Preparing delicious meals, keeping the home spick and span, tending to my garden and making things with my hands is hugely gratifying to me. Though, I strongly believe that our body is made to do things and not to be looked at, I don’t deny I still like to keep it looking good. I like to adorn it with jewellery and paint them occasionally (Read: 5 Nail Polish For The Chic Minimalist).
Recently, my hands starts to show sign of drying. There are fine on the tip of my fingers and I know if I don’t care for my hands it’ll turn into permanent wrinkles. I guess my hands are not taking all the work very well, and I haven’t been pampering them for a while.
So I thought, ‘How to keep my hands pretty despite all the work?’. I think the best is to seek advise from someone who makes a living off her beautiful hands isn’t it? I found Ellen Sirot, a hand super model. At 40, is the hand replacement for celebrity like Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rachael Ray.
Granted, we’re no hand super model and we cannot afford to not do anything with our hands except letting it be photographed. But the general advise still hols true: avoid the sun, treat your hands gently and use skincare on it as you do on your face. Here’s what I gathered and what I’ll be doing:
1. Use milder dish detergent
Are you using chemical detergent that is harsh on your skin? Dish washing liquid is designed to remove oil from dirty pots and plates. The same way, it will strip off oil from your skin. As most of these detergent are laden with chemical, it is not doing any favour for our delicate hands. Try to replace chemical detergent with something more natural.
What I did: I’m currently searching for more natural washing liquid and found some here. It’s great to know that it’s not only good for my hands, but my body (you don’t feel like you’re ingesting chemical). Also, I don’t use detergent on plates which are not oily e.g those I served fruits in.
2. Use gloves
If you’re not ready to spend more on better dish detergent, it’s okay. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes. It’ll not only protect your hands from harsh chemical, but from water which could dry your skin. Keep a pair of cotton gloves too. When you do anything that might hurt your hands e.g painting, gardening, fixing furniture; wear it to protect your hands. You can also wear gloves when you drive since it’s a time when its expose to our harsh, tropical sunlight.
What I do: I ALWAYS use rubber gloves to wash dishes and keep a few extra at home to replace broken ones. I have a pair of gardening gloves and I keep a pair of driving gloves in my car. I believe prevention is better than cure. What’s the point of slathering your hands with heaps of rich hand cream when you constantly expose it to harsh condition?
3. Put on sunblock
The main cause of premature aging is sunlight. To defend your skin from harmful UV rays, always remember to put on sunblock. When you go out and will be under the sun for many hours, remember to put sunblock on your hands too.
What I do: When I put sunblock on my face, I will squeeze it at the back of my palms. It’s like a palette where I dab my fingers on and paint my face. This way, I have leftover to spread on my hands and also reminds me to spare some more for it.
4. Make use of tools
Whenever you can, do work with your tools (e.g scissors and knife) and not your bare hands. You can unwrap a boxed sealed tapes with your hands, but why not use a pair of scissors instead?
What I do: I always make use of my tools. At home, I place scissors everywhere – at pantry, wet kitchen, snack box, garden table, work table etc. When I travel, I always carry a swiss knife with me. When I have easy access to my tools, I’m unlike to use my hands and brute force to do any rough work.
5. Moisturise it
Ellen Sirrot, the hand super model treats her hands like how some woman treat their face. Consider extending your facial regiment to your hands too. At the very least, put on moisturiser before you sleep and whenever you are free e.g watching TV. There are some cream that are made especially for rough hands. They normally contain high percentage of oil like cocoa butter or retinol which purportedly helps boost skin collagen.
What I do: I sometimes wish I am more hardworking when it comes to adhering to skincare. While I don’t put on heaps of products on my hands, I do try to moisturise it every night. I keep a bottle of rich hand moisturiser by my bedside. When the lights out and I suddenly remember I haven’t put on my hand cream, it’s easy for me to reach to it and give my hands a little love. I personally prefer cream rich in cocoa butter and with essential oil.
Our hands do a lot of things for us and for that reason should be cared for and pampered. What can do you today to treat them better?