Hand-y Routine: Smoother & Youthful Skin For Your Hands
Hands are important in our everyday lives. They allow us to do simple things such as brushing our teeth and writing our name, as well as intricate tasks like sewing and cooking. Even then, our hands should not be treated as mere “tools'' to be used thoughtlessly as our hands have more functions than we acknowledge. Surely you have stumbled upon at least one, if not all of the following phrases “Lend others a hand”, “give me a hand”, “in your hands”. These phases imply a certain level of support and trust that others have in us, hinting at the fact that hands are essential – not just for yourself – but for others too.
With COVID-19's prevalence and fast evolving strains, maintaining good hygiene has become a priority and necessity for everyone. Inevitably, hand-washing and sanitizing has become more frequent, which sometimes strips our skin of its natural oils and cause dryness.
Now, take a moment to look at your own hands, feel the textures of both the tops of your hands and all over your palms. Are they dry and cracked or smooth and supple? Do they have dark spots? How do you take care of them? It is common to have a skincare regime for the face, but perhaps it’s time to adopt one for your hands too. There are overlaps in the steps so caring for your face and hands can be done concurrently.
Here’s a simple hand care routine you can follow:
Step 1: Cleanse
Similar to the usual use-a-cleanser step we have for our face, this step simply means to clean your hands with gentle and moisturizing hand soap. This is especially important with our increased use of hand sanitizers, which often contain alcohol that strips the natural oils of our hands and causes dryness. Pick a hand soap that has moisturising properties or contains hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter. Another pro tip is to dab your hands dry instead of rubbing them, so that you avoid unnecessary skin irritation.
Step 2: Exfoliate
This is a supplementary step which can be done as and when you feel that your hands need some good old scrubbing to get rid of dry and dead skin. Try doing it once a week. Exfoliate your hands gently with a scrub so that your products like serums and moisturisers can be absorbed better into your hands.
Step 3: Replenish nutrients
Did you dispense too much serum for your face? No problem. Just use it for your hands! During your night time skincare routine, whenever you’re applying anti-ageing or hydrating serums, apply an ample amount to your hands to replenish the nutrients lost during washing or sanitising. This allows you to reduce wastage of products and fully utilise each drop for your skin too.
Step 4: Moisturise
For the most part, we should always moisturize our hands shortly after washing them. However, hand-washing has become a more frequent habit and it can be inconvenient to whip out your hand cream every single time. Aside from swapping out harsh hand soaps for moisturising and gentler ones, placing your hand cream (or a lotion with a pump) next to the sink will reduce the inconvenience of rummaging through your bag and is a great time saver.
Step 5: Protect from sun damage
Last but not least, to keep our skin smooth and beautiful, we should always protect it with sunscreen. Like your face, your hands are also susceptible to sun damage and can age prematurely if not taken care of in your early years. Ideally, you should reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes, and after washing your hands.
There you go! A familiar yet slightly different hand-care routine you can integrate into your everyday routine to keep your hands smooth, soft and supple. Do this right and you will have one less thing to worry about when shaking someone’s hand.