· By Isobel Hush
Why Moisturising Your Hands Is So Important
You wouldn’t wash your face without applying a moisturiser, so why not do the same for your hands? Hands are our tools and they allow us to carry out daily tasks in the home, at work and in the garden. But we all too often neglect them, leaving them defenceless to the environment and in poor condition.
One of the first places to show any signs of ageing, your hands can easily give the game away if you neglect them. Using a hand cream is the best way to repair and restore damaged hands, ensuring that they not only look younger but feel softer too.
The skin on the back of your hands is decidedly different to the skin on your palms. The skin on top of your hands is much thinner and has less sebaceous glands, meaning it can become dry very quickly. In comparison, the skin on your palms is a lot thicker, so for moisture to penetrate this area a hand cream needs to be rich and full of moisture binding ingredients.
Along with everyday tasks; exposure to water, chemicals and severe temperatures are the main cause of damage to the hands. Water is naturally drying for the skin, so even something as mundane as washing up without wearing gloves can cause more harm than good. Hands can become dry, cracked and painful, and are just as much of a problem for men as for women.
Generally, hand creams differ from those used on the body, as the hands require a different type of care. As they are constantly exposed, they need to not only feel good, but also be protected. Using a daily hand cream that contains an SPF is a must (especially during the summer) and one that sinks in quickly means it can be used throughout the day. At night, you can afford to go for something richer that uses more specific ingredients, like one containing anti-aging or skin lightening properties. For a more intensive treatment, after you have covered your hands in product, put on a pair of gloves. It might look odd, but they will help to lock moisture into the hands and prevent the product from being rubbed off, allowing it to sink in effectively. Wait around 15 minutes, then remove the gloves and you will instantly feel the difference in your skin.
If your hands are in relatively good condition and you don’t work with any harsh chemicals, you can go for a lighter formula hand lotion. These are still moisturising and can be applied throughout the day, but they won’t contain all the nourishing ingredients a thicker hand cream will.
Hand creams are much more advanced now and can treat a variety of skin conditions that require more than just hydration. Whether you want to fade age spots, tighten loose skin or soothe excessive dryness, there is a hand cream for you. Make sure you look out for ingredients like Vitamin E, Shea Butter, essential oils and Glycerin which will add much needed moisture to your skin. If you want anti-aging properties, look out for antioxidants and AHAs, as these will help boost collagen, which plumps the skin.
Simply adding one product to your daily routine can completely change the condition of your hands, so the sooner you start using a hand cream, the sooner you will see results.
1. Self care, anywhere
Hand cream isn’t just hydrating; it’s comforting. Even when you’re sitting in your cubicle or waiting in line at your local coffee shop, you can create peaceful me-time. Create a few moments of zen by closing your eyes, clearing your mind and massage a cream into the creases of your palms. It’s the perfect excuse to slow down, take a minute for yourself and recharge for the day ahead. Especially with the current global situation we are all washing and sanitising our hands more so we should also be moisturising them!
2. Form friendships
Whether you’re out for brunch or sitting in a meeting, there’s always somebody who asks: “Does anyone have hand cream?” Having a tube in your bag is a little like carrying a pack of gum: everyone appreciates a well-prepared sharer.
And you don’t need to wait for people to ask! If you pull out your hand cream, make sure to offer a dab to the people around you. A little generosity goes a long way. Especially if they just offered you sanitiser too.
3. Combat aging
The skin on your hands is actually one of the first places we show signs of aging. Take a look at the back of your hand: it’s some of the thinnest, most delicate skin on your body. Our hands spend just as much time exposed to the elements as our faces, and when we neglect to care for them we leave them defenceless against the effects of aging. With hand cream, you can boost your moisture levels and skin elasticity, while combatting pigmentation, dehydration and premature wrinkles.
An ultra-hydrating, high-quality product is key to provide long-lasting hydration, helping restore the skin’s moisture barrier and soften and soothe even the roughest, driest skin.
4. Relieve stress
There were three things I would bring to every university exam: a pencil, a water bottle and a tube of hand cream. Taking breaks from difficult tasks—and there is no task more difficult than a four-hour Accounting & Business Analysis exam—can reduce anxiety and increase performance. There’s something ritualistic in applying hand cream that calms the nerves and eases tension. It all goes back to self-care, and taking small moments to restore your rationality and drive. Relieve your dry skin and relieve your mind, and there’s no task you can’t conquer.
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