LAST week, I wrote about my obsessive hand hygiene habits that have negatively impacted my skin microbiome. But fear not, you do not need to suffer my fate. I’ve learned a few things and I’m sharing below some solutions for sensitive hands during this pandemic.

Wash your hands frequently but choose your soap wisely. Pick liquid soap over bar soap. It offers less contamination.

Choose soap that will treat your hands gently. The coronavirus is encased in a coat of fat or lipid. Any type of soap can do the job of dissolving the coat and deactivating the virus. You don’t need an antibacterial. It’s a virus.

It’s more important to wash your hands thoroughly including your fingers. There is no need to scrub. You are not going to do surgery. There is no need to rub dry. You can just pat dry. But dry thoroughly. Wet hands spread germs more easily than dry hands. Use paper towels rather than reusable hand towels.

Hand drying is just as important as hand washing. Take your time when you do both.

Strong antibacterial soaps may look like the perfect weapon against microbes but they’re not designed for targeted attacks. They massacre entire bacterial colonies. When they kill your resident skin flora, they effectively kill your defense forces.

Strong soaps are a double-edged dagger. They can sanitize your hands but they can also severely dry them and inflict cuts that provide pathogens easy entry into your body.

Frequent hand washing strips your hands of its natural oils. After you wash, don’t forget to moisturize. Creams are heavier than lotions. I use a dry-skin hand cream with 20% shea butter when my hands are under critical-care condition.

If you can, wash your hands with soap and water rather than use a hand sanitizer. To do its job, hand sanitizers need a particular level of alcohol concentration which can prove irritating to the skin. Whenever possible, avoid fragrance. You don’t need additional irritants.

When doing your skincare regimen, use one hand to open and hold the container and the other, to apply the product to your skin. Avoid jars. You need two hands to open them. You also need to dip your fingers in to get the product out. And there are times when you need to double dip because you didn’t get enough.

I prefer skincare products I can spray on (not aerosol) or squirt on my face or squeeze out of containers. I prefer tubes, pump and squirt bottles over jars. They’re more hygienic. And they help me cut down on the number of times I need to wash my hands.

I’m not a great fan of gloves because they limit my ability to feel stuff. But I now wear them on cleaning sprees. Take sweaty hands out of gloves immediately. Moist hands are perfect breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria.

Just a few solutions for sensitive hands.