A hand gesture is worth a thousand words. Our hands can show our age, tell our story and flaunt our personality. Love, hate, and happiness can be conveyed with a caress, flick, or wave of our hands. They’re such handy tools; we should take better care of them!
Washing dishes or using other strong cleaning solutions with our bare hands can undermine the richest, most emollient hand cream. The properties that make soaps cut grease and dissolve dirt also make them hard on our skin.
Skin has a pH of between 4 and 6.5 making it slightly acidic. Soaps like dish-washing liquid and even hand soaps are alkaline, which makes them hard on the skin. The pH number is a measure of acidity. Pure water is neutral with a pH of about 7. Solutions with less than 7 are considered acidic and greater than 7 are alkaline. A soap with a pH 8 is ten times more alkaline than one with a pH 7 and a pH 9 soap is ten times harsher than a pH 8 making a pH 10 a thousand times more alkaline than pH 7.
A brand can claim to have added ingredients that soften skin but a high pH can counter all the skin softeners in the world. The pH number does not have to be listed on the label and usually isn’t. To find the best quality mildest hand and dish soaps use Skin Deep to search for options with as low a pH number as you can find.
The best way to take care of the hands is to protect them on a daily basis:
- Wear gloves when using dish soap or cleaning agents and when gardening, sanding or painting.
- Wear a high SPF sunscreen on your hands (especially the backs) every day, even in winter and on cloudy days.
- Wear gloves when it’s cold.
- Use lotion on your hands after you wash them, and right before bed.
- Use your facial exfoliator and night cream on your hands once a week.