Looking after hardworking hands
Our hands carry us through life.
They cook, they clean, they write our to-do lists, they're exposed to the elements, and don't get the love and care that they deserve.
Let's give a big 'thank you' to our hardworking hands, read on for the practical tips to keep them healthy, nourished and appreciated.
2020 will be known as the year of COVID-19, and of course, so. much. hand. washing! With such a strong emphasis on scrubbing, washing and sanitising, many of us experienced side effects for the first time.
Unfortunately the very products used to keep your hands clean and even the water itself strip the skin of the much-needed barrier that is there to protect them from damage. When this barrier is compromised, your hands also become more susceptible to dryness, rashes and even dermatitis.
Use a quality hand wash to feed your skin the nourishment it needs, and look for ingredients that will not just clean, but also give back some moisture.
My Clean by Nature Natural Hand Wash contains Organic Aloe Vera, Tea Tree, and an aromatherapy blend, which is a great choice (if I do say so myself).
It was formulated to be gentle and non-drying, with a skin-native pH level. Aloe Vera is a brilliant hydrator, it contains soothing properties that help to reduce inflammation, and also nourishes the skin with Vitamins A and B, folic acid, enzymes, proteins, amino acids, good fatty acids and triglycerides - What a powerhouse!
Tea Tree is a native Australian plant famous for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Combined with essential oils, is an ideal addition to any cleansing products, as it prevents bacteria growth and encourages skin healing.
Apply 1-2 pumps to wet hands and rub for about 20 seconds, then rinse off well, that's it!
Use lukewarm water.
Skin doesn't love water that is too hot, no matter how nice that steaming shower feels. When you're tempted to only turn on the hot tap, remember that hotter water does not equal cleaner hands.
Stick to lukewarm water and your hands will thank you.
Consider a gentle exfoliation.
Like the rest of your skin, hands can also benefit from the occasional exfoliation. Hands give away their age the fastest, mainly because the skin is thin, so start treating them with as much care as you show the skin on your face and buff away dead skin to keep them soft and supple.
Protect them with gloves.
Consider wearing gloves while gardening, washing dishes, or undertaking other chores. A physical barrier will protect hands in the best way possible, and keep them out of chemicals and water for extended periods of time.
Another example of hands being forgotten in skincare is the need to protect them from the sun. Harmful UV rays don't discriminate, and hands left uncovered can be the first to feel the effects, especially when preforming everyday activities like driving.
Not only is this exposure dangerous, but can quickly accelerate the ageing process, and nobody wants their hands to give away their age when you're investing so much into keeping your face vibrant!
Use a hand treatment.
Invest in a rich hand cream, and use vitamin E on nails and cuticles to moisturise and protect them.
If your hands start to get itchy, flaky, painful or red, it’s a sign that the skin barrier is being damaged, which gives bacteria a chance to enter the skin.
If this sounds familiar, then you need an intensive moisturiser or ointment to give them a chance to heal and for the damaged barrier to regenerate. If you don’t have a specific ointment for your hands, petroleum jelly works just as well.
Slowing down, being more mindful with what we put our hands through, and treating them as well (if not more loved) than the rest of our skin will make such a difference.
Now that you're in the know, wave goodbye to unhappy hands and watch your skin quality improve quite quickly!