Frequent hand washing: tips for dry hands & eczema
  • Sensitive skin
  • Skin care

Frequent hand washing: tips for dry hands & eczema

Ever wondered why hands are so vulnerable to dryness? We explain and help you to choose an eczema-friendly hand wash and find the best lotion for frequently washed hands.

Von Alexandra Julian

6 Minute read

Frequently washing your hands with an antibacterial hand wash is thought to be the best way to keep yourself and others safe from harmful bacteria but it can leave you with dry, cracked skin or eczema.

Ever wondered why hands are so vulnerable to dryness? We explain and help you to choose an eczema-friendly hand wash and find the best lotion for frequently washed hands

Why does hand sanitising leave hands feeling dry?

The best hygiene practice is to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day or to use an antibacterial hand sanitiser if you don’t have access to soap and water.

This will expose your skin to a variety of antibacterial actives which can help to stop infections entering the skin. Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is one such active but as well as killing bacteria, it also strips away skin’s natural moisture.

If your hand sanitiser contains a high volume of this skin-drying ingredient, it’s normal to notice that your hands feel dry after frequent use.

It’s also not just alcohol-rubs which can leave your skin feeling dry; hands have few sebaceous glands so frequently washing them with skin-drying soaps that contain Sodium lauryl sulphate will draw moisture out of the skin and may leave the hands feeling sore and irritated.

How to protect dry hands from hand washing


Not only is having dry skin on your hands uncomfortable, it can mean that your skin barrier has been compromised.

A strong, healthy skin barrier plays an important role in keeping bad bacteria away from the body so, if frequent hand washing leaves you with dry skin, make sure you replenish the skin with a natural hand cream made with actives known to support the skin barrier.

Perilla Seed oil is an ideal natural ingredient for supporting the skin barrier on the hands. Easily absorbed by the skin and rich in flavones and antioxidants, Perilla oil contains a natural precursor for ceramides.

This plays a role in maintaining the skin barrier and protects against water loss. Another benefit of this omega-rich oil is that it contains polyphenols and triterpenoids. These natural molecules provide anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-allergic benefits to the skin.

If you have eczema or your hands are frequently irritated by hand care products, support your skin barrier with Squalane hand care. A natural emollient, Squalane increases moisture levels in the skin, locking in long-lasting hydration. This anti-inflammatory ingredient will also reduce redness and calm irritation.


An easy way to avoid dry skin when washing your hands frequently is to use an SLS-free hand wash. 

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is commonly added to soaps and hand washes to make them foam but, like ethanol alcohol, it can dry the skin.

All Green People hand washes are suitable for eczema-prone skin and are made without SLS and ethanol alcohol.


Drying your hands thoroughly is as important as washing them regularly. Not only will excess soap cling to the skin, putting it at risk of irritation and dryness, but damp, wet hands will attract more germs than dry, clean ones.

Pay particular attention to drying in between your fingers.


Detergents and washing-up liquids can contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances and SLS. These ingredients can aggravate already sensitised skin and are best avoided when you are suffering with dry skin or eczema on your hands.

If you’re doing the cleaning or washing up, always pop on a pair of protective, waterproof gloves to protect your hands.


Very dry hands can benefit from an overnight hand mask. Apply a hand cream that’s rich in nourishing actives just before bed and, for extra intense hydration, wear cotton gloves whilst you sleep.

Eczema-friendly hand cream and hand wash

Bring soothing delight to dry hands with Quinoa & Calendula Hand and Body Lotion, our best cream for frequently washed hands. Rich in plant proteins and barrier-boost moisturisers, your skin will feel soft and hydrated as Calendula calms and Quinoa and Perilla release their reparative properties.

Sensitive to fragrance? Our Scent Free Body Lotion is perfect for those that prefer their hand cream without fragrance. Rich in reparative Perilla Oil and dry-skin-repairing Evening Primrose Oil, there’s no essential oils or synthetic perfumes to worry about, just feel-good skin softness for your sensitive skin to enjoy!

Complete your hand care routine with the eczema-friendly Manuka & Lemon Tea Tree Antibacterial Hand Wash.

Cream for children with dry hands

It's not just adults who are suffering with dry hands from frequent hand washing. 

It can also be tough on young skin, leaving children's hands extremely dry, especially if they are prone to eczema. If your child complains of sore, red or dry hands, help them to soothe their skin with a hand cream that’s just right for them.

Non greasy and bursting with gently soothing Aloe Vera, a plant long used for its healing and hydrating properties, our Organic Children Aloe Vera Lotion absorbs fast to soothe dry skin and leaves children with dry hands feeling much more comfortable.

Need help choosing the right hand cream and hand wash if you have eczema? Whether you want help choosing a hand cream for dry skin or a natural antibacterial hand wash, our UK customer care team is happy to help. 

We can be contacted Monday - Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm on telephone (0)1403 740350.

If you wish to republish this content, please credit Green People as the original creator with a link to "Frequent hand washing: tips for dry hands & eczema". Please do not use an affiliate link.


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