Does the cream that we put on our hands and face prevent wudu?

The Details of the Question

- If we make wudu after putting cream on our hands, that is, while our hands are creamy, will water touch our skin? Is the wudu valid? Is it necessary to soap if the cream is waterproof? Some soap includes cream content; when we soap our hands with such soap, does the cream in them prevent water from touching the skin? Is such a wudu valid? – Is wudu invalidated if we put on cream after making wudu? Does the cream contain any ingredient (alcohol, lard, etc.) that prevents prayer?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- Substances that form a layer on the skin, such as oil paint and fish scales, harm wudu and ghusl since they prevent the penetration of water. However, since creams do not form a layer on the skin, even if the skin is not wet, wudu and ghusl are valid as water flows over the skin.

- Cream that is put to the skin after wudu does not harm wudu.

As for prayer (salah):

Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır mentions the following issues in the interpretation of the verses of the chapter of al-Baqara about “hamr” and states the following:

“Spirit, beer etc. that are not made from grape wine cannot be drunk but it cannot be claimed that they prevent prayer when they are spread on the clothes or the body.” (Hak Dini Kur’ân Dili, The interpretation of al-Baqara 219)

As it can be understood from the quote above, deodorants, perfumes and alcohol in eau de cologne are haram to drink according to all scholars but they do not prevent prayer when they are put on the clothes or body since they are not considered among the types of alcohol that is najis according to some imams of Hanafi madhhab. Since it is considered unclean according to other madhhabs such as Shafii and Hanbali, it is necessary to perform prayers after washing the smeared area.

Pork and its products are najis (dirty); therefore, if the cream contains lard and if the smeared area is larger than the palm of the hand, the prayer is not valid; if the smeared area is smaller than the palm of the hand the prayer is valid. It is necessary to decide according to the content of the cream.

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