully moisturising and melts with the heat of your skin. Because it is solid at room temperature it is also easy to carry with you.
Make your own nourishing antimicrobial hand balm by melting your coconut oil in a pan, turning off the heat and adding a mix of essential oils – lavender for healing and reducing redness, tea tree for antimicrobial action.
Use only 3 drops essential oil per 10mls of melted coconut oil. Mix and pour into a clean container to cool. An old moisturiser jar or lip balm jar works perfectly but even a clean jam jar will do. Use regularly to protect your hands.
All of these tips will help to ensure that you are keeping safe and following the guidelines but that your hands aren’t getting to dry and all the washing is causing you added stress at a time that is already swimming in problems.
Take care and look after you, your family and those around you.