How to Take Care of Your Hands: Hand Care Tips at Home

How to Take Care of Your Hands: Hand Care Tips at Home

Hand care is often the most overlooked part of our skincare routine. Whether it’s a simple handshake or a friendly wave, our hands can leave a lasting impression. Despite their constant use, we often overlook their needs. Yet, our hands deserve to be soft, smooth, and in the best health. That’s why we’re here to provide you with some tips to take care of your hands the best way possible.

While caring for them might seem straightforward, using the right products is the key here. So let’s explore some tips that will help you curate the best hand care routine for healthy-looking hands. 

Why Is Hand Care Important?

Taking a glance at someone’s hands can reveal their age, just like their face can. This underscores the significance of a proper hand care routine.

Our hands, much like our faces, are frequently exposed to the elements like pollution and dirt. They are also constantly active in our daily tasks. Whether it’s typing, tending to chores, or protecting against germs, our hands take a lot of strain. The increased hand washing and sanitizing due to COVID-19 adds to this strain and also causes dermatitis in some cases (1).

Root Cause for Hand Dryness

In healthy skin, the outermost layer works like a barrier to stop water from escaping the deeper layers of the skin (transepidermal water loss). To keep this intact and working well, the skin lipids play a crucial role. But if the parts of this barrier get disturbed or taken away, the skin’s ability to hold onto water is affected, and it can become dry.

There are several factors like – Temperature, surfactants, alcohol in sanitizer, warm water, and rough paper towels that play a role in disrupting the barrier.

The skin barrier can be maintained and even restored with proper moisturization. When we don’t moisturize enough and expose our hands to frequent wetting, their protective barrier weakens. This makes them susceptible to germs, irritants, and allergens, potentially leading to various issues like rashes and infections (2). Therefore, proper hand care with the right products is a vital part of our skincare routine.

How to Take Care of Your Hands?

hand care

Dryness and itchiness can result from factors like frequent washing and harsh chemical soaps. Even shifting temperatures, whether hot or cold, can pose challenges. Temperature and humidity changes impact your hands. Artificial heating in winter dries them out due to reduced natural moisture. In warmer months, sweat buildup reacts with excessive moisture, leading to dryness in air-conditioned environments.

Watch for these signs and take action:

  • Very dry skin
  • Chapped hands
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rough skin and calluses
  • Itchy hands and palms

Here is a simple 2 step regular hand care routine to follow:

Step 1: Wash

Regular hand washing is crucial to prevent the spread of disease and maintain hands clean. Use fragrance-free, nourishing soaps or handwashes to avoid skin irritation caused by excessive washing.

Step 2: Nourish

Amid the pandemic, maintaining well-moisturized hands is vital. Frequent washing can lead to dryness, but applying a hand cream several times a day helps counter it (3). Choose creams with emollient ingredients like shea butter, squalene, glycerin, and natural oils (4). Apply after washing in the morning and before sleep. Reapply during the day if you feel your hands dry.

This easy routine of cleansing and moisturizing is vital for both healthy skin as well as hands. For added tips to maintain pretty hands, just keep scrolling.

10 Hand Care Tips for Beautiful Hands

hand care

1. Opt for the Right Hand Cream

Picking a thick, nourishing hand cream can give way to smooth and soft hands. If you’re worried about feeling greasy, go for a fast-absorbing option that won’t leave a slippery residue. Also, men’s hands are usually tougher, oilier, and hairier. So consider a cream tailored to male skin with a richer texture and no fragrance.

When your hands are really dry and start cracking, they need more than just a regular hand cream (5). At that time, go for a thicker ointment that provides intense moisture and forms a protective layer to heal and shield your dry skin. If you don’t have an ointment, petroleum jelly does the trick too (6).

Things to look for in a hand cream – Emollients, occlusives, and humectants are the three things to look for in any skincare product including your hand creams.

  • Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, pull moisture from the air into your skin.
  • Emollients like mineral oils or petrolatum, and occlusives like ceramides, keep the moisture locked in that humectants bring. 

2. Gentle Cleansing Products

We often overlook the products we use for washing our hands or taking a shower. Some soaps can actually be harsh on your skin, especially if you have sensitivity issues. Hence, opt for milder soaps or those made for sensitive skin to avoid making things worse every time you wash your hands (7). 

3. Shield from the Sun

Remember that the sun’s UV rays can harm any exposed skin, including your hands. Neglecting sun protection can lead to age spots, roughness, wrinkles, and dryness. Hands are also susceptible to precancerous spots that might become skin cancer (8). So make sure to choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before heading out, and don’t forget to reapply as needed.

4. Water

Excessive hot water may also lead to dry hands. Long and continuous exposure to hot water can damage skin barrier function. Thus it would be recommended to use lukewarm or cold water instead (9). 

You may have to use water for more than just handwashing. Enough water consumption can aid in flushing out your system, which may enhance the skin on your hand and give a more radiant look (10).  

5. Pamper with a Hand Mask

Daily moisturizing might not be enough for your hands. Give them a boost with a weekly hand mask for extra hydration and softness. Apply it on clean, dry hands following the instructions on the package. After rinsing it off with warm water, use your favorite hand cream to lock in the moisture.

You can buy hand masks at beauty and drugstores or make your own at home. To make a DIY mask, blend the following:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of yogurt

Apply the mixture and leave it on for 20 minutes, and then rinse.

6. Get Your Hands Glowing with Exfoliation

Remember to give your hands some love with a weekly hand scrub. Wet your hands with lukewarm water and massage the scrub in circular motions to remove dry, rough skin (11). Rinse off with some more water and follow up with hand cream.

Before exfoliating, wash your hands with a moisturizing soap. It sets the stage for effective exfoliation.

You can find hand scrubs in drugstores, beauty supply stores, and similar places. Alternatively, create your own all-natural scrub at home. Mix the following to make a DIY hand scrub

  • 1 tablespoon of finely powdered almonds
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Milk as required

Or else you can just combine equal parts sugar and oil for a homemade scrub.

7. Protective Gloves 

Household chores can harm your hands. Thus always wear protective gloves while washing dishes, gardening, or using tools. You can use plastic or rubber gloves for water-related tasks, cloth gloves for light yard work, and suede or leather gloves for heavier labor. In cold weather, insulated knit or leather gloves shield your hands and keep them moisturized. Wearing gloves is also an extra protection for people with sensitive skin types. 

8. Nail Care Matters Too!

hand care

Even if you wash your hands often, dirt can linger under your nails. While washing, use a nail brush to gently clean beneath them. Hold the brush perpendicular to your nails and scrub across to remove debris. After scrubbing, rinse away the dirt.

9. Grooming Your Nails And Cuticles

Everyone, regardless of gender, should care for their nails and cuticles. This practice prevents painful hangnails and promotes nail health, whether or not you get regular manicures.

Maintain your nails with clippers and shape them using a crystal nail file or gentle emery board. Keep cuticles neat with a cuticle cutter and pusher. The remover softens skin for easy pushing with a cuticle pusher. Also, never cut your cuticles as it can lead to infections.

10. Vitamin E Boost for Nails

You can also upgrade your nail with cuticle oil as it hydrates the nail around your skin. This ensures fewer hangnails, chips, and breaks, resulting in strong and healthy nails. Likewise, you can apply vitamin E oil to your nails before bed to prevent cracking and infections (12). You can even use a cream specially designed for cuticles to moisturize and protect the area.

Conclusion

Hand care is a crucial aspect of skincare. So, the next time when you’re winding down for a relaxing evening routine with comfy clothes, include a step for your hands in that routine. Try soaking your hands in warm water or milk, then apply the right cream or ointment that suits your needs. Also, remember to switch on your humidifier before bed. Let the cream do its work while you sleep. When you wake up, your hands will be soft and ready for the day ahead.

ALSO READ: Keep your hands soft and smooth this winter with this hand care routine