Hands play a vital role in communication. Hands add to your verbal communication to emphasize or to shake hands etc. We use our hands all day long and yet we most often neglect to care for them. In fact, the first giveaway of age is your hands - they take on most of the work you do and are not as cared for as your face.
Nail and hand care
Hands have very few oil glands and they tend to dry easily and very often. Hands are exposed to further damage when they come in contact with chemicals, detergents, dirt and dust. Hands deserve to be nourished, moisturized and treated with care daily. Natural emollients such as shea butter, honey and sweet almond can make even the most hardworking hands appear fresh.
- Moisturize your hands at least once daily.
- A face exfoliator can be used on hands once a week.
- If you have very dry hands, apply salt and scrub under water. Pat dry and moisturize them.
- Protecting your hands while working in the sun is necessary. Use hand creams with SPF.
Simple and natural lotions and creams can be made at home with almond oil, lanolin, shea butter, lemon and other ingredients.
Beeswax mango butter hand cream
Beeswax 4 tablespoons
Mango butter 2 tablespoons
Coconut oil 8 tablespoons
Carrot seed essential oil 10 drops
Melt wax and butter together. Add essential oils. Mix completely until smooth. Pour into a jar. Let it harden. Mango butter slows the degeneration of skin cells and restores elasticity.
Almond hand cream
Beeswax ¼ cup
Almond oil ½ cup
Coconut oil ½ cup
Rosewater ¼ cup
Heat ¼ cup of beeswax slowly in a double boiler and add ½ cup of almond oil to the melted beeswax. Stir ½ cup of coconut oil and mix ¼ cup rosewater and stir until thoroughly mixed. Rose water can be also made at home by simmering 1 cup of fresh rose petals in one and half cups of distilled water for about 10 minutes and then straining the flowers in the water. Pour the hand cream into a container while it is still hot. On cooling it will become firm.
Lemon honey hand cream
Beeswax 3 tablespoons
Liquid lanolin 1 tablespoon
Light sesame oil ½ cup
Coconut oil 1 tablespoon
Honey 1 teaspoon
Lemon essential oil 15 drops
Melt together all ingredients except essential oils on low heat double boiler. Mix completely until smooth. Pour into a jar and let it harden.
You can also choose from the numerous hand creams available. The suitable hand cream should make your hands feel nourished and the skin should be 'fed'. Hand creams should have a sun protection faction of at least 15 to protect the hands from age spots and wrinkling. Most hand creams contain Vitamin E to prevent aging and avocado oil to provide good moisturizing.
Moisturizing hand cream
Hands need to be moisturized just like your face. A moisturizing lotion does not necessarily have to be expensive or exotic. Vaseline, for instance, is less expensive and if used in moderation, can add moisture to the skin on your hands. Pump dispensers are easy to use. Keep a bottle of lotion at sinks and a travel bottle in your tote. Use a good moisturizer daily and especially when your skin feels dry and tight. Bathe hands in natural products at least thrice weekly to keep them soft and moisturized.
Some handy hand skin care recipes
Cacao cream: Two spoons of cacao cream and two spoons of almond oil and a liquidized cucumber are all you need. Melt the cacao cream, and add almond oil and the cucumber. Mix all the ingredients well and use it as a hand care cream applying with a massage. To intensify the effect, add more almond oil and bathe hands in it for about 5 minutes.
Olive oil hand care: Rub hands in warm olive oil for about 5 minutes and rinse off with warm water and natural soap. For intense care treatment, leave it overnight and wear some cotton gloves.
Hand skin care with milk: A glass of milk and lemon juice is all that is needed. Warm the milk and add the lemon juice. Mix well and leave your hands in this mixture for about 10 minutes. Cuts and wounds on the hands will also heal.
Oats hand mask: A glass of water, a spoon of oats flour, olive oil and glycerin should be mixed until consistent. Apply the resulting paste over the hands and massage. Leave for about 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water and natural soap.
Hand honey mask: One potato, two spoons of milk and two spoons of honey are required. Peel and boil the potato. Mash the potato and mix it with the honey and milk. Apply this mixture to the hands with a massage and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and natural soap.
These handmade skin care creams will nourish and rejuvenate the hands. Recent research shows that alpha-hydroxy acids help to thin the outer layer of skin by ungluing the thickened skin cells. Moisturizers with AHAs relieve dry skin better than traditional creams.
Hand and age
Over the years the body's natural production of oil slows down. With less oil, your hands become dry; dry skin without natural elasticity wrinkles easily. Dry skin can make your hands rough, and lose its youthful, smooth and vibrant appearance. Although no product can stop the aging process and natural slowing of oil production, you can protect your hands from abuse and repair the damage to some extent.
Cold weather, low humidity and sun exposure and other environment abuse, regular washing, harsh cleaning chemicals contribute to aging hands. Keep your hands looking younger with the following tips:
- Keep baths and showers short. Use lukewarm water as hot water depletes moisture from hands. Hot water also causes perspiration and evaporating natural oils and moisture - things that must be avoided.
- Stay away from harsh soaps that strip away natural oils. Perfumed soaps contain alcohol and can deplete moisture. Bubble baths may dry skin. Use natural and mild bath soaps.
- Blot hands dry as vigorous dry hands creates tiny tears in the skin leading to rough and chapped dry hands.
- Apply moisturizer often and carry small containers of moisturizers in your pocket to use when away from home.
- Before stepping outdoors, apply at least SPF 15 sunscreen to hands. When driving, wear gloves to shield hands from sun damage.
Hand care treatment
Hands are the most exposed part of the body after your face and adequate care should be taken to protect hands. Hands require extra attention to look good. Some simple hand care treatments are given for healthy and younger looking hands.
- Hands should be cleansed with gentle glycerin that exfoliates slowly. Using soap as a base, clay or oatmeal is suitable but for dry hands, using super fatted soap is better.
- Wearing gloves while cleaning dishes is ideal, but after washing, apply a lotion on your hands to keep them soft.
- During winter apply lotion on the hands prior to slipping on gloves. Washing with warm water using a coarse cloth is beneficial.
- The skin on the back of the hands is soft and is prone to wrinkling. Hot water, detergents and harsh sun can make it dull and sagging.
- Use natural products that cause few allergies. Vitamin E hand creams can protect skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Vitamin C activates the production of collagen thereby giving the skin more strength and elasticity and resilience that helps prevent wrinkles. Vitamin A helps to prevent thickening of skin and deters dryness.
- Avoid hand creams that come laden with alcohol as this can dry skin and hasten aging. Lavender and chamomile are two herbal ingredients that help soothe and reduce skin irritations and inflammation.