Winter conditions can be hard on hands at the best of times and the situation can be made even worse when frequent hand sanitizer use is in the mix. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Ashley Sutherland, program director at Dalhousie University’s division of dermatology, explains that this is because the 60-per-cent to 80-per-cent alcohol content in hand sanitizers can be very drying on the skin. “Many hand sanitizers also include ingredients to try and reduce the drying effect on the skin barrier which can worsen hand dermatitis,” she says, pointing to glycerin, aloe vera, vitamin E or coconut oil as ingredients to look for.
To help keep hands from becoming red, dry, cracked, itchy or painful this winter, Sutherland recommends applying a thick cream to damp hands after washing and after the hand sanitizer has dried. “When choosing a hand cream, look for a cream or ointment base rather than a lotion,” she says. “Many of these products come in tubes rather than pump bottles.”
My recommendation: Aveda’s Limited-Edition Hand Relief Moisturizing Crème is a lightweight tube to bring on the go. Plus, the brand will donate $10 from the purchase price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Aveda Limited-Edition Hand Relief Moisturizing Crème, $27 at Aveda salons, spas, stores and institutes and through aveda.ca.
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