You may not realize it but your hands show your age more than any part of your body. They are exposed to extreme weather, harsh conditions, and general wear and tear. By age 30 your skin cell production decreases by 10% and your skin is not able to repair itself as easily. This causes wrinkles and thin, papery, dry skin.
Combating dry skin
Over-washing can cause the skin on your hands to dry out faster than it normally would. Using household cleaners without gloves on can also cause severe dryness. Use warm water, not hot water, to wash your hands as hot water dries your skin out. Use a moisturizing soap that won’t over-strip your skin, the Dove Beauty bar is a good choice. You can also use an emollient to combat dryness by adding and retaining moisture.
Smoothing rough skin
Moisturizing and exfoliants are a great way to fight rough skin. A good homemade remedy is:
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon olive oil
Massage into the back of your hands once a week. Olive oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids, a great source of moisture. The sugar serves as an exfoliant to get rid of rough spots. My personal favorite for rough, dry skin is the Satin Hands set by Mary Kay. It has the exfoliant, non-oily moisturizer, and a great emollient for the extra dry skin.
Healthy cuticles and nails
Just like the skin on your hands, your cuticles need moisture. When you are moisturizing your hands make sure to rub some on your cuticles. This helps reduce cracking and hangnails, which can lead to infections. If your cuticles are particularly dry, you might want to apply a cuticle oil nightly. This also helps strengthen your nails. Make sure your nails are kept a good length. If they are too long they can split or collect bacteria and if they are too short they won’t protect the ends of your fingers.
You also don’t want to leave nail polish on too long as it can cause the nails to yellow. A week is a good amount of time because by then it is generally chipping and not looking its best. Use a non-acetone nail polish remover as it is not as harsh. You should also check your nails for discoloration such as white spots, vertical lines, or dark spots. If there are an abnormal amount you should get them looked at as they could be caused by an infection or disease.
If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!