While our minds (and wardrobes) are more than ready for the sunnier days ahead, it’s very possible our skin is still suffering from the winter blues. You know what we’re talking about: dry and possibly irritated skin that’s been ravaged by the icy temps and chilly air. Yikes. And it seems the greatest casualties of winter and spring’s ruthlessly cold, rainy weather are our hands. Because they’re used for practically everything we do, hands are more prone to damage — and often neglected.
If it’s been awhile since you showed your hands a little love, no worries. We get it, and we’re right there with you. However, it’s time to add your two most active limbs to the top of your skincare routine. The newest products hitting the market are formulated with occlusives, to help prevent moisture loss; humectants to help lock in water and emollients, which can do both. Add to that ceramides and specialized salts (which can work to protect against environmental stressors and you’re on your way to hand heaven. Don’t forget, over-washing or scrubbing your hands can be the biggest culprit in loss of hydration--but we’re not saying don’t wash, we’re saying do it mindfully. Want to know how to give your hands some serious TLC? Check out our rules for getting the prettiest hands in the land.
Rule #1: Moisturize — ALL the Time
When you think about the aging process, your mind probably goes straight to the face, And while we would never downplay the need to keep your face healthy and youthful-looking, we suggest you take the same approach on your hands. Believe it or not, hands. In fact, they can often be a dead giveaway of how old you are if not properly attended to. Yep, lines, leather-like texture, age spots and sagging skin can all occur if your hands are not properly cared for.
One way to keep your hands looking as youthful as you feel? Moisturizing. Dehydration and lack of moisture can cause the skin on the hands to change texture and look aged, so make sure you’re packing some serious hydration onto those bad boys. And we’re not just talking about lotioning up first thing in the morning and checking it off your list for the rest of the day. No, you need to keep the hydration train going throughout the day (meaning, at a minimum, apply twice a day), so keep a moisturizing product in your car, purse and/or desk at work. In fact, for optimum results, you should try to apply hand cream at the first sign of dryness, plus every time after you wash your hands. You may want to swap out hand sanitizer for good ol’ soap and water wash since they are formulated with a lot of alcohol, which can strip your skin of hydration and good-for-your-skin oils and bacteria. Try the SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest & Hand Repair, or the Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment & Moisturizer for Dry or Callused Areas if your hands are already in the dryness danger zone.
Rule #2: Exfoliate regularly
Dry, cracked hands are common this time of year, and nothing combats dry skin like a good ol’ scrub. Get your hands on a gentle body exfoliant (The Body Shop Spa of the World Dead Sea Salt Scrub), which helps slough away dead cells on the surface of your skin and can leave you with refined, soft skin. The clean, exfoliated surface skin also allows for better absorption of moisturizers, so you’ll be able to get the most out of those yummy lotions you slather on! Simply apply a generous amount of the scrub over your hands, paying special attention to the areas that are dry like between your fingers and on the fingertips. Gently massage it over the hands for at least one minute, then rinse off with lukewarm water and immediately follow up with a good hand cream. Add this once-a-month practice to your skin care regimen.
Rule #3: Try A Peel
If you really wanna give your skin a good cleaning, try working a mild, gentle peel into your hand skin care routine once or twice a week. While hand-specific peels can be hard to come by, daily face peel pads can be used as hand treatments. Rub the pad over the backs of your hands and in between your fingers. Make sure each hand is saturated in the peel liquid and let it completely dry. Then follow up with a deeply hydrating hand cream. Think about it: Don’t you want the prettiest hands possible to show off that spring mani? We thought so.
Rule #4: Mask the Problem
For skin that’s too sore, irritated or cracked to use an exfoliator, try a mask.
Rule #5: Don’t Forget the SPF
Just because the sun’s not out doesn’t mean it’s not doing damage. Sun damage (which can still occur on overcast days) is the leading cause of visible aging of the skin, so do your part in keeping those hands looking youthful and soft by enlisting the help of a moisturizer/SPF duo like Lancôme Absolue Hand. Just slather it on your hands, and blend it up and over your wrists too, before you head anywhere outside.
What’s your strategy for keeping your hands youthful- and healthy-looking? Spill your secrets in the comments below!
About the Author:Angela helps inspire and inform the Makeup.com audience by delivering the latest beauty tips, tricks and trends.
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