We speak with them. We work with them. We rely on them to eat, drink, touch and work and they are often badly neglected – our hands.
Hands are extremely structurally complex and contain a high proportion of the bones in our body (second only to our feet).
When did you last take care of your hands? Not only is a good hand care regime relaxing, it is also very good for you. Like many things, you only really appreciate your hands when they aren’t functioning properly and you realise how very heavily you rely on them.
Keep Them Moving
Simple hand exercises keep your hands nimble. Knitting, playing the piano, gardening and typing can all be useful. Or, try a simple ‘brain gym’ exercise – touch all the tips of your fingers and thumbs together. Then, starting with the thumbs, keep all other fingers together and roll your thumbs around themselves clockwise. Then touch your thumbs back together and repeat with your index fingers, middle fingers and so on. Repeat the entire exercise anticlockwise.
Roll your wrists regularly during the day as well, or squeeze a soft ball to keep your hands and wrists strong.
Whatever you to the skin on your face, you should do to the skin on you hands. Exfoliate, moisturise, protect from sunburn and treat them occasionally.
There are a number of products available on the market targeted at hand care, but you can use everyday products at home as well.
Sugar scrubs leave your hands feeling soft and refreshed, but you can also use salts and oils. Moisturise regularly – it is a great idea to have a moisturiser next to a soft soap dispenser in the kitchen and bathroom so you can moisturise every time you wash your hands.
Always use gardening gloves when you are working outside. To avoid the inevitable dirty fingernails, scratch a bar of damp soap before putting your gloves on, so that your nails are full of soap. When you have finished, simply wash your hands and the soap will dissolve and leave your nails clean.
Use gloves when working with harsh cleaning chemicals as well. The skin on your hands is delicate and bleaches and scourers can cause nasty reactions.
To give your hands a real treat, soak them for five minutes in warm water with a tbsp. of almond/coconut oil (or other light oil). Mix 2 tsp raw sugar with 1 tsp oil and rub all over your hands for a few minutes. Rinse in warm water and slather with hand cream.
Leave it to the Professionals
Keep your fingernails trimmed straight across at a length that is practical for you. Professional manicurists are wonderful if you have problems with ingrown nails, ridges or overgrown cuticles.
If you ever develop an infection on, under or around your nails, seek the advise of your pharmacist of doctor promptly.
Check sunspots and moles on your hands regularly – hands are exposed to sunlight more so than any other body part and are often not protected.