With H1N1 on the scene, people are washing their hands more frequently and are using antibacterial products more often as well.
With frequent hand-washing, I recommend products that are natural, or as natural as possible.
Dry your hands completely between washing. Do not expose your hands to extreme cold temperatures while damp.
When bathing, do not use overly hot water. Hot water tends to sap the skin of its natural oils. When the hands and skin become stripped of natural oils, they are more susceptible to bacteria and skin irritation. Skin allergies can also flare following over-washing of hands.
Use products that moisturize the skin often. Products that contain natural oils are beneficial to dry skin in the coldest of seasons. They can provide a thin protective barrier to the elements.
I read an article, and have chosen to not link to it, that advised readers to not use a bottle of soap if it lists “soap” on the label. I disagree with part of that statement. Soap that is just that, soap, and not a detergent, is better for sensitive skin than a soap that contains detergents and surfactants. A “true” soap simply does just that, it cleanses the skin without additives that may/or may not irritate your skin.
I have talked about anti-bacterial products before, and I am not going to dive back into them in-depth today. In my opinion, for your own immune system to work properly (to not develop immunities), and for the environment’s sake, I personally avoid anti-bacterial products.
Simple skin care…less irritating, the bottom line.