Since COVID arrived, I’m sure we’ve all been vigilant about washing our hands and using sanitiser. One of the problems which seems to have arisen from this constant use of soap and sanitiser is the damage it is doing to our skin. Many of us are finding our hands are becoming very dry which almost seems inevitable if we are constantly washing our hands in chemicals and alcohol. Others are suffering from itchy, red, inflamed skin caused by dermatitis and eczema.
I, for one have experienced terrible rashes, itchiness, redness and inflammation of my hands. I have never experienced dermatitis before, however a couple of months ago I found my hands became extremely red and inflamed and I was suffering from constant itchiness.
I had been using natural soaps but of course wherever I went, I needed to use hand sanitiser. With hand sanitiser containing at least 75% alcohol, I found this was like putting acid on my hands.
After much trial and error, I was able to work out a hand cleansing/sanitising regime which not only healed the rashes on my hands but also didn’t continue to inflame my skin and thankfully all the rashes, itchiness and inflammation have completely gone.
The first decision I made was to change to using Moo Goo goats milk soap and Moo Goo buttermilk soap. These soaps contain either goats’ milk or buttermilk. Both these ingredients help to support a healthy skin barrier, enabling our skin to remain nourished and moisturised. These soaps also contain olive oil and cacao butter which help replace the oils in our skin. Unlike most goats’ milk soaps, Moo Goo uses fresh goats’ milk in their soap which they believe to be more beneficial.
The next addition to my regime was the Moo Goo Soothing MSM Moisturiser. I believe the key to the success of this cream is the addition of MSM. Some may recognise MSM as an anti-inflammatory often included in arthritis formulas. Because of these anti-inflammatory qualities, MSM can also be used topically on our skin. The redness, inflammation and itchiness of my skin subsided once I began using this cream. The coconut oil and almond oil in this cream was also helpful in moisturising my skin.
Next, I lathered my skin at night with Weleda Skin Food. I have written about this product previously because it is a great cream to protect our skin from the ravages of winter weather, when our skin dries out and looks like lizard’s skin! The key ingredients of this cream are organic chamomile, calendula and wild pansy. We often associate chamomile as a calming herbal tea or tonic, however it also works well topically as a calmative on our skin. Calendula is often included in skin formulations assisting skin irritations. Wild pansies thrive in silica rich soil and are also known to help sooth our skin as well as heal our skin.
This Skin Food cream can also be used on other dry parts of our body. It is great for chafed lips which we often suffer from in winter.
Finally, I chose to only use the hand sanitiser which I made myself using isopropyl alcohol, almond oil, plus essential oils. I found by including the almond oil, the sanitiser was not as harsh on my skin. I carry a small bottle with me to use when I’m out and about, plus keep a larger bottle at work and home. The recipe for a 100ml bottle of sanitiser is 10 drops each of clove oil, pine oil and eucalyptus oil, 90ml (91%) isopropyl alcohol, 10ml almond oil, 20 drops essential oil dispersant. Mix well and decant into a spray bottle.