With salons now undertaking more hand washing and use of sanitisers than ever, therapists are beginning to suffer with skin issues ranging from dryness, redness, skin cracking through to full contact dermatitis and eczema flair-ups.

Essential oils are amazing ingredients and have been used for millennia due to their amazing effects for balance to the skin, mind and overall wellbeing. However, as amazing as they are, they have an extremely small molecular size meaning they can pass through the skin tissues rapidly and potentially pose a high irritation potential when used on broken or impaired skin.

With our hands being so fundamental to offering treatments, how can we alleviate these negative issues? Here we share 4 top tips to sooth and protect your hands:

1 – Glove up
Some therapists simply choose to wear gloves when performing treatments thus providing a barrier from the products; opting for nitrile or non latex gloves is the best option for comfort for you and your client. Ensure the gloves are a comfortable fit for you, tight enough to not feel restrictive for you but not loose enough so your hands move around inside.

For some therapists the thought of wearing gloves certainly goes against the grain, so If you wish to maintain that hand on skin contact without a barrier, then you may want to consider some of our next suggestions.

2 – Adapt your techniques
Cleansing & Exfoliation – Apply cleanser with Eve Taylor fan brushes to spread the product on to the skin and continue to performing the cleanse itself with the Eve Taylor facial cleansing brush/s. You can find our cleanse technique in the Skincare Navigator Volume 5 as well as our technique videos in the professional area of the website. If Exfoliating, the same method can be used.
Whilst this may sound like it won’t be enjoyable for the client, the long, slow rhythmical flowing of the application using our techniques creates a sensorial experience for them – absolute bliss!

Facial Massage – If you are finding the higher concentration blends of essential oils like massage oils or aromatic serums are irritating your damaged hands then temporarily avoid using them and in place use a plain carrier oil – this will assist your hand healing due to the lipid content in grapeseed, sweet almond, rosehip seed etc.

If you wish to treat the skin with aromatherapy then apply a few drops of aromatic serum from a retail bottle pipette. One drop on the forehead, one on each cheek and one on the chin, gentle smooth over the face using a gloved finger tip and follow with application of plain carrier – the latter will create a barrier between the aromatic serum and your hands and will create a multi level massage for your client. Alternatively apply a plain carrier oil to your hands as a barrier then proceed as normal with your massage.


3 – Self care
Whilst the emphasis is always on treating the client, you need to make sure self-care is at the forefront for your own wellbeing, otherwise the long-term impact will reduce your longevity in the industry. Look to keep your skin as hydrated as possible by applying lots of moisturiser. As our Hand & Nail Cream contains essential oils, limit use for now until your skins barrier is rebuilt and in place use Ultra Soothing Moisture Cream, this borage seed rich formulation is great for relieving irritation and redness; or for hands that are ultra dry, cracked and sore, opt for Moisturising Body Butter, an ultra rich butter which strengthens the skin barrier whilst nourishing and nurturing.

A lot of foaming hand washes contain surfactants which can break down the surface lipids further drying the skin, as we know in the salon you will likely have to continue to use such product in line with current regulations, however when at home we recommend limiting its use and opt for a creamy hand cleanser; our multi-use Ultra Soothing Cleanser will gently cleanse the hands without disrupting the delicate barrier.

4 – Internal influences
As well as topical use of products which can exacerbate eczema and contact dermatitis, stress and internal imbalance can be a major trigger and lead to a weakened skin barrier and areas of skin discomfort.

If you feel internal influences are impacting your skin, monitor your flair-ups, to see if there are any patterns between times or stress, anxiety or even the foods you consume. Identifying any correlations will allow you to look at eliminating trigger foods or work on the management of your stress levels and look at relief methods such as meditation or EFT which can both help greatly.

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