Asian mother and daughter washing hands in the kitchen

Washing hands saves lives. That may sound like an overreach, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diligent handwashing is one of the easiest, most practical ways to help curb the spread of disease. But there’s a consequence to all this responsibility: chapped and dry hands!

Why do hands become dry from frequent washing? It’s the same reason the skin on your face gets dry. Based on an article by UCLA Health, the outer layer of your skin produces natural oils and wax, which serve as a fence that locks in the skin’s natural moisture and shields it from external aggressors. Like a bulldozer that flattens everything in its path, most soaps can’t differentiate the good oils and bacteria from nasty germs and other unwelcome debris. Thus, they wash away the protective barrier, leaving your hands undernourished and unprotected.

While you have creams, serums, and other dry skin remedies for your face, you usually overlook your hands. They need something stronger to rid the skin of dirt effectively and gentle enough to keep them smooth and healthy. You wouldn’t want your hands to be debilitated with chapping and skin irritation, would you? Nope. After everything your hands do for you, they deserve pampering, too. Read on for ways you can take care of your hands better.

Check Your Water Temperature 

A pair of soapy hands under a faucet

Numerous dermatologists have said that lukewarm water is the best temperature for your skin. According to experts from the University of Utah, the University of Miami, the University of Pittsburgh, and more, the water temperature can affect your skin. While hot water effectively removes grime, it works the same way as soap—it can get rid of the good stuff, too. On the other hand, cold water functions the opposite way—it can trap more dirt into your skin.

Prolonged exposure to water can also lead to dry hands and its subsequent effects, like cracked skin. However, since we are now all washing our hands to the “Happy Birthday” song, keeping handwashing down to a few quick seconds is hardly responsible. Choose your battles and stick to a comfy tepid temperature. 

Have Some Hand Cream Ready

xThe skin goes beyond your face, so don’t forget to keep your hands nourished as well.

You can restore your skin’s moisture with a hand cream or lotion, which you can apply while your hands are still damp. Bear in mind, however, that moistness can attract germs faster. When choosing a hand cream, get one that absorbs quickly to avoid this problem.

Another tip from experts at UCLA? BYOC: Bring your own cream. Communal hand moisturizers may be a breeding ground for bacteria—you never know—so it’s better to be safe and feel secure with your product.

Use Gentle Hand Wash

The simplest solution is to find a handwash that can cleanse and nourish all at once. Your hands are looking for some gentle but efficient. Dove has come up with a handwash that ticks off all these boxes—and they’re dermatologically approved. Apart from washing away bad bacteria, Dove Deeply Nourishing Hand Wash is enriched with that signature ¼ moisturizing cream, nourishing your formerly soap-battered hands up to 10 layers deep. 

If you want a little something extra, Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Cucumber and Green Tea works just as hard, keeping your hands clean, smooth, healthy, as well as fragrant. The zippy scent has a freshness that can brighten your mood.

Now that you know it’s possible to have a multitasking product for your dry hands, remember that a great handwash is only as great as your handwashing technique. Rub your hands, from your fingertips to wrists, for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. Keep your hands clean and stay healthy!