Did you wash your hands today? How many times? And did you apply moisturizing SPF after that? Mmmm?
I know. We’ve been talking about our hands at the studio; what we do and what we’re supposed to do that we never do, and we all agreed on one thing – we need to know a little bit more about the best practices, and how to keep our hands looking as good as possible, for as long as possible.
Because the eyes might be the window to one’s soul, but the hands are the window to one’s age, and we’d REALLY like to keep that window closed (and the blinds down).
So we all know that SPF is a key player in maintaining healthy skin, but I’d be lying if I said that regularly applying it to my hands was part of my routine.
But like other parts of our body (face, neck, and arms), one of the best ways to maintain healthy and youthful hands is to protect them from the harmful UV rays we never even knew we were exposing them to. For instance:
– Walking to work on a sunny day
– Spending Saturday morning browsing the farmer’s market
– Having brunch on a hot patio
– Getting a manicure (especially if it’s gel! Those UV hand dryers are like tanning beds for your hands)
– Driving (crazy right?! But think of all that direct sunlight. Some people even opt for wearing gloves, but I think I’ll stick with sunscreen)
You get it. If our hands are going to be exposed to any amount of sunlight or UV rays, they should be protected first.
And since after sunscreen, moisturizing is one of the best ways to maintain good hands (especially lathering up before bed!), I’m stocking up on hand cream that includes SPF for the coming summer months, like Clinique’s Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream with SPF 15. Done and done.
But beyond the slightly obvious sunscreen and moisturizing aspects of hand care, it’s always good to incorporate habits that will help prevent the more visible signs of aging:
– Hand stretches: As simple as stretching out your palms and gently bending your fingers back, the movements will relieve pressure and increase circulation, helping to prevent big, blue varicose veins.
– Safe hair removal: If ridding yourself of unwanted hair (hey, it happens to the best of us!) is high on your priority list, waxing or laser hair removal might be the most effective and least damaging options (but not necessarily cheap or painless).
And if you think you’d benefit most from a complete overhaul and rejuvenation of your hands, a prescription retinoid cream can help improve texture and collagen growth, while undergoing an increasingly popular procedure for fillers (dermal injections), can help with smoothness, volume, and overall appearance.
While the surgical route might not be for everyone (my stomach is entirely too weak to even think about it), it does work wonders for others. Like Sharon Stone! Who talked about her use of the procedure in the latest issue of French ELLE. Aaaah, celebrity, always on the forefront of all things crazy (that we will think of as perfectly normal in 10 years).
While we’re huge fans of fun manicures and funky nail art in the studio, we also agree that there is nothing cute about broken, discolored nails. In my desperate attempt to justify maintaining colored fingernails, I was relieved to learn that healthy nails don’t necessarily have to mean kicking our polish habit to the curb. Instead:
– Let your nails “breathe” for at least a week in between manicures
– Always use a base coat before applying your favorite polish
– If you do experience the nail stain (when they turn yellow or brown), rub a lemon wedge over them. The citrus naturally helps lighten the color, just look out for paper cuts!
– Regularly taking biotin supplements for at least 4-6 months will help improve nail strength (and hair length – win, win!)
– Switch to a natural, acetone free nail polish remover to avoid brittleness
– Increase your personal maintenance level to “high” by adding a nail mask to your weekly routine. That’s right, like a face mask, but for your fingers.
So what do you do to keep your hands loved and in good shape? Any products, tips, or tricks that perform miracles? I’m looking for eternal youth over here.