Tips for Managing Dry Hands During Covid-19


Use an Alcohol Free Hand Sanitiser

The compulsory use of alcohol based hand sanitisers and latex gloves have brought about complaints of dry, irritated, and itchy skin. Dermatologists say that the increase of such complaints are mostly due to the constant use of alcohol based sanitisers and frequent handwashing with soap.

The alcohol content in the sanitiser is also the main component that is essential to killing germs and viruses. Every time a person sanitises their hands, the alcohol will evaporate and take along the skin’s natural moisture.

If this moisture is not replenished, it usually leads to hand dermatitis. And if left untreated, it will escalate to eczema and subsequently the skin can show allergic reactions to the different compounds that come in contact with the hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water frequently to reduce contamination from germs and chemicals. However, we are not always close to a sink. So, you should always carry a hand sanitiser with you.

Here we discuss the merits and demerits of alcohol free hand sanitiser, how to choose one, and how to use it.

Why use an alcohol-free hand sanitiser – does it work?

Safe and easy on the hands

Many non-alcohol hand sanitisers are made of 0.12% of Benzalkonium Chloride, water, thickening agent, and perhaps some skin conditioner, and vitamins. These components protect against germs, such as bacteria. They also have a more soothing effect with no burning sensation because they have no alcohol.

Some modern and innovative hand creams which dual as a hand sanitiser, contains activated silver particulate which is designed to stay on the skin surface and defend it against viruses, microbial and germs.

Moisturising effect

As you are already washing or sanitising your hands frequently during the pandemic, you may want to switch to hand creams that sanitise and moisturise your hands concurrently. This not only saves time and product usage, it also ensures that your hands are kept healthy and you can avoid cracks in your skin.

Long lasting 

You won’t have to reapply often and even if you forget to, you are still safe and moisturised. For example, being in air conditioned room for long periods, may cause skin to be dry. Applying a hand cream that is long lasting can help eliminate that dryness.

Long lasting hand creams should also be water resistant so that microdroplets or sweat are not able to penetrate the protective barrier. 

Improves skin’s resilience

A key point in promoting hand skin strength is improving skin’s resilience and resistance to the elements in the air and surrounding as hands get the most use and is subject to the most abuse from chemicals and other compounds.

Free of synthetic colors, fragrances, alcohol and silicones

Products that contain any of the mentioned are not good for your skin although it may smell or look nice. You should choose products based on their ingredients. It is also better that the hand cream you use is made from natural ingredients. 


Sanitisers are not as effective as hand washing with soap, but they can prevent the transfer of bacteria and viruses among people. They are more convenient when you are outdoors. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water is still the best way to get rid of germs and to prevent their spread to others.

Alcohol based sanitizers have long raised concerns in the media and community although they are sometimes considered more effective in eliminating germs, viruses and bacteria. 

A side effect is that alcohol-based hand sanitisers often end up causing hand dryness and rashes after prolonged use. This happens because alcohol strip away the natural moisture barrier that helps to retain moisture in your skin. The absence of this barrier can cause skin irritations and in worst-case scenarios, cause dermatitis. 

As such, many people are now seriously considering to go with alcohol-free hand sanitisers. If you do choose to use a non-alcohol sanitiser, try to choose a product that sanitises along with moisturisation. Its protection also lasts longer than the alcohol-based sanitisers. 

With love,

Coreenna Ong

Coreenna Ong

Co-founder and Head of Research

Ms Ong has more than 25 years of extensive experiences in research and development, conceptualization, formulation, and production process development. She is currently the Head of Research and Development at aspurely skincare.

She has authored 2 best-selling Beauty and Wellness books with Marshall Cavendish, Nature’s Spa: DIY Beauty Treatments and Nature’s Treats: Recipes for Wellness, which are currently available in the Singapore National Library collection.

Ms Ong was also a Beauty columnist for Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore's largest Chinese-language newspaper publication, with huge regional presence. As its weekly expert contributor, she shared the latest research and technologies from the Beauty industry, and addressed many readers’ skincare issues and concerns, offered beauty tips, quick fixes and insider knowledge.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Invite & Earn

Signup to start sharing your link

Receive a S$10 voucher

when you sign up as a member to enjoy our aspurely Rewards!

*Terms and Conditions apply.

Exclusive perks for aspurely Rewards members.
Starter Pack, All Year Discount, Exclusive Privileges and more..