Have you ever look at your hands and thought that they look like someone’s else’s?
I meant someone who is at least 10 years older than you?
Naturally, you give so much attention to your facial skin care routine (I hope you do…why else would you read this blog), and every now and then splurge on that magic serum which seem’s to have changed your friend’s life … but when it comes to taking care of your mitts, your routine is limited to an occasional use of some petroleum-based hand cream which you grabbed at the till, because it was half price. #win
Here lies the problem: Your hands are exposed to a hardcore sun or the arctic cold on a daily basis – dirt, strong cleaning products, your keyboard, money and all other environmental unpleasantries.
To make things even worse, there is almost no fat on the back of our paws, meaning a smaller amount of collagen and elastin in the skin than on other parts of our bodies. Year in year out both start to break down resulting in your hands becoming one of the first places to show signs of aging.
Suddenly, your “awesome deal” hand cream won’t be enough for your hands to keep up with your youthful looking face. And no, there are no shortcuts, nor are there any magic creams to make them look better over night … even neck (the second most neglected part of the human body) got its “quick fix” tape recently #WTF, … but our dearest hands still need that extra special care.
As in all my mini tips, there is nothing you can’t do by making a few mini tweaks in your every day.
1 Change your hand wash
Don’t: choose one just because it smells like strawberry laces and it’s in a 2 for 1 promotion.
Choose: a gentle hand wash that doesn’t additionally dry your hands. If you avoid SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) as the second ingredient on the list – you’ve come far already!
2. Protect them
Don’t: dye your hair, fake tan, clean the bathroom, wash the dishes … without gloves!! EVER!
Do: Try to use gloves in extreme weather conditions.
3. Use sun block
Sun damage is the biggest reason for premature skin aging. This is a fact.
I know, not really breaking any news here, but it’s probably the main reason why your hands look aged. How many times do you apply SPF on them when not on Summer holidays? You should do it daily, at least during all months that don’t have R in their name. Twice a day.
You can easily use the remains of SPF body lotion from your last beach holidays.
Don’t exclude your hands from your pamper routines. When was the last time you gave them a proper scrub? They take the hardest daily beating from all around. We then wash them with a rough cleanser and skip the moisturizer because it’s a little too greasy. Well, there you go!
Give your hands a special treatment at least once a week. You can do it while scrubbing your body or your face … both exfoliators will do the job. Just do it. They deserve a similar routine to what your face gets … glycolic mask or even toner and hydrating serum every now and then won’t hurt. I see the best results after an overnight oil treatment – a mixture of my favorite oils, rub it in cuticles too. Make sure you don’t have to touch anything else that night (I wear a pair of cotton gloves during this procedure, but it’s not essential … it’s more because my dog would lick it off).
5. Choose right products
As mentioned before, not every hand cream is enough to keep those lovely paws of yours soft and gentle. Having two different products in the game (daily with SPF and a nourishing night one) or some “bad ass” ingredients to keep them young – not weird.
I get it, we all have different jobs, daily activities and therefore different preferences about a hand cream. But there are some ingredients that we should avoid as they don’t have any significant benefits, but they do make your skin feel very soft and smooth … but just temporarily. On a long run, they have no benefits.
Avoid: Petroleum, Paraffin Liquid, Silicones (you can recognize them as ingredients ending with -“one” – dimethicone for example).
Instead, look for vegetable oils and butters – shea, coconut, almond being the best for the job, honey (or any other bee products), glycerin …
The fact is, your perfect hand cream probably doesn’t exist. It can’t be quickly absorbing and super hydrating at the same time. So you will have to make some compromises.
You know one of my all time mantras is: “it’s never too late to start looking after your skin”, but with hands, it’s even more important. There is no way back. So grab your SPF, all sorts of gloves and start giving them the love they deserve.
Waving until next time!