Judging from all your calls for help on Facebook, itchy, dry, or cracked hands after washing up seem to be a common complaint.
Why do you get itchy or dry hands after washing dishes? Repeated washing, especially with liquid soaps, frees the hands of their natural oils and makes them dry and rough. Liquid soap usually contains chemical cleaning agents that are notorious skin irritants. These foaming agents can aggravate the skin and ignite it and tend to crack.
For many, this marks the beginning of a vicious cycle because cracked skin can become infected. This significantly increases awareness of chemical ingredients in hand washing and hand creams.
As with all skin problems, there may not be an easy solution to the problem. Here are just a few suggestions for lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of irritation and keep your hands healthy.
1. Avoid liquid soaps (including dish soap)
The chemical cleaning agents dry in liquid soaps and are known skin irritants.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS is one of the worst substances and is incredibly common in shampoos and body washes. The best dish soap for dry and sensitive hands is one without SLS and free from fragrances, dyes and acids.
Always read the list of ingredients in your products – good health food stores offer SLS-free products or skin-friendly vegetable oil soaps.
2. Avoid latex gloves
Many people who suffer from irritated hands turn to gloves to protect them from chemicals or irritants with which they could come into contact. The right washing-up gloves can form a much-needed protective barrier and prevent water or irritants from coming into contact with the skin.
Most washing up gloves are made of latex. The latex in these gloves can lead to further irritation due to mild (or not so mild!) Latex allergies.
To avoid additional irritation when washing dishes, use vinyl washing gloves instead. These are a good alternative to latex and are usually easier to endure.
If you are not sure whether you have a latex allergy, you will find a small note here. Half of people with a latex allergy also react to foods consumed such as avocados, bananas and kiwis. Strange but true!
3. Oil-based products
The first point of contact for many people in the treatment of injured hands are moisturizers or petroleum-based plasticizers.
These act as a protective barrier against water loss, but can suffocate the skin. Although they appear to work in the short term, they can sometimes worsen dryness and sensitivity in the long run.
After the triggers have been removed, it is time to start healing and regenerating damaged skin.
4. Increase your intake of essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) care for the skin from the inside out. Oily fish, seeds and nuts are good sources. However, if this is missing in your diet, hemp or linseed oil are examples of good oil additives.
These are best taken from the spoon in pure oil form. Always store in the refrigerator to keep the oil in optimal condition.
5. Moisture and massage
Moisten your hands with a certified organic cream that does not contain any of the chemical irritants that attacked your hands.
Our Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream provides intensive moisture and its natural active ingredients soothe the skin and promote cell renewal.
For a particularly intensive treatment of dry hands, you can add a few drops of natural vegetable oil to your hand cream or hands. Our bestseller Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is one of the best! The high concentration of vitamin A, omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 nourishes the skin and accelerates the natural healing and regeneration process.
Apply liberally at night and wear cotton gloves so that the cream and oils get into your hands and not your bedding!