Even the most beautiful bracelet or ring cannot show off its true beauty potential on an unattractive pair of hands. On the other hand, the soft, healthy skin associated with beautiful hands can enhance the look of any manicure or jewelry style. Our hands are continually subjected to harsh chemicals and pollutants on a daily basis, even more so than the skin on our face, and yet the majority of us spend very little effort on our skin care for hands.
When it comes to skin care for our hands, women tend to devote much of their time, effort, and money to their nails. A bi-weekly visit to your manicurist can cost upwards of $50; however, little or no attention is spent on skin care for the hands despite its major role in our daily lives. The skin integrity of your hands in its twenties needs little maintenance since the proteins that helps give the skin its shape are still elastic and youthful. A little sunblock and moisturizer is all that is necessary at this age. However, as we age, the proteins in our skin are damaged by exposure to pollution, ultra violet rays, and the natural aging process. This results in cracked, wrinkly, dried hands. Simply incorporating proper skin care for the hands can solve your unhappy hand situation.
Skin Care for Hands: The Problem
Many of us perform the proper skin care routine for our hands but unknowingly undo the process later. For example, you apply a moisturizing lotion to your hands after leaving the bathroom, then head to the kitchen to wash the dishes without wearing gloves. It’s just a mug or a plate, what’s the point? You reason that by the time you put on the gloves, you would be done with the dishwashing. But by not wearing your gloves, you’ve just rinsed the lotion off your hands - along with the left-over food crumbs. This is because dishwashing liquid is alkaline with a pH greater than 7. The skin has a pH ranging from 4 to 6.5, thus a little detergent will strip your skin of its natural acid mantle which protects your skin.
Skin Care for Hands: Cleansing
Proper skin care for hands includes proper cleansing, and moisturizing. Before washing your hands, remove any jewelry. Use warm water and soap to wash. Do not use hot water. Hot water drains the moisture from your skin. If you need the hot water, limit your exposure to a shorter time period and to only once a day. This rule also extends to showering and hot tubbing (the hot temperature and chemicals can be harsh on your skin).
We’ve already talked about dish washing detergent being alkaline, but did you know that many of the common soaps also have this feature? For example, Irish Spring, Ivory, Palmolive, Zest, Dial, and Camay all have pH ranging between 9 and 10. These soaps strip the skin of its natural protective layers and may likely contribute to the dryness that you experience after a shower. You may be wondering: What is the big deal? The skin has a pH 6.5 and soaps have a pH of 9, that’s only 2.5 away. Be aware, a pH of 7 is ten times more alkaline than that of a pH of 8, while a pH of 10 soap is a thousand times more alkaline than ones that have a pH of 7. Yikes!! When selecting a soap, skip the drying ones. Instead, select a creamy moisturizing cleaner that contains petrolatum or glycerin. (Try: Avalon Organics Lavender Glycerin Hand Soap).
Skin Care for Hands: Moisturizing Tips
Proper moisturizing is the secret weapon for soft, beautiful hands. After washing, apply a little moisturizing cream to keep the skin on your hands hydrated (Staff Favorite: Robanda Hand Cream). Coconut oil and Vaseline can also be used in place of moisturizing cream. For best results, the skin on the back of your hands should be damp before applying product. This will help the skin to absorb the product as it dries. Moisturizing is important, especially during the winter months when the low temperatures and low humidity depletes skin of its natural lipid layer.
To treat your hands, try the following home recipe: combine half a cup of sesame oil, one cup of almond oil, and a little vanilla essence. Mix the ingredients into a paste and apply to hands. Place a plastic bag over your hand and catch up on your latest tv show. Wash the paste off after an hour. (Check out LUSH Cosmetics for skin care treatments that only use fresh, natural ingredients and minimal preservatives.)
Skin Care for Hands: Beautiful Hand Tips
- Proper skin care for hands means wearing a high SPF sunscreen like
Procyte Z-Silc Plus Sunblock SPF 30+
on the back of your hands daily (winter and summer).
- Always apply a moisturizer after you wash your hands and use a mild pH soap (such as Dove).
- Wear gloves when washing dishes/clothing.
- Wear gloves when gardening.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold.
- Only get manicures from a reputable manicurist. Proper skin care for hands means not sacrificing health for discounted prices.
Remember, beautiful hands are a result of proper skin care for hands. The key steps are cleansing, moisturizing, and protection.
Skin Care for Hands: Dry skin
Beautiful hands should be cleaned and moisturized, but for those with extreme dry skin, achieving beautiful hands can be difficult. If you have dry skin, apply a heavy lubricant such as Vaseline or Aquaphor. Avoid washing your hands frequently. If the dryness is causing itchiness, try applying a corticosteroid products to alleviate the itching and inflammation. New technology in the field of dermatology has provided much relief to people with rough, dry skin (see SkinCareRx.com).
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