7 Sins Of Hand Care You Didn't Know You Were Committing

Posted by in Hands & Feet

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I don’t know about you, but I love hands, I’d be totally lost without them. However, I am most certainly guilty of neglecting to look after the two appendages that have served me so well. With such thin skin that is exposed to so much, the hands can give away the age of a person long before the face does. There are many beauty products available to reduce signs of ageing, but first you need to be aware of the 7 sins of hand care you probably don’t even realise you’re committing!

1. Washing! “But washings not a sin?!” I hear you cry. Well no, you’re right, we all need to wash or else our hands would be filthy, but the issue falls with the products you use to wash. Harsh soaps can strip the hands of protective oils, resulting in dehydration, cracks and even infection. This drying can increase the appearance of fine lines making your hands look old long before their time. The solution? Wash with gentle soaps such as Roots & Wings Moisturising Coconut Aloe Almond Jojoba Hand Wash £4.25. Made from 74% organic ingredients this deliciously creamy formula leaves skin soft and nourished. If you work in healthcare, or as part of a kitchen, repeatedly washing your hands with strong antibacterial soaps can be unavoidable. The best defence we can recommend is using a nourishing moisturiser immediately after washing hands such as Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Concentrated Cream £3.40. This intensive, non-greasy, glycerin-enriched formula absorbs quickly to leave hands soft and hydrated.

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2. Cleaning! Cleaning is a dull fact of life, none of us enjoy it but we all have to do it eventually. Sadly strong chemicals in cleaning products can be extremely irritating and drying for hands, but you’ve got a limited number of alternative limbs to use. The solution? It’s time to work the marigolds. They might not be the most fashionable accessory in your arsenal but those rubbery yellow wonders are hand-rescuing miracle workers. If you know you’re in for a long stint of cleaning, try applying a soothing balm like this Le Couvent des Minimes Botanical Recipe of Love Hand Cream £3.00 before putting on gloves. Or better yet, see if you can get someone to do the cleaning for you!

3. Biting, chewing and picking! We’ve all done it, you’re getting a bit stressed at work or daydreaming on your way home and who suffers for it? Your hands! Nail biting, cuticle picking and general finger chewing is incredibly damaging to your hands. Attacking the cuticle dries out the nail bed, increasing your chances of infection. If a hangnail appears that you simply can’t ignore and you’ve been caught short without hand cream, you can use chapstick will to smooth the skin (just try to avoid sharing).

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4. Going commando in cold weather! No, we don’t mean like that. Cold weather is incredibly drying for skin, during the winter months most of your body is protected by clothing, but often we forget about our hands. Keeping them warm and out of cold winds keeps hands hydrated and prevents that sleepy-finger-effect when you try to use your phone. Furthermore, carrying bags of shopping around can be very abrasive for the gentle skin on your hands, so wearing gloves really is the best solution all round.

5. Sunburn! Despite not previously having believed it was possible, one fateful day after a long bike ride in Vietnam, I discovered the hell that is sunburnt hands. UV affects the skin on your hands just the same as it does everywhere else on your body, but it’s an easy place to forget while you’re on holiday. Even in the dodgy winter weather it’s important to protect your hands from UV so try switching to an SPF cream such as Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Visibly Renew Elasti-boost Hand Cream £5.49. This soothing hand cream protects with SPF 25 and prevents the appearance of dark spots.

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6. Not Exfoliating! We love to exfoliate, we exfoliate our face, body and feet - so why not our hands? Buffing away dead skin means you’re less likely to pick and chew, leaving you with smooth, flawless hands. There are some great hand scrubs on the market including L’Occitane 1 Minute Hand Scrub £15. This quick and effective hand scrub uses organic brown sugar to gently scrub away dead skin and sweet almond, shea and grapeseed oils to leave hands softened and nourished.

7. “Nail gunk” build up! Whilst your bold, black nail varnish may give your hands that extra touch of style, it can often make it more difficult to realise when dirt is building up underneath. This “nail gunk” is made up of a combination of things including dead skin cells, keratin debris, beauty product residue and dirt. But why is it so sinful to allow this build up? Well asides from the fact that it doesn’t look very pretty, this kind of accumulation of dead skin cells can attract harmful bacteria. Nail technicians are no strangers to this, as false, extra-long nails are particularly bad for attracting a type of bacteria they commonly refer to as “greenies”. Pseudomas are a type of bacteria commonly found under the nail that cause any nail gunk to go green... That’s right, GREEN. Totally gross and very bad for you, so keep those nails clean! We don’t need to tell you how to scrape out the dirt, but if you commonly experience build up under your nails, it could be due to using a heavy, thick hand moisturiser. For a lighter alternative, less likely to gather under your nails, try using this Melvita Roll On Hand, Nail and Cuticle Oil £11. Containing a blend of argan and geranium essential oils, this product nourishes hands, nails and cuticles without leaving behind greasy residues.

So now that you’ve repented for your sins, it's time to discover your hand care hero products. Not sure which treatments are right for your skin? Take our quick and free online questionnaire to find out which hand and nail products are the best for you.

Looking for a scrub to buff your hands beautiful? Shop our range of gorgeous hand scrubs here.

In need of some serious moisture? Discover our collection of nourishing hand creams here.