It's In Your Hands Now... Hand Skincare, That Is
By: Madeleine Woon
Let’s Stop Neglecting Skincare For Our Hands, Pls
*Jewel’s ‘Hands’ plays softly in the background*
I’ll be the first to raise my (dry, cracked) hands high and admit that I don’t always give them the TLC they deserve. Despite all they’ve done for me over the years—from ordering Uber Eats to enabling me to write articles for this very website—my hands tend to get overlooked in favor of other more obvious parts of skin—the face, the décolletage—during my daily skincare routine.
For obvious reasons, I have been washing my hands more frequently and fervently than I ever have done before in my life this past year. Add to that the endless Dutch winter, and my hands have taken on a texture somewhere between a crumpled paper bag and the Sahara desert. Super cute!
Maybe you’re aghast at this confession, or maybe you’re nodding your head sheepishly in recognition of the ill-treatment you’ve subjected your hands to over the years, too. Either way, I come bearing news, both bad and good.
OUR HANDS AND AGING
Let’s get the less fun news out of the way first. Our hands are often the first place on our body to display signs of aging. This is mostly due to the fact that they are constantly exposed to all the elements: Wind, rain, work, sun, and water. Daily habits (like washing the dishes) can exacerbate dryness, and certain medications, medical conditions or hereditary factors can cause thinning skin on your hands. Of course, the most obvious cause of aging hands is aging itself. While this is a natural part of life, we’re still out here trying to do the best by our skin. We just PRESS REFRESH levels of hydration, but for our skin.
The good news: It’s never too late to give your hands the treatment they deserve. Easy, too!
SPF IS YOUR BFF
The skin on your hands is considerably more thin than the face and other parts of your body, making it more susceptible to wrinkles and sun damage. It’s annoying yet true advice that prevention is the best cure, no matter what age you are, and that, my friends, is where a good SPF 50+ comes in. After applying sunscreen, you might be tempted to wash the residue off your hands—but resist! Slather the remaining cream onto the back of your hands, because they want a piece of the action, too.
GO H.A.M ON THE HYDRATION
One way to turn back the ~hands~ of time is to moisturize as if it is your sole calling in life. Thanks to frequent washing, especially during this cursed pandemic life, our hands are sapped of moisture more than any other part of the body, and thus deserve infinite amounts of love and hydration. Lotions and creams help to lock in moisture and plump up the skin, giving them a more youthful lewk. Ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E and macadamia nut oil are all superb choices when it comes to hand treatments, and they are better absorbed with slightly damp skin, so keep a bottle handy post-shower.
While you’re lovingly slapping on all your face lotions and potions, it doesn’t hurt to spare some to your hands—especially if they are products that boost collagen production. And, be sure to re-moisturize every time you wash your hands.
In the market for a new acne-prone sunscreen? Make sure it checks these boxes before you make the long-term commitment.