Don’t Forget Your Hands!

Many of us put a lot of time and effort into protecting the skin on our faces from the signs of aging.  Its important, however, not to forget the skin on our hands. For most people, the skin on our hands is exposed to just as much sunlight as the skin on our faces causing it to age just as much as the face.

However, in addition, the skin in our hands comes into to contact with soap detergents, shampoos and other household chemicals much more frequently, causing the skin to appear thin and dry and older than it should.

Any good skin care regime should involve the hands as well as the face. Otherwise, while the skin on the face may look pristine, the skin on your hands can give you away.

Here are some easy tips to take care of the skin on your hands.

  • Moisturise your hand. A good time to apply moisturiser to the hands is after every wash, after a shower or bath and in the evenings when relaxing watching television or just before going to sleep.  If necessary, cotton gloves can be worn at night in bed to stop the bedclothes getting greasy.
  • Try washing your hands using warm-not hot-water and a soap substitute instead of soap. If your hands are really dirty, use a non-perfumed soap, applied sparingly, and then rinse thoroughly. Remove any rings to avoid getting water and soap trapped underneath them (but please be careful not to lose precious jewellery).  After washing, dry your hands thoroughly using  a clean towel, especially between the fingers.  Once dried, apply emollient (moisturiser).
  • Wear gloves for wet work and when handling irritant or protective material. Ty to wear gloves when working with household chemicals such as detergents or cleaning chemicals.  Some foodstuffs can irritate to surface of the skin so try not to chop citrus fruits, garlic or chillis with your bare hands.  But remember, wearing gloves and/or moisturiser on your hands can make your hands slippery and using sharp implements more dangerous.
  • Wear gloves for as short a time as possible as excessive sweating can dry out and irritate the skin. Dry household gloves inside out and turn them inside out and rinse them regularly.
  • On cold days try to wear gloves outdoors to keep the hands warm and protect them from the drying effect of cold air.
  • Us sunblock. Even on overcast, cloudy days, the suns rays can penetrate cloud and damage the skin.  Keep a tube of sunblock, at least SPF 30 with you, and apply regularly.