With hand washing now our most frequent daily activity, and in a profession that uses our hands a lot anyway, our hands have a lot of pressure put on them at the moment. Desiree Stordahl, Paula’s Choice Senior Research and Education Manager, offers some practical tips for hand care to keep your hands fresh, healthy and feeling their best.

When it comes to hand health, the most important thing is looking at the ingredients and qualities for the soaps and hand sanitisers you’re currently using.

“Not all hand washes and soaps are created equal – many strip skin dry and deplete its naturally protective substances,” Desiree warned. “Look for formulas with emollients (like plant butters and oils) and gentle cleansing agents that get the job done while keeping skin’s barrier strong so that it’s less susceptible to dryness, flaking, redness or cracking. Additionally, some hand sanitisers are more hydrating than others. If you can find one with added nourishing ingredients, that will go a long way to help combat dryness as the alcohol works its germ-killing magic.”

Hand creams have become more essential to replenish the skin with vital lipids and hydrating ingredients, with quick absorbing products for maximum efficiency, and additional SPF qualities for totally comprehensive care. For sanitisers, Desiree recommends Synergie Skin’s Sanitiser Spray, while a hand cream of choice is the Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter from Paula’s Choice Skincare. The brand’s Non-Greasy SPF 15 is a great sun care option, or make sure this quality is worked into your other products.

“If you need extra motivation, sun protection is also the #1 way to prevent discolourations from showing up on your hands as you get older,” Desiree said.

A top tip is reaching into your beauty cupboard for must-have hand care, no matter what the label says.

“Whatever you use on your hands doesn’t have to be labeled as a ‘hand’ product,” Desiree said. “There may be products that you already have in your arsenal that also work well for your hands. A great hydrating face mask can work wonders on your hands. If you have a facial moisturiser with SPF that you love, try it on your digits, too. A rich lip balm great for dry cuticles. Just keep in mind fragrance free is best, as research shows that fragrance can cause irritation and impair skin’s healing response.”

The brand’s Lip and Body Treatment Balm and Cetaphil’s RestoraDerm Skin Restoring Body Wash are favourites when it comes to repurposed, hand specific products.

Good luck and keep practicing great hand health!