3 skin care tips for nurses

5 Skincare Mistakes You're Making

The effects of working long shifts go beyond achey muscles and sore feet; it can also be rough on your skin. Nurses are all too familiar with breakouts, rashes, skin bruising and dry patches due to rigorous washing of the hands while on shift, working long hours, and wearing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Taking good care of the skin is important for more than just one’s appearance. As the largest organ you have, your skin is essential to your general health. If you take care of it, it can help take care of you. Keeping our skin healthy and moist helps keep the barrier against any possible infection,” noted the Slum and Rural Health Initiative.

Here are three ways nurses can care for skin during long shifts:

Barrier cream

Barrier creams are products designed to protect the skin from irritants and allow the skin to heal itself from damage.

“This is the first layer of defense that provides protection to the deeper layers of your skin,” board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City Lauren Penzi told Harper’s Bazaar.

Examples of barrier creams include Vaseline, Aquaphor and Kiehls.

Gentle cleanser

Gentle cleansers — as simple as a quick wipe before and after shifts — help keep the skin clean and hydrated.

“Harsh soaps or cleansers containing aggressive ingredients can strip away the skin’s protective oils, disrupt its pH balance, and compromise its barrier function,” explained Dr. Kavitha P, medical director, diabetologist and cosmetologist told LinkedIn.

Examples of gentle cleansers are Absolute Joi, Cerave Hydrating Wash, and Neutrogena Hydroboost.


When paired with a gentle cleanser, a light moisturizer reduces water loss and doesn’t clog the pores. Moisturizing shouldn’t be confined to only the face; as a nurse constantly dealing with wash stations and hand sanitizers, hand creams are also a much-needed necessity.

Examples of moisturizers are CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, UNSUN Cosmetics and Buttah Skin.

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