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19 Jan 2018

In first and second place…

19 Jan 2018
In first and second place…

Our hands; the second most visible parts of our bodies, and typically the first to show signs of ageing. Hand on your heart, are you giving your hands enough consideration and care?

We often have a thought-through daily skin care routine for our faces; cleansing rituals, serums, creams, anti-wrinkle treatments, masks, facials, religious sunscreen application etc, but sadly give our hands little or no thought between manicures. Big mistake. Considering the ‘abuse’ most hands endure – constant washing, exposure to the elements, exposure to bacteria and domestic chemicals, coupled with the delicate nature of the skin, they need a lot of care. If you neglect this, chances are, they will turn on you and give your age away before you know it.

Don’t worry, we are not here to spread despair. We are here to help you understand what makes your hands look older than necessary, and what you can do to give your them what they need to keep them looking and feeling as fabulous as the rest of you!

Issue: Rough/Scaly Skin 

Let’s agree, it just doesn’t look good, healthy or youthful.

Prevention & Solution:

This is an easy fix. Get rid of rough, dead skin with a gentle scrub. After that you need to rehydrate. Use an intensely nourishing mask, or a glycerine and oil containing hand cream applied as a mask – ie a thick, indulgent layer, and let the hands rest and absorb. This is ideally done in the evening, just before bed, as the skin will then benefit from the treatment all night.

Issue: ‘Crumpled’ skin

Basically, wrinkled skin on the top of your hands. This happens when the collagen in the skin breaks down.

Prevention & Solution:

To prevent this from happening prematurely, you need to ‘feed’ the skin with the same care you would your face. Think gentle cleansers, the occasional exfoliation, proper hydrating- and moisturising creams as well as hand masks are your new best friends. In terms of treating, there are prescription retinol creams, that your dermatologist can advise you on. This needs to be monitored closely though as a common side effect of retinoid products is skin irritation when used incorrectly. At-home microneedling is also a good choice as this stimulates the body’s natural ability to create collagen.

Issue: Dark spots

Ironically, also known as age spots. We say ironic, because they really don’t have that much to do with age. They are, in fact, simply the result of sun exposure. 

Prevention & Solution:

Sunscreen! Protect your hands in the same way you do your face. Find a sunscreen brand (factor 30 or higher) that you like the texture, smell, and price of, and use it in place of a regular hand cream. Remember to re-apply throughout the day and after washing your hands. For existing spots, there are hydroquinone creams as well as an array of treatments; at-home microneedling for example or clinical laser treatments.

Issue: Visible/elevated veins

Exactly what it sounds like – veins protruding through the skin.

Prevention & Solution:

This is not something that can be prevented altogether, but can be postponed and minimised by making sure to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised (serums, creams, and masks will help). In terms of treatment to get rid of raised veins, there is really only one option: vein removal. This should only be considered in very extreme cases as it otherwise unnecessarily invasive.

Issue: Bad nails!

And by this we don’t mean a shoddy manicure (though that is NEVER a good look). We mean discolouration or brittle, ragged nails.

Prevention & Solution:

If the problem is stains, first, figure out why your nails are turning yellow or brown. Dark nail polishes or certain medications can be a cause, in which case the discolouration will disappear naturally with time, or try using a lemon wedge, just like you would when you're removing nail polish. Even denture cleaner can be effective – simply soak your nails for 15 to 20 minutes to remove stains. Note that these treatments can be dehydrating for your nails though, so should be used sparingly, and only on otherwise healthy nails! If neither method works, or if the discolouration is accompanied by pain, it's likely a fungal infection which will need to be treated by your GP.

When it comes to brittle nails, it’s tricky because the causes range from exposure to water, domestic chemicals, climate, and to some extent genetics – nothing you can really prevent or avoid. However, regularly using a nourishing cuticle oil (almond and coconut oils are great), and B vitamin supplements can do wonders. A strengthening and nourishing, non-toxic nail polish can also help protect your nails.

Find out more about the Hand Dry Mask here

Find out more about the Body Roller here