How To Look After Your Hands

How To Look After Your Hands

It’s not just gardeners and masseuses whose hands get a daily workout. Most of us put our hands through a lot, whether we’re mums changing nappies ten times a day, are working in a kitchen, decorating houses, training in the gym or driving, we use our hands for almost everything. This means they come into contact with all sorts of surfaces, temperatures and chemicals. Far more so than the skin on other parts of the body does. Yet, we don’t think much about how to take care of our hands. After all, they are usually in much better condition than our feet.

However, since the pandemic, we have started to focus far more on our hands. It forced us to pay attention to how much our hands come into contact with, from a hygienic point of view. Also though, the increased use of hand sanitiser has left hands dry, resulting in record sales of hand creams. Plus, during the lockdowns, we had to do our own nails.

Our hands are instruments for work, for labours (including washing up), for creativity and for love. It is with our fingers we plait our children’s hair, with which we crumb flour and butter to make cakes. Our hands make gestures of friendship and welcome. They write our words and express our emotions. They plant, type, paint, pack, caress, hold, push and pull. That being, we believe hands deserve to be looked after. So, here is our advice on how to look after your hands:

Protecting Your Hands

Prevention is always better than treatment. Therefore, protecting your hands in certain conditions is important. Gloves can be used for cold weather but should also be used when washing up, gardening, doing DIY and other labour that involves working with chemicals or contact with rough surfaces. They may not be glamorous but a good pair of marigolds when washing up will help keep your hands free of grease, from hot water and protected from sharp objects.

Gloves To Protect Hands When Washing Up, Gardening And Doing DIY

Dishpan hands are real and they are a nightmare to treat. Caused by having your hands in hot water for long periods, dishpan hands make the skin dry and therefore prone to cracking. It can also cause frayed cuticles and weakened nails. Although water is of course a very natural substance, consider this - if having our fingers in dishwater or bath water can wear away our nail polish, what might it be doing to our skin?

It is also important to wear gloves when working with tools or rough surfaces. Not only will they improve your grip but they will protect your skin from damage. Building and decorating materials can dry out our skin and gardening can be rough and even result in scrapes and cuts. Though our hands are tough they are easily damaged and, being so in demand, aren’t allowed much time to recover and repair when they are. For us tactile types it may feel easier to do these jobs with bare hands, feeling our way through. Yet, gloves are something you get used to the more you wear them so try not to think of them as a barrier to work but as a barrier there to protect your beautiful skin.

Exfoliating Your Hands

Our hands are as much in need of a good scrub as our faces. After all, the skin on our hands is exposed to far more unwelcome substances and we need to buff away those dead skin cells to make room for new cells to grow. 

So, what’s so bad about having dead skin cells?

Our skin sheds dead cells every 30 days or so and exfoliating helps remove this. An excess of dead skin cells can result in dry, patchy and flaky skin. This can happen when our skin is often in contact with rough surfaces and chemicals that cause our skin damage and therefore encourages it to flake. It also happens with age and some other skin conditions.

To look after your hands, you should exfoliate every now and then. The good news is that if you’re exfoliating your face or skin on your body then you’re probably exfoliating your hands too since you’re handling the product.

Do You Need To Exfoliate Your Hands

We don’t make an exfoliant but we do have some great recipes for making them at home and it’s really easy and just as effective as the ones you can buy. Check them out on our Instagram page

Moisturising Your Hands

You are going to lose moisture in your hands because they are so busy and so often in water, which can dry your skin out. Washing up liquid, hand sanitisers and other products also strip natural oils from the skin meaning we have less ability to keep our skin moistured the way it's designed to. So moisturising is a necessity.

What I would stress though is that what some of us are doing, in washing our hands, is removing unwelcome chemicals. This is absolutely necessary of course. However, what we shouldn’t then be doing in an attempt to then treat them, is smothering them with other chemicals. Unfortunately, many non-natural hand creams do just this. So you’re effectively using the core problem as the solution. If that doesn’t sound like a good approach to you, that’s because it’s not.

Moisturising Your Hands With Natural Hand Cream

Natural moisturisers, wherever on your skin you use them, are a far better option because they help your skin do what it should naturally be doing, rather than taking over. If harsh chemicals start to do the work of your skin then they also assist in perpetuating these problems. Some also bring new problems. Aside from this, we wash off moisturiser and in doing so, any chemicals or toxic ingredients run into our water system which is damaging to the environment.

Why is Natural Skincare The Best Way To Look After Your Hands?

Having used so many mainstream beauty products for years and finding very little success and no long-term benefits, I started making natural skincare in my kitchen. After a while, my skin improved drastically. It came back to life and, whilst the face cream was definitely working I felt my skin starting to do its part as well. This led to me expanding, making creams for others and soon after launching my all-natural, vegan, no-palm oil, skincare range. A range of products that encourage the skin to produce its own natural oils rather than simply replacing them with an artificial version. 

I tell you this story because I’m obviously going to use this opportunity to mention my all-natural Utopia hand cream made from lemons, aloe vera, shea butter, almond oil, hemp seed oil and all sorts of scrummy ingredients. However, it’s important to tell you why I believe all-natural products are better because my brand is not only about the products I make but about busting the beauty myths and encouraging people to move to planet-friendly products, whether they’re mine or not.

Natural Hand Cream With Vegan Cruelty Free Ingredients

If you would like to check out my organic Utopia hand cream that smells delicious enough to eat, you can find out more here.

It's important to look after your hands and they do need some assistance. Yet, we know our hands are highly capable so try to opt for products, like mine, that gives them a ‘helping hand’ rather than strip them of all their natural healing abilities.

A Handy Routine - My Hand Care Tips

I’m all about rituals when it comes to skincare and hand care is no different. Your skin loves a regular routine - it helps keep it calm. So, after I’ve tucked my kids in at night and got myself finally settled on the sofa, I grab my hand cream and massage it into my hands, fingers and cuticles. Not only is the moisturiser good for my skin but the movement is soothing and helps me find that relaxing state I’m finally able to fall into after a long day.

In terms of protecting my hands in the kitchen, I rub a little olive oil or hemp oil onto my hands and lower arms 5-10 minutes before coming into contact with anything that might dry my skin out. Yes, just a little oil to create a protective layer on my skin gives an extra barrier from dishwater and cleaning products. Although I must stress, that gloves are better and even better still, do both because the gloves will help your skin absorb the oil faster.

All Natural Hand Cream Best Way To Look After Your Hands

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