Hand sanitizer can make your skin dry, itchy and burning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the very existence of human civilization. As a matter of fact, it still is having an impact and we don’t yet know the full magnitude of its effects on us. In some ways, what happened in a matter of months set humanity back several years of progress. COVID-19 steepened economies, took the lives of thousands of people, exacerbated the global mental health crisis and challenged the way we view our world. On a more individual scale, have you ever thought about what COVID is doing to our skin?
What do dry skin and hand sanitizer have in common?
One can cause the other.
COVID has made us clean freaks! More specifically, we’ve become sanitation junkies adopting a daily ritual of keeping our hands (and just about every other surface you can imagine) incredibly clean and sterilized at all times. Our hands are wet more than they’re dry, hand sanitizer is applied by the pound and we’ve stocked up on enough cleaning supplies to last us until the next pandemic!
But have we really taken the time to consider what all these sanitization practices are doing to our bodies? Research tells us that internally and externally our bodies are filled with and covered in bacteria called microbes. There are both good and bad microbes – the good ones help protect us from bad bacteria, pathogens, viruses, germs and other invasive organisms. Think of these tiny microbes as our little bacterial angels who guard us and keep away the bacterial demons. Good bacteria are present inside our bodies and on our skin’s surface to maintain a healthy balance and inhibit the growth of too much bad bacteria. When we use drugs such as antibiotics or apply sterilizers like hand sanitizer, we kill both types of bacteria. If any bad bacteria are left over, they are prone to overgrowth in the absence of the good bacterial angels.
A closer look at the body’s largest organ: the skin
The skin we wear is what defines our appearance and ethnicity, not to mention the fact that it’s our blank canvas for tattoos!
Our skin is also our first line of defence, protecting us as we go about our daily lives.
At a microscopic level, the skin consists of many layers of collagen tightly packed together like a brick wall to create a strong shield. The skin is made up of three major parts: epidermis, dermis and hypo-dermis. The hypo-dermis is comprised of fat, muscle and bone, so we’re going to focus on the other two parts.
The top layer of the skin is the epidermis, which breaks down further into the stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum and stratum basale. Stratum corneum is the top of the epidermis and consists of about 15 to 30 layers of dead skin cells. It is in a state of constant regeneration called keratinization.
Why is my skin so dry? Am I using too much hand sanitizer?
When we apply alcohol-based products to our skin, we burn off layers of cells and fight our own skin’s natural process of regeneration. The more you use, the more layers you burn off. You’ll know you’ve really overdone it if you start to get a burning sensation on your skin.
Should we never use sanitizer again? No. But be aware of how much you’re using and be sure only to use it when it is absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, wash and scrub your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to protect yourself from unwanted viruses and bacteria.
How the skin absorbs hand sanitizer
Not only is our skin our first line of defence, but it also acts as a sponge to help us absorb nutrients. Whatever products we apply to our skin, our pores immediately open up and begin to absorb that product through the different layers of the epidermis. From here, the product goes down into the dermis layer where our lymph and blood streams transport it directly into our body. Different products have different absorption rates.
Each time you use hand sanitizer, think of it being poured inside your body. This is essentially what happens, just at a much slower rate. The problem is that over time, this can lead to excessive consumption that makes our skin overly dry and sensitive, and pollutes the inside of our bodies unnecessarily.
Instead of hand sanitizer
Good ol’ fashioned hand washing with water and soap still proves to be the best and safest way for us to be clean and sterile, while keeping our bodies shielded from harmful contaminants. To combat dry and itchy skin from COVID-induced hand sanitizer usage, apply vitamins such as A, D and E, and natural products like raw shea butter and almond oil to nourish your skin back to smooth and silky health.
Wear it with pride!
Your skin is your permanent outfit – make it gorgeous from the inside out! Treat your skin well by making smart decisions, and stay safe and healthy in the process.Moisturize often and consider using our very own Whole Balm product, loaded with vitamins and nutrients to help repair, moisturize, strengthen and rejuvenate your skin through this pandemic and beyond.
For more information on tattoos, tattoo-related topics, or just overall good tattoo content – check us out on Instagram, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (647) 501 8222!
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