Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.

I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention that keeping your hands clean during times of viral pandemics is imperative. So please, absolutely embrace proper personal hand cleansing techniques. That said, hand washing with soap and water, as well as the use of hand sanitizers can wreak havoc on the delicate skin on the skin backside of the hands, leaving them dry, irritated, sore, inflamed and even cracked. 

Here are five tips to keep your hands soft, smooth and supple during this virus season!

1) Wear gloves:

If you think you are in a situation where there might be viral pathogens, simply don powder-free, disposable gloves, touch what you need to and dispose of the gloves carefully in an appropriate trash receptacle. This will not only prevent your skin from coming in contact with the germs, but it will also allow you to forgo the use of hand sanitizer or washing your hands again. 

2) Quickly moisturize with a light-weight product:

After hand cleansing, make sure your hands are completely dry and then quickly apply a light-weight moisturizer designed for the face or body. Yes, you read that correctly! Products designed for the hands are often too thick and sticky for multiple daily uses, so switch it up and use a body or face moisturizer — like Uridin Lotion 10 and Drenchedon your hands. They are light enough that they won’t weigh you down but rich enough to prevent hand dryness. And you can use them repeatedly throughout the day!

3) Try a hand mask: 

As the name suggests, masks have traditionally been used for the face, but now they are formulated for hand use as well. Hand masks are designed to lock in moisture and soothe dry skin. 

4) Use skin protectant: 

While moisturizers will help mitigate the irritation that hand cleaning can cause, sometimes, it’s just not enough and you have to pull out the big guns! In this case, I recommend over-the-counter dermatology products originally designed for psoriasis and eczema, but can now be used as an actual skin protectant. Try VaniPly Ointment from Dr. Deanne Mraz-Robinson at Modern Dermatology.

5) Treat them overnight: 

Cotton, moisturizing gloves are readily available and allow you many hours of hand relief, all while you sleep! Simply apply a generous coat of your favorite targeted moisturizer — like CBD Hand & Body Massage Lotion or Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatmentput a pair of cotton gloves on, hit the sheets and wake up luxuriously moisturized hands!

No one wants to deal with a viral cold, but hand care is an important part of self-care, too. So treat your whole body well with these great products and tips!