May. 02, 2020

How to treat dry hands

Can't you stand the feeling of dry and rough skin after washing your hands frequently? Well, we can't stand it either. Coat your hands with a lavish layer of skin cream or serum to achieve that baby soft skin.



In this skin tip Dr. Barbara Geusens gives more in depth advice on how to treat DRY SKIN. When suffering from dry skin, you know what absolute burden it is to find the right treatment.

Detergents and their ability to dry out

Whatever soap you use, it contains ingredients that will surround greasy particles and dirt to be then washed away with water. We mostly know these cleaning agents by the name detergents . The scientific term for detergents is surfactants. These surfactants have amphiphilic properties . This is a rather complicated term to indicate that an ingredient has both water-loving and oil-loving properties .

As most of the dirt particles on our hands are oil-based, they can be easily trapped into the core of the surfactant. The water-loving parts of the surfactant, located on the surface, interact with water in order to remove dirt easily from the skin.

How detergents weaken the skin's barrier

Our outer skin layer (stratum corneum) exists of dead skin cells and a lipid layer which are structured as a 'brick-and-mortar' model. In this case the bricks are the dead skin cells and the lipid layer is the mortar. These form our skin's barrier .

This lipid layer contains ceramides together with cholesterol and triglycerides and prevents that water is evaporated from our skin. This is crucial to avoid skin dehydration. The not-so-fun-fact is that when we wash our hands frequently this lipid layer is basically stripped away and we lose an important part of our skin barrier, leaving a dry and irritated feeling.

Does water dry out your skin?

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it will force water out of the body. After drinking, a disturbed moisture balance arises and vitamins and minerals are withdrawn from the body. The body will even have difficulties getting rehydrated afterwards. This disturbed balance will not only cause headache (hangover), it also leads to a dehydrated skin . Considering that hydration is one of the most important factors for a healthy and glowing skin, dehydration will cause fine lines and wrinkles to be more visible due to the lack of water. Therefore, it is important to drink lots of water to restore the water balance.

Prolonged drinking can lead to chronic dehydration and disruption of the skin barrier's function.

Which hand washes cause skin irritation and how to avoid them

The local form of irritation is characterized by flaky, cracked, dry skin and redness with a burning and painful sensation. This condition is called hand eczema . Even though you might think all soaps function in the same way, that's not the case.

  • The classical soap that comes in a bar or liquid is effective in removing bacteria, viruses and dirt particles. What people like about these soaps is the fact that they provide a lot of foam . This is often associated with a clean feeling. Nevertheless, foam is not always a positive thing as it means as it is high in concentration of the more aggressive surfactants leaving our skin to feel dry. Also, they have a higher pH (pH 10) than the skin (pH 5.5) , which contributes to the aggressiveness of classical soaps.

  • Maybe you've come across the syndets . These are formulated in a way that it includes a milder mixture of surfactants. Their pH is more compatible with the skin which is beneficial for more gentle cleaning of our hands. They are very effective in removing dirt particles but often dismissed as people experience a less pleasant washing sensation.

  • How about a combination of soap and syndets ? It exists! It is called a comb. Think about the Dove beauty cream bar for example. It provides a gentle cleaning experience and is effective against bacteria, viruses and dirt with respect for the skin's pH.

Questions have been circulating by scientists on the efficacy of these different hand washes on the removal of viruses as they differ in composition. Some claim that using classical soaps are still the best way to remove viruses from our skin, despite the irritating feeling afterwards.

The reason for this may be that a higher pH is less desirable for viruses to survive. Moreover, it has been observed that the hand rubbing time with soap and water has an influence on the removal of viruses as well. A rubbing time of 15-20 seconds reduces the chances of infection more than rubbing for 5-10 seconds. Keep the rubbing time in mind if you prefer using milder soaps such as syndets or combars.


How to treat dry hands

Using a good hand cream on a daily basis can do wonders for your skin. Use a cream that:


Includes both water and oils (lipids). In this way, the oils will lock in the moisture into the skin and water makes the cream more pleasant to use as it will absorb better and quicker.

Is not occlusive such as petroleum jelly. These will prevent water loss from the skin but only remain on the surface. For people with very dry skin, this might help for a while, but at the same time it will create an 'addictive' feeling of to your skin. We recommend using a cream that is rich in oils but also contains a certain level of water.

Does not contain fragrances . 26 fragrances such as limonene, benzyl alcohol, citral, eugenol, etc. are associated with allergic reactions when used >0.001% in leave-on and >0.01% in rinse-off products. As it is obligated to mention these fragrances in the ingredient list, you will be able to identify them right away.

Nosome Skin Tip

Your Nomige products can be used to provide a soothing feeling to your hands:

Use the night serum for an extra moisturizing boost as it is enriched with skin mimicking lipids such as ceramides.

night serum


Use the day serum to repair your hands faster with its highly potent antioxidants.

Day Serum


Learn about DNA skincare & Nomige from Dr. Barbara Geusens

Watch an interactive and educational session where you can learn more about your skin, the role of your DNA, skincare and the Nomige concept.

The online Masterclass is the ideal opportunity to learn more about Nomige and DNA skincare.

Want to know more about dry skin?

You can recognize a dry skin by redness, flakes or chunks. Especially after taking a shower or bath you will notice this. Your skin is weakened, feels like it is going to crack and is in need of extra care.

Follow our story

Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date of the latest skin tips and news.

Follow our story

Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date of the latest skin tips and news.

Follow the hashtag #MyNomige and stay informed about the latest skin tips and news.
Everything you need to know about your skin
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Everything you need to know about your skin