Did you know that one of the quickest ways to tell someone’s “true” age is through their hands. Our hands are our number one tools that we use and are exposed to very harsh chemicals, dirt, and 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. Cold, wind and sun, can damage our hands and cause them to age prematurely. The palms of our hands are much thicker then the thin skin on the tops 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 can help them look better.
Moisturising 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 look older then 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 moisturising hand cream that contains aloe vera, shea butter and 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 our hands. Even minimal daily exposure to the sun can lead to long-term damage and, potentially skin cancer. Think about all of the activities you do in the sun, walking your dog, driving to the shops, riding your bike or mowing the lawn. By using a hand cream with at least an SPF 30, you can help minimize the potential damage. The key to protecting the skin from the damaging rays of the sun is to re-apply during the day. If you have washed or rubbed your hands chances are you have 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.
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.
Top Tips for more youthful, softer, smoother 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.
- Keep your favourite 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, in your desk, in your purse, gym bag, on your bedside table and even in the cup holder of your car.
- Quit smoking as it will make your skin, including the skin on your hands look older and more wrinkled. It can also stain your fingers and fingernails.
- Wash your hands with warm water, not water that is too hot, as the temperature extreme 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 favourite hand cream just before bedtime and sleep if you can, wearing cotton gloves. You will then wake with softer, smoother hands. Keep your hand cream on your bedside table.