For good skin care, the hands have it.
Are your hands looking as healthy as they should be? Let’s explore some different hand creams and tips to keep your hands in tip-top shape.
Our hands are our number one tool for work and expression. They are busy most of the day doing something. And they can be quite the focal point for others to look at. Are your hands looking as healthy as they should? Are you taking extra precautions to make sure they are representing the rest of you to the best of their ability? Let’s explore some different hand creams and tips to keep your hands in tip-top shape.
One of the quickest ways to show someone your “true” age is through your hands. How they feel and how they look is very important. Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and were startled by how rough and gruff it felt? Or, have you experienced the exact opposite and felt something so smooth and soft you thought they must live in a pair of gloves? Our hands are our number one tools. And above and beyond any other body part, they are exposed to very harsh chemicals, dirt and the sun.
Think about how many times we clean our hands in a day just to remove dirt and germs. Our hands are always exposed to the elements and weather conditions. And the cold, wind and sun, above all, can damage our hands and cause them to age prematurely.
The palms of our hands are much thicker than the thin skin on the back of our hands. As we age, our collagen and elastin is compromised and we experience the loss of fat. When this happens, the veins on the back of our hands tend to stand out more, our knuckles are more pronounced, we develop spots, fine lines and even wrinkles. So, what can we do? Invest in a good hand cream or lotion and make you use it several times throughout the day. It won’t improve the structure of your hands, but it can help them look better.
There are many different kinds of hand creams and lotions from which to choose. Focus on what is most important to you. Are your hands too dry, cracked and wrinkled? Or, are you starting to notice those pesky dark spots? Here are a few good options to explore.
Moisturizing Hand Creams
The hands need moisture as much as any other part of the body. This is due to their constant exposure to harsh chemicals, the weather and especially the damaging UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Repeated washing throughout the day compromises our skin’s natural moisture barrier, causing hands to become dry and, unfortunately, older looking than they should. When the skin and cuticles become dry, little cracks can form on the skin which can open the door to infection. Added moisture helps to plump the skin, which in turn makes them look more youthful. A moisturizing hand cream that contains Aloe vera, shea butter or olive oil are great choices to keep your skin hydrated, soft and smooth.
Tip: Definitely opt for creams instead of lotions, as they are a bit thicker and richer in texture and tend to be much more hydrating then a lotion.
Sun Protection SPF for Healthy Hands
SPF is a must when it comes to protecting your hands. Even minimal daily exposure to the sun can lead to long-term damage, and potentially skin cancer. Think about all of those little moments in the sun, walking your dog, driving to the market, riding your bike or mowing the lawn. By using a hand cream with at least SPF 30, you can help minimize the potential damage. The key to protecting the skin from the damaging rays of the sun is reapplication during the day. If you have washed or rubbed your hands, chances are you’ve compromised the effectiveness of your hand cream.
Tip: Keep a bottle of SPF-infused hand cream in your handbag and in your car to ensure you always have protection on hand. No pun intended. Yes, just minimal exposure to the sun while driving on a daily basis can negatively impact the appearance of the back of your hands. The same can apply to walking your dog or that bike ride first thing in the morning. Prevention is key.
Anti-aging hand creams are becoming more popular in an attempt to improve the appearance of some of the damage that we already have on the backs of our hands. Besides wrinkles and creases in our skin, we also have to be concerned with age and sun spots. To help improve the look of aging skin, choose hand creams or lotions that contain retinol or alpha hydroxyl acids. These ingredients will exfoliate the skin to help remove dead skin build-up. By revealing the younger skin cells beneath, your skin will definitely look and feel more youthful.
Some Top Tips for Healthy Hands
No matter what kind of hand cream or lotion you are looking for, always check to make sure it contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. And don’t forget to eat antioxidant-enriched foods to nourish the living skin. Citrus fruits are my personal favorite.
- Keep your favorite hand cream next to your sink, and get in the routine of applying right after you wash your hands.
- Be sure to massage your cream into your nails and cuticles to keep them hydrated.
- Invest in travel-sized products and keep them everywhere. At your desk, in your purse, gym bag, nightstand and even in the cup holder in your car.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking will make your skin, including the skin on your hands, look older and more wrinkled. And if that isn’t bad enough, it can also stain your fingers and fingernails.
- Wash your hands with warm water, not water that is too hot, as the extreme temperature can strip your skin of its healthy oils.
- Wear gloves when working with your hands to protect them from harsh chemicals, dirt, detergents and anything else that could scratch or puncture your skin. Protection from infection is very important.
- Apply your favorite hand cream just before bedtime and sleep wearing cotton gloves. You will wake up to softer, smoother hands. Keep your hand cream on your nightstand so you never forget.
If you’re going to go to the trouble of adorning your hands with sparkly jewelry and bright nail polish colors, then it’s important to practice these few little extra steps to keep your hands protected, soft, smooth and more youthful-looking.
Investing in a good hand cream is a great way to keep your hands looking and feeling softer, smoother and more youthful. Healthy hands down!