Hands fried from all that sanitiser? We have a homemade solution

If your hands are feeling the burn (literally) from non-stop washing and disinfecting this DIY nourishing balm will heal and hydrate in an instant.

I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve taken hand hygiene this seriously. Washing them with soap (the strong, disinfecting kind, not the lovely natural kind, by the way) and water constantly, dousing them in high-alcoholic levels of sanitiser after every encounter they have – the steering wheel, the keyboard, the trip to Woolies. If you look down and see a sad, dry set staring back at you it’s because they’re dehydrated and irritated – and quite frankly, if yours aren’t I’m impressed.

The skin on our hands is as delicate as the skin under our eyes so all that water and those drying chemicals are stripping our skin of its natural oils, leaving them red and pretty raw. Luckily, I’ve found a nourishing solution that you don’t need to leave self-isolation for – or spend cash on.

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Here’s how it works…

Oily emollients

Head to your pantry and I’m sure you’ll see a range of oils: hemp, olive, coconut, avocado, maybe even almond if you’re fancy. These ‘common’ staples are often found in skincare thanks to their nourishing and hydrating properties. The fatty acids and antioxidants they provide to skin can help leave skin radiant and plump. But they’re also known as emollients and occlusives.

When it comes to moisturiser there are three main heroes – humectants, occlusives and emollients. They’re responsible for keeping skin hydrated and silky-soft. Occlusives form a physical barrier over the skin to prevent transepidermal water loss and keep moisture locked in (essential when washing hands). Emollients work to fill in the gaps that cause skin to flake and crack. This magic trifecta is the key to hydrated, smooth skin.

Humectant honey

This special strand of the sweet, gooey stuff is known for its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to help reduce and repair red, inflamed and irritated skin. It’s also a natural humectant, drawing moisture into the skin and retaining it.

Essential oils, literally

These scented potions do more than just lull you off to sleep, depending on the ingredient or blend they have skin-boosting benefits, too. Choose your own based on your scent preference and skincare needs. Tea-tree can help calm skin and has anti-inflammatory properties, rosehip does wonders for skin texture and hydration, some call frankincense the ‘fountain of youth’ for it’s potential anti-ageing benefits.

Blend those all together and you’ve got yourself a natural, nourishing, hydrating, fragrant skin salve perfect to swipe over your knuckles and dry patches when need be. Plus, storing in the fridge (which is recommended) means it’s cooling, too. For hands that are chaffed or flaking try applying a thick layer before bed and slipping on cotton gloves, otherwise a light dose a few times a day should do the trick.

Homemade Manuka Oil Hand Balm recipe

You’ll need:

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp hemp oil
  • 1 tsp Manuka honey
  • A few drops of essential oils

To make:

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl before whisking with an electric mixer or hand whisk.

Blend until smooth and thick.

Pour into small dishes or jars and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.

Watch our step-by-step video to see how it’s done.

More essential coronavirus reading:

How Australians should sensibly prepare for a COVID-19 pandemic, the most dangerous myths to not buy into, why surgical face masks aren’t the answer, the five-step hand washing method to memorise, the proper way to use hand sanitiser, why hand dryers are a part of the problem and the seven most effective ways to protect yourself, according to a doctor.