India is almost into the second month of its fight with COVID-19 and it believes that there are important ways to defeat it. One, by asking its citizen to participate in social-distancing and two, by asking them to keep their hands squeaky clean. Speaking of the latter, there are two ways to keep your hands free from bacteria and dirt and that’s either through washing them with plain water and soap or using a hand sanitizer. While both these methods keep the bacteria and virus away, they can also dry your hands out. Which is why it’s important to keep your hands moisturised and hydrated.
Unlike hand sanitizers, hand creams are available in plenty today. However, if you’re obsessed with skincare, you probably must have had a scary thought about your hand cream preventing your hand sanitizer from doing its job.
After all, washing your hands with water is more effective than using hand sanitizers to destroy bacteria. Why do we say so? Simple logic – alcoholic-based hand sanitizers only kill the germs but don’t physically remove them from your hands. And, if applied in a haste, it may not kill all of them and you applying hand cream to freshly sanitized hands will only cause the germs to spread all over. In a nutshell, this can prolong the bacteria’s life.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they believe that similar to sunscreen, people rarely apply hand sanitizers and even if they do, it’s not applied as often as they should be doing so. They also added that if hands are covered with dirt, oil or grease, hand sanitizers may not be that effective in keeping them clean.
Which comes back to the question, “is your hand cream preventing your hand sanitizer from doing its job” The answer is YES. If the gel on your hands has not dried up yet, bacteria can transfer from the gel to the hand cream. The solution is after rubbing your hands with hand gel, allow it to air-dry for 1-2 minutes and then, apply hand cream. In this case, timing is everything and prevention is definitely better than cure.
If you’re still apprehensive about using hand cream during the day, we recommend slathering on rich hand cream at night. Top it off with body oil, slip on some gloves and go to sleep. You should wake up to soft, moisturised hands.