Need a Skincare Routine: They say that if you want to figure out someone’s age, look at their hands, and research has confirmed it. A study done in 2006 identified specific factors that increased the appearance of age in women’s hands. Wrinkles, thin skin and dark spots were found to be some of the signs of aging and, luckily for us, they are the easiest to prevent.
When it comes to our faces, we will — at the very least — exfoliate, moisturize and apply sunscreen, but our hands are lucky to get some leftover hotel lotion once in a while. Our hands are exposed to the elements on a daily basis and, on top of that, they scrub the floors and wash the dishes, and then they have to put up with a lot of drying hand sanitizer. They need some serious TLC.
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Moisturize Those Hands!
Make sure to moisturize deeply before bed by making it part of your bedtime routine. Try a rejuvenating hand mask before turning in for the night, as s your hands a full eight hours to absorb the nutrients and allows skin to heal.
To help prevent drying, cracking skin and premature aging of the hands, you should apply a thick, rich moisturizer regularly, especially after washing your hands. Carry a travel size tube of good hand cream for when you are out and about.
Are You Washing Your Hands Correctly?
We all became a lot more conscious of hand washing when COVID arrived on the scene. We now know to sing the birthday song (twice!) while we wash our hands, and we also know to rinse them thoroughly. In our quest to kill germs we may even be tempted to use hot water, which can be hard on our hands. Don’t go for the hot water! According to CDC guidelines, using warm or cool water is fine. Cool water is much less drying than using hot water.
Make sure to use a gentle cleanser or moisturizing soap when you wash your hands to avoid stripping away your natural oils. If you tend toward dry skin, make sure to keep some moisturizer by the sink so that you can apply it immediately after washing.
Don’t Forget Your Cuticles!
For healthy nails you need healthy cuticles. This thin band of skin that connects the base of the nail to the skin of the fingers does an important job. The cuticles seal and protect the nail bed, which is where a new nail is formed. Healthy cuticles are the first line of defense against bacterial and fungal infection.
Nail polish remover, cleaning products and other harsh chemicals can cause cuticles to suffer. Dry cuticles crack and peel and can be very painful when they catch on clothing. Cuticles that become dried out will pull away from the nail bed and can affect the growth of the nail, causing horizontal dents to occur in the nail. Using a good cuticle cream on a daily basis helps keep your cuticles healthy and strong. Massage any excess cream into the backs of your hands for an extra boost of moisture.
Exfoliate Your Hands to Help Them Glow
We exfoliate our faces, our elbows, our feet and sometimes all over, but how many times have you thought to exfoliate your hands? Probably never if you are like most people!
The skin on the hands is exposed to weather, chemicals, physical trauma and frequent washing. That’s enough to make anyone toughen up, and your skin is no different. The skin on your hands may thicken, which can lead to cracking and peeling. Taking the time for a little TLC can quickly turn the situation around leading to softer, healthier-looking hands.
When you are in the shower or bath, take a moment to gently exfoliate the backs of your hands, especially the knuckles. Use whatever exfoliating product you’d use on the rest of your body, a loofah, scrubbing sponge, sugar scrub or whatever. Do not use a pumice stone or foot scraper of any kind, though, as that’s too rough!
Make sure to moisturize deeply after exfoliating to keep that glow going. If you are not in the habit of exfoliating your hands, start gently and only do it once a week, and then build up to pampering those hands more regularly.
Sunscreen Is for Your Hands Too!
You should be applying sunscreen to your hands at least as often as you do to your face, but in reality you should be doing it more often since you likely wash your hands at least a few times a day.
Age spots and discolored areas on the backs of the hands are caused by exposure to UV light. The UV rays cause an increase in production of melanin and, due to clumping of those cells, they will appear as dark spots on the skin of the hands. Make sure to see a dermatologist if the spots are raised, black or have recently changed appearance.
Regular use of a product that contains sunscreen on the backs of the hands will help prevent age spots and wrinkles and keep your hands looking younger for longer.
Create a skincare routine for your hands and not only will they feel better and be healthier, but they will look younger as well.