5 Things Dermatologists Refuse to Use on Their Hands

Skin pros share the exact things they avoid for healthy, younger-looking hands in winter—and year-round.

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Antibacterial soap

HandsDrMadra/Shutterstock"When I'm not at work, I avoid hand sanitizers that contain triclosan because there's a risk of increasing the growth of multidrug-resistant bacteria—so-called superbugs. Triclosan can also cause significant skin irritation and dryness in many (including me). What do I use instead? Cetaphil bar soap."

Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist at Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York

Just stick to regular soap and water—there's really no need to use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers because plain old soap does the trick.

Salon manicures

nail-polishBasyn/Shutterstock"I avoid nail polish. It's partly because I see a lot of eyelid rashes from polish (the thick skin of the hands often doesn't react, but this more delicate site can). And it's partly because I've seen too much (mild to horrific infections from nail salons that don't properly sterilize tools). What I do swear by for my hands: Bloxsun Sun Gloves with UV protection. I wear them in the car so I don't need to bother with sunscreen. (I hate the tiny sun spots on my hands! I've been lasering them off and don't want them to come back.)"

Laurel Geraghty, MD, a beauty-editor-turned-dermatologist in Medford, Oregon

Here's how the toxins in nail polish affect your body.

Rubber gloves

GlovesBrittany Riboldi/Shutterstock"Having worn latex gloves for many years doing research, I now avoid them since latex is so allergenic. While I never developed an allergy to latex (which comes from the rubber tree), it's more common in people who've had regular exposure to rubber gloves. I don't even wear latex gloves when washing dishes—there are many alternatives."

Delphine Lee, MD, Chief and Program Director at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center/Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute

Here are some other weird things you can be allergic to.

Sunlight and UV nail lamps

Nail-manicuremotorolka/Shutterstock"UV light from the sun or nail lamps (used for gel manicures) cause cumulative DNA damage to skin and can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer. If you want to compare the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic aging on your skin, just compare the skin on your breasts and face. The skin is the same age—only the amount of sun exposure differs. So for optimum skin health, I wear broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+, 365 days a year."

—Fayne Frey, MD, a dermatologist in West Nyac, New York and founder of FryFace.com

These are the sunscreens dermatologists use on themselves.

Petroleum-based hand creams

HandAfrica Studio/Shutterstock"I don't use hand creams with petroleum because they're too greasy. Instead, I pick something with glycerin (like Eos Hand Lotion)—it's super hydrating yet not greasy so you can use your hands right away."

Debra Jaliman, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Besides glycerin, here's what else is in your moisturizer.

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