by beauty expert Katey Kristabelle
image via pinterest
Skincare doesn’t stop at your jawline. I’m sure you have heard not to neglect your neck, but if you really want to prevent signs of early aging don’t forget about your hands! For the past year everyone has been hyper focused on hand washing. Soap and water rinses away germs and dirt, but also can strip the natural protective oils in your skin causing irritation, dryness, tightness, redness, itching, or cracked skin. This increases your chances of contracting infections through the wounded skin, and can also lead to conditions such as eczema.
image via pinterest
Healthy Care Habits:
Protect your skin from extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures will irritate or further dry out your hands so wash them in warm water that is not too hot or too cold, and try your best to always wear gloves during the winter months to keep them warm.
Use gloves when cleaning and doing dishes. Using harsh sanitizing and cleaning products can leave your hands sensitized and raw. Nail Tech Lissa Chaves says that, “cleaning products may lead to weak, soft nails prone to peeling if you don’t take the extra precautions to keep your hands and nails healthy”. Protect them with cleaning gloves whenever you can.
Use hand lotion after washing your hands. Apply your lotion while hands are still damp, before they get the chance to dry out. You may be asking, “will hand cream increase the chances of spreading germs?” - wet hands generally transfer germs easier than dry hands, but considering most hand creams absorb fairly quickly, as long as you have a little time to let the lotion dry before you touch anything dirty or communal (it’s literally only seconds), this shouldn’t be a concern. And getting into the habit of replenishing your hands after washing will wear off discomfort, protect your hands, and promote healthy skin.
Use a thicker cream treatment before bed. Nighttime is perfect for butters and salves that would be too messy during the day. Leave your hand cream with your nightly skin care products or on your bedside table to make it easier to remember.
Exfoliate your hands. Exfoliating will encourage cell turnover and allow moisture to penetrate. If you feel like your hand lotion feels chalky and is only sitting on top of the skin, you might benefit from gently exfoliating your hands. Be very gentle when you scrub, let the granules do all the work, especially if you have compromised, cracked skin on your hands. You can easily make your own hand scrub with 1 part raw sugar and 2 parts coconut oil. Massage into your hands and rinse over the sink. They will feel so silky and soft (remember to never use sugar scrubs on your face, but hands/feet are okay because they have more layers/tougher skin than you have on your face).
Keep up with cuticle and nail maintenance. “Well cared for cuticles is the most crucial step during a manicure”. Nail technician Lissa Chaves says clean cuticles can even make your nail polish or gel nails last longer! I asked her what advice she has for proper cuticle and nail care for at home manicures, she advised to use a cuticle pusher to gently push back cuticles. Doing so will help expose any dead skin and the true cuticle area. Dead skin around the cuticle will appear white when pushed back, anything else is living tissue, and you only want to remove the exposed dead skin with cuticle nippers (like these). This will help your polish or gel manicure adhere for smoother and longer wear.
When filing your nails to your desired shape and length, file in one direction only (shop our stainless steel nail files here). This will help to prevent any risk of splitting and peeling of the natural nail. Lissa also recommends massaging oils like jojoba, almond, or olive oil onto the nails before bed to keep them hydrated.
Remember hydrated skin will appear plump, brighter, and have less fine lines compared to dry hands. Adding these simple steps to your daily activities can help prevent signs of early aging, and dry skin conditions. For bonus points, always apply your sunscreen to your hands every morning along with your face and neck.