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Dry Skin and Hand Washing

Image of child with eczema washing handsWashing our hands is an important part of our day-to-day lives, its essential to prevent spreading germs.

We wash our hands before dinner, after using the toilet (hopefully), after blowing our nose or sneezing, when we’re washing the dishes or generally handling mucky stuff! Research suggests that the average Brit washes their hands 4 times a day. That’s 28 times a week, 112 a month and 1456 a year, that is a lot of washing.

Excessive Washing

Skin is the largest organ of our body. It protects us from harmful environmental factors and keeps us healthy. You would think that regularly washing your hands keeps it bacteria and germ free but, while this is true, there is such a thing as too much washing. Dry skin and Hand Washing do come hand in hand (excuse the pun). If you are washing your hands too much, the skin can dry out and become rough and cracked. This is because the water is removing the skin’s natural oils, leaving the skin with little to no moisture left. Dermatitis can then result from excessive hand washing. Once the top layer of the skin cracks due to the removal of the skin’s natural oils, the skin become inflamed. This is the start of dermatitis and symptoms such as swelling, redness, irritation and itchiness. Read more about dermatitis here.

Harsh Soaps

Healthy skin actually has a slightly acidic pH balance while many harsh soaps are alkaline substances. So, exposing healthy skin to chemical-based cleansers may well contribute to disruption in the skin’s own healing process, making damaged, dry skin a very likely result. Harsh soaps, as well as water, can strip away ceramides and other natural oils from the skin, resulting in dehydrated, cracked skin barriers.
When buying a hand washing soap, most people will opt for antibacterial types in order to kill of as many germs from the hands as possible. However, this is not necessarily true. A study funded by the NIH found that antibacterial soaps work no better than moisturising, natural soaps, so try to avoid chemical-based soaps at all costs – they are simply no good for your skin.

Our Recommendations

An awareness of your hand-washing regularity is very important when avoiding the symptoms of Dry Skin and Hand Washing. Maybe you are washing your hands too often, or when its not needed. You could make sure you always use gloves when washing the dishes or clothes to avoid this direct contact.

The easiest way to look after your hands during washing is to make sure you choose a safe, natural soap. There is no reason to be opting for chemical-based products as all they do is damage and dry out your delicate skin. The Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar is a natural cold-processed soap that is carefully designed to deeply cleanse hands while keeping the skin as protected and moisturised as possible. The soap is uniquely formulated to gently remove impurities while quickly restoring your skin’s natural moisture levels. It also stops the skin from drying out after use, by retaining the moisture absorbed.
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