Cleaning Products and Your Skin
Have you ever wondered if scrubbing your kitchen countertops or wiping down your bathroom mirror might be affecting the skin on your hands? We sat down with a Skincare.com consulting dermatologist to discuss whether or not cleaning products can have any effect on our skin—dryness, anyone?—and to learn some tips and tricks to keep our hands soft and hydrated. (Though, we hate to break it to you, but skipping out on your chores isn’t one of them!) See what he had to say, below.
“In general, cleaning products can be harsh on the skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. “At least once or twice a week, I see patients with dry, cracked skin on their fingers—this can be due to chemicals found in common household cleaning products or not protecting hands when repeatedly doing the dishes. The products can be drying and compromise the integrity of your skin’s outer layer.” In order to keep cleaning products from drying your skin out, Dr. Bhanusali recommends the following:
Wearing gloves while cleaning can keep you from going near anything gross— but, it can also protect your skin from the harsh chemicals. Whether you’re bleaching your shower or hand-washing your dishes, you should always remember to wear rubber gloves.
Editor’s tip: I like to deep condition my hands while I clean (I know, sounds a little counterproductive, but bare with me). To do so, simply apply a hydrating skin oil— like coconut oil—or body balm—like NYX Professional Makeup’s All Over Balm—all over your hands and place your rubber gloves over them. When you’re done scrubbing away, simply remove the gloves and revel in your silky soft hands.
LIMIT HAND WASHING
In order to keep dry skin at bay, Dr. Bhanusali suggests limiting hand washing. Washing your hands excessively—that is, washing them when it’s not warranted, please continue to wash after cleaning the bathroom…and going to it—can have a drying effect on the hands. By limiting your hand washing to only times when you need to, your skin may be less vulnerable to dry skin.
KEEP MOISTURIZER WITHIN REACH
Speaking of washing your hands, you should keep moisturizer at the sink—that way, when you’re finished washing up, you can replenish the moisture in your hands, too. And while you’re at it, keep hand cream or a body balm at your desk, in your purse, or anywhere else within reach. This will help remind you to moisturize throughout the day and ensure that you always have access to hydration.