The size and shape of your hands are irreversible, but there is much that you can do to make them soft, beautiful and wrinkle-free.
Aging takes its toll faster on these parts than on the face and neck because the skin on the back of hands constitutes little fat. Treating your hands as a delicate extension of your face is as important as any other beauty regimen. Here are ten hand care tips:
Wear protective gloves
Gloves not only provide better grip, they also protect the skin of your hands from strong chemicals and irritants that it may come in contact with. Hot water and the foaming agents in soaps can also do the same amount of damage to your skin.
Always wear hand care gloves when you wash the dishes, clean, disinfect or do other chores that require the use of water, soap and household chemicals. If you are allergic to latex, there are nitrile or vinyl gloves out there that are chemical-resistant and free of powder and other irritants.
Constantly keep them hydrated during winter
Exposing your hands to freezing temperature and low humidity is the culprit to dry, flaky and itchy skin during winter. Keep your hands cozy with winter gloves to retain moisture and prevent cold weather sunburn.
Likewise, double the times that you apply hand creams during regular seasons. Use oil-based lotions to lock the moisture in.
File, trim and tender-love-and care your nails
Clean and well-kept nails do not only indicate hygiene and good grooming, they are also the best features of your hands.
Long nails do not look classy; in fact, nude models are directed to keep fingernails plain when doing photoshoots because they long painted nails are perceived to be pornographic. So trim your nails to just the right length to keep them neat and strong. When filing, the file should be held parallel to the sides of the nail to prevent breakage and splitting.
If you have a bad habit of biting your nails when stressed or bored, trim your nails short. In times of anxiety, reach for a stress balls to resist the temptation of putting your nails between your teeth.
Adorn your fingernails with flattering polish
A beautiful nail polish sidetracks the eyes from noticing the signs of maturity like veins and age spots in older women.
In a study, a team of plastic surgeons in London asked the participants to approximate the ages of women based merely on the photographs of their hands. The striking result was that 49% of them thought that those whose nails were graced with nail polish were much younger.
Plus, it’s a myth to think that nails turn yellow with nail polish because they are not allowed to breathe properly. The hints of yellow in your nails are just stains left by the nail polish. You can easily erase these stains with lemon extract.
Lubricate the cuticles
Don’t let the manicurist snip away at your cuticles. It may lead to nail problems such as white lines, split offs and ridges. Cuticles are part of the skin and they are there for a reason. They are located over the nail’s growth matrix to serve as barrier for anything that might get in there.
The best thing you can do with your cuticles is to keep them soft with jojoba oil or moisturizer. Instead of cuticle clippers, use an orange stick to gently push the cuticles back in.
Sufficient intake of essential vitamins
Low levels of ascorbic acid and vitamin B may contribute to the development of dry and cracked skin on hands.
One effect of vitamin C deficiency is the lessening of collagen in your skin tissues. This is not something to worry about as long as you eat fruits and raw leafy vegetables regularly.
Vitamin B1, B5 and biotin prevents skin drying and assist the skin’s ability to heal itself. Humans cannot synthesize biotin so it must be obtained from food sources such as egg yolk, organ meats (e.g. liver, kidneys), sunflower seeds, green peas, lentils, legumes, cauliflower and bananas.
Rub a small amount of vegetable oil or coconut oil into your hands and spread them over while making light strokes. This hand massage will improve the circulation of blood and allows the skin to rejuvenate and recover its vitality.
Moisturize and moisturize
Always wash and moisturize your hands before going to bed. You may ditch those chemically-overloaded lotions by going straight to the source such as natural oils.
Try to massage your hands with coconut oil before washing it gently with herbal soaps. The oil will be retained in your skin while keeping your hands clean and fresh.
Exfoliating your hands doesn’t have to be expensive. Sea salt or brown sugar and a few drops of essential oils will do the job of leaving your hands silky and fresh. Do this twice or thrice a week in the evening as part of your face care routine.
Pamper with natural hand care treatments
The hands, our workhorses, are the most engaged part of the body in our daily activities. So pampering them with deep moisturizing and antioxidants-rich treatments is the least thing you can do to maintain the hands’ softness and vitality.
Brighten your hands and rub out the wrinkles with natural care treatments such as soaking them in baking soda solution and lime for 5 to 10 minutes. Moisturize with shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe vera or beeswax thereafter.