Discover the Skin Soothing Benefits of Glycerin
by B. Ready Wellness Editor
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Prevent skin dryness from hand sanitizer with key ingredients
“I love good hand sanitizer, but I do not love dry winter skin!” With low humidity in the air brought on by winter, skin may already not have enough moisture. Add to that the skin-drying alcohol found in today’s travel wellness necessity—hand sanitizer, and hands need extra support to stay healthy and supple. While it is helpful to apply lotion or ointment after using hand sanitizer, this is not always practical nor readily available. There is a fantastic and simple solution—reminiscent of the two-in-one shampoo and conditioner bottle. Choose ingredients in hand sanitizer that are also naturally moisturizing and soothing for hands to offset the dry winter air and alcohol disinfectant.
CDC recommendations for hand sanitizer
When choosing a hand sanitizer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a product with at least 60% ethanol (ethyl) or isopropyl alcohol. This should be applied every time hands require sanitizing, especially when it is not possible to wash them with soapy water. Your car safety pack should include readily accessible hand sanitizer for use when working, traveling, shopping, or anytime when soap and water are not readily available. Frequent use of hand sanitizer is often a necessary part of wellness travel.
With the past year’s increased safety protocols, the side effects of frequently using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is too-dry hands. A June 2020 article published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health titled “COVID-19 and frequent use of hand sanitizers; human health and environmental hazards by exposure pathways” explains that “Excessive use of alcohol-based sanitizer increased permeability of skin and deprives oil and water from skin and leads to skin roughness and irritation. Dry and damaged skin is (a) hotbed for… increased risk of virus entry into skin.” So, while the alcohol found in sanitizer is very effective against germs, the damage it can do to skin may create its own set of issues.
Best practices for using hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer should be used only when hand washing with soap and water is not available. The CDC recommends using enough hand sanitizer to cover all surfaces, and to rub hands together for about 20 seconds until they are dry. They also advise not wiping the sanitizer off, otherwise it may not be effective against germs.
If hand washing is not available, hands sanitizer should be used before eating, removing your face covering, or touching your face. Additionally, hand sanitizer is needed after using a restroom, coughing, sneezing, using a tissue, after leaving a public space if surfaces or handles were touched, or after caring for someone who is ill.
What to look for in an effective and soothing hand sanitizer
In addition to at least 60% alcohol, it is recommended to choose a hand sanitizer with added moisturizers and ingredients beneficial for skin. For example, B. Ready’s Destinations Antibacterial Hand Gel contains a germ-busting 62% ethyl alcohol, with skin-loving glycerin (more on that coming up), aloe, vitamins B5 and E, plus gentle and sensory soothing essential oils.
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What is glycerin actually?
Glycerin is a common ingredient used in many products and holds some very special properties worth sharing. The vegetable glycerin found in our Destinations Antibacterial Hand Gel is plant-based and vegan friendly. However, being a sugar alcohol, glycerin can also be derived from animal products like tallow, or even petroleum. To make vegetable glycerin, vegetable fats high in triglycerides such as palm, soy, and coconut oils are either heated under pressure or blended with a strong alkali, like lye. This causes a reaction that splits the glycerin and the fatty acids in the oil apart, and the glycerin mixes with water. This process, otherwise known as saponification, is what forms the sweet, odorless syrup known as glycerin.
Amazing skin benefits of glycerin
Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a humectant. This means it is hygroscopic, or able to attract and absorb moisture from the air. A common ingredient in products used for skin conditions including psoriasis and dermatitis, glycerin is able to draw out moisture within the body from under the skin as well, meaning moisture levels increase for all skin layers, not just the outer ones.
Glycerin can also protect the skin from irritants, like the alcohol in hand sanitizer. It can improve the functioning of the skin barrier, and even accelerate the process of wound-healing.
What are some other ways glycerin is used?
The near superpowers of glycerin are applied to numerous beneficial uses, making it an ingredient found in countless products. In addition to skin care, glycerin is present in many foods, cosmetics, and medicine. It is used to drying in some food products, and even helps prevents ice crystals from forming on ice cream and frozen yogurt. If you have ever wondered why toothpaste does not dry out or harden in the tube; thank glycerin and its wonderful moisture-retaining properties. Glycerin is also commonly found in candles, deodorant, soaps and detergents, prescription and over the counter pills, topical creams, dairy items, cleaning wipes, canned and packaged fruits and grains, and more.
Intensive care: how can I treat my very dry hands?
In addition to using a hand sanitizer with glycerin and other skin-loving ingredients, you can supplement your hand care regimen overnight. Before bed (once a week or ass needed) give your hands the “wet glove treatment.” Apply a thick layer of moisturizing ointment or cream to hands. Before the moisturizer dries, put on cotton gloves, or moisturizing gloves specially designed for helping hand heal from dryness. Keep the gloves on all night, or as long as comfortable. The why behind this beneficial hand treatment is explained in a study from the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology titled “Therapeutic Implications of the Circadian Clock on Skin Function,” which suggests that skin cells grow and repair throughout the night. Dr. Dennis Gross, a New York City-based dermatologist provides further details on why nurturing hands at night is so helpful in a recent article in The Healthy that explains how nighttime is “when cell mitosis—cell division that renews and repairs skin—is at its peak. This is when cells need nutrients the most.”
B. Ready for winter weather and some winter travel!
Now that your hand health is covered, how about a little wintering daydreaming and maybe scheming your next winter road trip destination? B. inspired by checking out these recommendations for the Five Best Small Town Destinations in the US – Winter. Keep your hands soft and germ-free during winter travel fun by using the Destinations Antibacterial Hand Gel found in our Cruise Safety Travel Pack, Car Safety Pack, and popular Airline Travel Safety Pack. Choose the perfect customizable travel pack for your next adventure...wherever you may roam.