The Hands of Time
Have you ever heard someone say that they can tell a woman’s age by looking at her hands? You might think that this sounds like a silly old wives’ tale. Hands are hands, right? But old wives’ tales like this come from a place of truth.
We wake up each morning and follow our usual routine: shower, brush our teeth, cleanse and moisturize our face, style our hair, apply makeup. But what about our hands?
While our faces often get all the attention, our hands are treated to serious hard labor. They’re our chefs and pot scrubbers, our cleaners and gardeners, our secretaries and chauffeurs. We wash them, stripping the natural moisture away with soap and chemicals. We drive with our hands exposed to the sun like two plump seagulls basking on the beach. Each day and night our hands suffer, and when the winter months roll around cold air and wind along with our day-to-day routine takes its toll. They dry out, become cracked, red and sore; leaving permanent damage that will only prove the old wives’ tale true in years to come.
So what to do? How do you ensure that your skin stays delicate and soft for years to come?
Wear gloves. Yep. You know how mum always puts those silly rubber gloves on when she is washing the dishes and cleaning? Or why dad wears gardening gloves? The simple act of wearing gloves while doing household chores can save your hands from becoming dehydrated and irritated. Just think how chemicals, powerful enough to cut through mold and grime in your shower, can also wear the skin of your hands!
Exfoliate. Just as you look after your legs, body and face, don’t forget your hands. Using an equal mix of cooking oil and sugar, rub into your hands and rinse clean. If this becomes part of your weekly routine you will notice the difference.
Massage. Not only is it relaxing but massage also stimulates blood circulation in your hands, contributing to general health and healing. Applying a little moisturizer, begin at the palms and use your thumb to massage all the way to your knuckles and the tips of your fingers. After a stressful day this can also be a great way to relax.
Keep them warm. Pat your hands dry after you wash them and keep them warm when outside in the winter months. Cold hands can have an effect on your immune system and lead to sore throats and mild cases of the sniffles.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Don’t forget to use a moisturizer with an SPF 30+ to avoid sun damage from everyday sun, especially if you drive. But when the winter air really pulls a number on your hands and your usual moisturizer is not enough, apply a thin layer of Vaseline before bed and cover them with cotton gloves. When you wake up in the morning you will find the skin replenished, smooth and silky!
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