Everyone's hands are drier than ever before as we flock to sinks every 15 minutes in an effort to combat the transfer of COVID-19. On the upside, this is one of the CDC's top recommendations for combatting the virus. On the downside, the constant hand-washing can lead to cracked, flaky hands and fingertips. However, the best luxury hand soaps are helping with that. They're blending the cleansing properties we need with good-for-the-barrier ingredients, ensuring that our hands aren't longing for lotion after every trip to the basin.
One main reason people's hands are drying is because they're relying on antibacterial soaps, which are great for germ-killing but not necessarily a necessity. "As it pertains to COVID-19, it is a virus — not a bacteria — so there's no need," Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., a Connecticut-based dermatologist, tells. And a report by the CDC corroborates those claims, stating that any kind of soap will suffice. So if dry skin is your concern, Robinson recommends formulas with ingredients like vitamin E and shea butter. And while everyone can appreciate a rich aroma, steer clear of heavily perfumed soaps — at least for right now. "They may smell amazing, but that means they can also be full of fragrance, which can be extra drying and may cause irritation especially if skin is already dry," Robinson notes.
While some are resorting to hand sanitizer as a substitute when good ol' water and soap aren't around, Dr. Amy Shah, M.D., an Arizona-based doctor, maintains that nothing beats actual soap whenever you have access to it. "It's the best because of the lipid envelope that it has," she says. "That fatty outer-layer is much more easily dissolved with soap than it is hand sanitizer, doesn't matter if it's liquid or bar."
However, the experts don't recommend taking any shortcuts trying to avoid drying out your hands. "The most important thing is to lather with friction for more than 20 seconds, and dry with force with a towel to rid of germs," Robinson says.
To note, there's no set number on how many times you should wash your hands per day. Instead, it's all dependent on lifestyle. "I'd suggest before and after eating, drinking, washing your face, doing makeup, during skincare routines, and before and after brushing your teeth," Robinson says. "And of course, always wash after interacting with a shared surface or touching someone else, as well as before and after using the bathroom."
Ahead, here are 10 effective and luxurious soaps — all in stock — to try if you're looking to cheer yourself up with a small yet necessary indulgence.
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If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.
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