Can Hand Sanitiser Destroy Your Manicure?
Hand sanitiser has become an essential tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 but it isn’t without problems of its own. The alcohol in most hand sanitisers can dry out nails and crack cuticles. It can also cause polish to chip and for regular nail polish can even be used as a polish remover! Nails that lack enough moisture often become weak , and weak nails don’t carry nail polish like a healthy nail bed will.
Many of us don’t realise that every time we use an alcohol-based sanitiser it is causing harm to our fingernails and ruining our manicures. Moisture is key! Nails need some level of water content to allow the keratin protein to stay flexible when bent. The alcohol in sanitiser strips nails of moisture, leaving them more susceptible to breakage. A healthy fingernail, which is properly hydrated, should bend.
We are constantly told that proper hand sanitisation is vital for infection prevention, so what can we do to prevent dry nails?
It is always recommended to wash hands with water and soap to completely eradicate the germs. Use sanitisers only when water and soap are not available. Avoid sanitisers with triclosan, triclocarban, phthalate, and parabens. There are many alcohol-free sanitiser options that are just as effective and actually healthy for skin and nails. Try switching to a non-alcohol hand sanitiser. In addition to being alcohol-free, some sanitisers contain many skin healthy ingredients, like aloe vera, urea, lactic acid and allantoin, which restore moisture to hands and fingernails by allowing it to absorb more water.