Asian woman washing her hands with soap

Now and then, our skin becomes easily irritated for different reasons. Skin irritation occurs when the skin becomes too sensitive from skin disorders, allergies, or the most common cause, dryness from environmental factors and lifestyle. 

With handwashing now a more integral part of life, our hands are more sensitive than ever. You may notice that your skin is thinner and easily cut. Your hands may be peeling in certain areas, such as the palms and between the fingers. Your skin may also feel uncomfortably tight and even itchy. When your hands are this dry, it is easily irritated and prone to breakage, flaking, and rashes. Here are the dos and don’ts of soothing your skin and bringing back its moisture. 

Don’t Scratch, Peel, or Pick at the Skin

The first rule of broken skin is to never pick it. According to Harvard Health, fiddling with your peeling skin or scratching rashes not only makes your skin look worse, it can also lead to serious infection. If you can’t tolerate the itching, or your skin is flaring up more than usual, it might be something more than your everyday dryness. In this case, consult with your doctor for a skin irritation treatment specific to your condition. 

Do Use Gentle Household Products

Go easy on the heavy-duty detergents — and don’t forget to wear gloves!

Our hands are exposed to a lot of chemicals every day, from doing the dishes to cleaning the house. These chemicals can dry out the skin, or in some cases, cause allergic reactions such as rashes. They can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. If your hands are already dry and sensitive from over-washing, trade your heavy-duty cleaning products with more gentle or organic alternatives. You could also wear rubber gloves, although they can be uncomfortable.  

Do Moisturize Regularly

Moisturize your hands after washing to lock hydration in.

Dry skin occurs when skin loses too much moisture, cites Harvard Health. You can give your skin a little help by drinking plenty of liquids as well as externally moisturizing your hands with a creamy lotion that combines occlusives and humectants. These prevent moisture loss and draw moisture to the skin, respectively. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends looking for a moisturizer with occlusives such as shea butter, mineral oil, or lanolin, and humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. 

Do Use a Deeply Nourishing Hand Wash

To prevent dryness while keeping your hands clean and germ-free, switch to a hand wash that is enriched with moisturizing ingredients to make your hands smooth and soft. New Dove Nourishing Handwash effectively washes away bacteria and nourishes hands up to 10 layers deep. It comes in two variants: Dove Deeply Nourishing, which contains ¼ moisturizing cream that soothes extremely dry skin; and Dove Cucumber & Green Tea Scent, which also has ¼ moisturizing cream and is infused with the crisp scent of cucumber and green tea.

Handwashing can help you stay healthy, but keep your hands healthy, too, as well as free from skin irritation by switching to a moisturizing hand wash.