Talc and petroleum jelly among the best lubricants for people wearing PPE


Researchers at Imperial College London found the best lubricants for frontline healthcare workers who are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic are those that do not absorb into the skin, creating a long-lasting layer of protection between skin and PPE.

Non-absorptive creams such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, or beeswax mixtures, and powders such as talcum powder, are most likely to provide those wearing PPE such as face visors, goggles and respiratory protective equipment with long-lasting skin protection against friction and shear injuries such as skin tears, blistering, ulcers and hives. Many typical moisturizers do not last long as they are designed to be absorbed into the skin for a ‘non-greasy feel’.  This is because humectants attract water from the lower layers of skin to the upper ones, leaving it soft, un-lubricated and breakable.