Give us a hand.
And we'll teach you how to look after it!
When we say skincare what do you think? For many, the following comes to mind: Face Masks, DIYs, Retinols, Facials, and the like. Having said that it is equally important to think of skincare overall, be it the skin on your arms, feet hands, and the like. Speaking of hands, ever stopped to think how much work those hands do? From lifting to writing, to massaging, to styling, to art, to texting and so much more! Studies suggest, that early signs of aging can be seen on your hands in the form of dry skin, brittle nails, and dark spots. Is just using hand cream enough in that case? Let’s dive right in!
Being one of the most used parts of the body, hands tend to get dry and flaky very often. In fact, now more than ever all of our hands are dry and flaky, given that we’re sanitizing them so often. Did you know that dry hands actually increase the risk of picking up germs? So you may actually be doing yourself more harm than good if you aren’t looking after your hands. Yes, wash them, and do so for at least 20 seconds, or use the very well known “happy birthday” method, singing it twice is a good way to ensure that you’ve washed them for long enough as stated by many experts in both the infectious disease and dermatology field. Having said that, if you’re ignoring your dear hands post wash and post-work, here’s how you make amends.
Use a moisturizing hand wash.
Cleaning your hands with a regular hand wash will not always be enough. Make a little tweak here by switching to one that has moisturizing properties as it won’t dry your hands out completely. Choose one that has ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and the like. For regular cleansing, avoid using hot water to wash your hands. While it’s all sorts of comforting, it dries your hands completely and also tends to irritate the skin, stick to warm or cold water.
Yes, wear gloves. When gardening, when cleaning, or when doing anything that may expose your skin to harsh chemicals.
Yes, exfoliate, this one doesn’t require much if you’re already exfoliating your face and body, put in some time to slough off those dead skin cells on your hands as well. Be it with a gentle loofah, a gentle hand scrub, or even a DIY scrub at home. Once again, use lukewarm water to exfoliate, and don’t forget to put on hand cream after. If your hands are already dry and irritated, avoid any form of exfoliation until it is healed.
Hydrate your hands:
Your skin tends to lose moisture within 60 seconds of handwashing. To ensure your hands stay soft at all times, use a hand cream, ointment or balm that is free of fragrance and dyes immediately after hand washing and before bed. Ingredients to look for in hand creams are natural oils such as jojoba, almond or grapeseed oil or even shea butter for that matter. Do this twice a day in the morning and before you go to sleep to lock in moisture and reinforce your hand’s lipid barriers.
Protect them from the sun.
Not only does your face require sunscreen, but your hands need it too. Sun’s rays are harmful and cause the same amount of damage to your hands as well. Your hands also play your saviours in the heat when you seek protection on your face. They’re exposed just as much and applying and re-applying sunscreen to your hands is key. In an interview and industry expert, Mona Gohara said that a lot of people tend to mix an old sunscreen along with a hydrating cream because it’s only used for hand application - and if you’re doing this to stop. It is important to separate hydrating and UV blocking formulations. Choose any SPF ranging from 30-50. If you’re someone who drives often, wearing sunscreen is important as the sun rays penetrating from the glass can scorch your skin and cause all the damage.
Make this a part of your daily routine and you will start seeing a gradual change in the way your hands look and feel. You will soon see them transforming for the best and following these steps will come to you naturally.