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Whether you are aware of it or not, people often judge you by your hands. And they are right to do so – the state of your hands and nails can reveal a lot about someone’s hobbies or profession, relationship status, personal taste and how much they invest in themselves.
But the delicate, often mistreated skin on your hands also tells a tale about your age and how important self care is to you. Manicured, soft, well-nourished hands are sure to attract attention… but so are neglected ones.
And your hands certainly need some help to stay smooth, youthful and beautiful. Just think of everything you put them through every single day. It is only fair to make it up to them.
But, your hand care routine doesn’t need to involve complicated, time consuming steps or way too expensive products. It is more about using what you probably would anyway, but in a way your hands can benefit most from. And then occasionally you can treat them to something really special.
So, here are 9 hand care tips to get rid of dryness, banish dark spots for good and keep your hands soft, smooth and youthful for decades to come…
9 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Hands At Home
Hand care tip 1 – Use gentle non-drying soaps
This first one is pretty obvious but let’s quickly mention it anyway. Since you are washing your hands several times a day, the quality of the soap you are using is one of the crucial points that can make or break your hand care routine.
Moisturizing hand wash or a mild glycerin soap should be non-irritating and could help prevent drying out. Also, too hot or too cold water could mess up your skin’s barrier function, so try to use lukewarm water wherever possible.
Hand care tip 2 – Exfoliate, but gently
Regular exfoliation can help you a lot in maintaining your skin soft, smooth and even toned. Exfoliating your hands twice a week will remove the dry dead skin layer and reveal the young, healthy skin underneath.
Just be careful not to overdo it. Though the skin on your palms can take quite a bit, the tops of your hands are too gentle for anything rough. You can simply mix some brown sugar with a bit of olive or coconut oil and gently rub your hands with the mixture for a few minutes, then rinse off.
Hand care tip 3 – Moisturize often
Hand creams are amongst the products I try to save on when possible. Though the cheapest hand creams on the market… well, let’s just say there’s a reason why they are so cheap, I also never feel the need to invest in some luxury hand cream.
This works quite well for me, since the hand skin is not as demanding as facial skin, plus I apply a hand cream more often than any other product. But I do try to make myself apply it several times a day and especially after washing my hands. Which is why a single pack of a hand cream somewhere in my beauty bag simply won’t do.
Small tubes and relatively affordable prices allow you to buy multiple hand creams and keep them in all the places you may have most use of them. I personally like to keep one jar of my homemade hand cream in my bathroom and one in the kitchen, and then tubes of store-bought hand creams in my purse, car, office and on my nightstand.
When it comes to the ingredients I like to see in my hand cream, I always look for glycerin, alpha-hydroxy acids, urea, vitamin E and all sorts of nourishing carrier oils and butters.
Hand care tip 4 – Use residue facial products
I don’t know about you, but with me the less is more principle works only in theory. I always apply a little more facial products than my skin really needs, then end up removing the excess product.
So, I just apply all the excess serums and moisturizers to my hands. The amounts are usually pretty small, but they do make a difference long-term. The better quality ingredients are especially important on the tops of the hands, where the skin is very thin and sensitive and dark aging spots easily develop.
Also, if you’ve made a mistake and bought this amazing brightening face serum or moisturizer that for some reason just doesn’t work for your facial skin, don’t throw it away. There’s a good chance the skin on your hands will be more than happy with it. That’s another great way to add all those more expensive ingredients to your hand cream.
Hand care tip 5 – Don’t cut your cuticles
Dry, cracked cuticles are no fun, but cutting them off really won’t help at all. It can only make them more jagged and rough. Plus, the health of your cuticles directly affects the state of your nails.
That is why it is a much better option to occasionally push back the cuticles and that way maintain their shape. Plus, although hand creams contain tons of goodies for your cuticles as well, adding a cuticle oil to the game can really help treat even more stubborn cuticle problems.
Hand care tip 6 – Always wear sunscreen
We have all learned so far just how important wearing sunscreen is. But do you always remember to apply it to your hands as well?
Your hands too need sun protection, and the tops of your hands are especially prone to formation of premature aging signs. Apply SPF 20 or higher sunscreen to your hands every day. And don’t forget to reapply it every two hours, plus every time you wash your hands.
Hand care tip 7 – Overnight treatments
For when your hand skin decides to act up or before an important event, saturate your hands with tons of moisture overnight and you are sure to wake up to the softest hands ever. You can mix a thick, sticky hand salve with a serum, or mix your hand cream with some rich natural oil and throw in some vitamin E oil as well.
Whatever you use, apply as much of the product as possible. Slip on cotton overnight gloves and let your hands soak in the gooey goodness all night.
Hand care tip 8 – Paraffin wax
During the winter, when the harsh cold weather seems to be sucking the life out of your hands, paraffin wax hand treatment is one of the best things you can use. It will restore moisture levels in your hands, prevent drying out, repair damage and help the skin to heal and recover.
Paraffin wax treatment combines warmth which helps the skin to absorb oils better with the ability of paraffin wax to trap the moisture into your skin. You can find here a full tutorial on how to do paraffin wax hand treatment at home.
Hand care tip 9 – Retinol for discolorations
And if your hands are starting to show dark spots and other aging signs, a retinol cream can help with that. Retinol is one of the most praised anti-aging ingredients because of its ability to fade discolorations, refine and retexturize the skin and make it smoother and suppler.
Some other ingredients that can help brighten the skin on your hands include glycolic and other alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C and niacinamide. However, they are much better in preventing premature aging signs than in treating already existing issues.