The importance of hand care amid a global health crisis.

Words by guest writer, Tatiana Farley

Cleanliness has been queen since biblical times, but 2020 and the invasion of COVID-19 has made hygiene a vital and unprecedented priority. In the haze of these precarious times, it is human nature to grasp for certainty; to seek out the concrete and infallible. Psychology tells us that in times of crisis (ie. a global pandemic) the fear of the unknown ignites the human urge to restore a sense of control over one’s circumstances. Investing time, effort and money in hand hygiene will save lives, plain and simple.

Unlike a lifetime supply of triple-ply, this simple habit gives us both the comfort of proactive defence and a real-life, tried and tested method of keeping COVID-19 at bay. This is no slapdash rinse though. Rather, the World Health Organisation recommends lathering hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds followed by a thorough dry with a fresh, clean towel. Beyond immunity, clean hands often means clear skin. How, you ask? Most people subconsciously touch their face many times per day, thus exposing the complexion to many blemish-inducing bacteria. And so it follows, regular hand washing can prevent unnecessary breakouts.

As COVID-19 is thought to be transmitted through droplets, contact with an infected person and any surface they may have touched can prove hazardous. Mitigating this risk when on-the-go means getting familiar with hand sanitiser. The most effective solutions are generally made up of between 60-70% bacteria-busting alcohol which eradicates virus residue which can be found lurking on door knobs, tables, shopping trolleys you name it.

Diligent hand washing and sanitising, however, can come with its downsides, most notably dryness. This is because repetitive cleansing strips the skin of its natural lipids, depleting the natural protective barrier and impairing the skin’s ability to retain water. A compromised epidermis in itself can be both unsightly and dangerous, with cracked and broken skin more susceptible to a host of infections. To avoid casualty, we can help to keep hands more supple and safe with the religious slathering of a quality hand cream.

Enter Alpha-H hand treatments; the closest thing to “silk gloves in a bottle”, our clinically designed formulas can help to give distressed hands and nails a new lease on life. Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold Rose Hand Cream is a restorative emollient hand treatment that’s rich in texture and devoid of greasy residue. Incorporating 10% Glycolic Acid and 2% Lactic Acid, Liquid Gold Rose Hand Cream refines and regenerates the skin’s surface by encouraging cell turnover. While the two AHAs can assist to polish the skin’s texture, conditioning oils like Jojoba and Avocado then help to nourish hands with their essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants. Enriched with Vitamin E and laced with a luxe rose fragrance, our Liquid Gold Rose Hand Cream elevates this increasingly important self-care ritual. For those looking to extend their gilded youth, it’s hard to beat the zesty appeal and silky feel of Alpha-H’s Age Delay Hand and Cuticle Cream. Formulated with the same creamy nutritive oils and gentle resurfacing properties as its Liquid Gold peer, Age Delay Hand & Cuticle Cream also draws on a suite of citrus essential oils like Orange Blossom and Lemon.

If you’re applying after using hand sanitiser, wait until it has evaporated completely (30 seconds give or take) before applying hand cream. Game-changing though they may be, due to the use of active AHAs in our formulas, these are not designed for those suffering contact dermatitis, inflamed or broken skin. In this instance, we recommend seeking professional medical advice prior to use.

Progress is often the work of many small deeds – so go on and give your hands the love and attention they deserve, because in these uncertain times a little TLC can be life changing.