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Hands are among the most used and exposed parts of our bodies, and, not surprisingly, also one of the most likely to be the target of skin damage. If you are concerned about damage to your hands, whether for social media purposes or otherwise, here are some things that may be causing the damage and some things you can do to prevent it.
What Damages the Skin on our Hands?
If you are suffering from dry or damaged skin, the most likely explanation is a compromised outer skin layer. Skin naturally holds on to moisture, which helps it rejuvenate, but exposure to elements can reap damage on the outer layer, causing skin to lose its ability to keep itself hydrated. Cracked and dry skin becomes vulnerable to UV radiation and pollutants, and aging results. The worst skin damaging culprits are:
- Dry Air. Those who live in dry or cold climates are often exposed to moisture sapping dry air.
- Water. Water steals natural moisturizers from skin. If circumstances call for you to wash your hands a lot or to work with wet hands, you are at risk for damage.
- Chemicals. Whether you work with chemicals or use household cleaners with a chemical base you are probably no stranger to chapped hands. Chemicals damage the outer layer of the skin, robbing it of moisture and leaving it open to problems.
- Soap. Soap is notorious for its drying effects on skin. Hand soaps and cleansers slow the process of healing and create cracking and drying.
How To Rejuvenate Your Skin
- Avoid Soap. Many soaps contain sulfates, preservatives, and synthetic fragrances, all of which are drying. Antibacterial and foaming soaps strip skin of natural oils and fats. Choose moisturizing cleansers and rinse thoroughly to keep hands soft and smooth.
- Moisturize. Arm yourself with moisturizer. Keep a travel size bottle or tube with you at all times and use after every wash.
- Wear Gloves. Gloves protect hands from damage, whether working, gardening, or simply cleaning your house. Stay away from the vinyl ones, which may make skin drier, and opt for leather and cotton.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliate your hands? Sure, why not, you do every other part of your body. You can use a pumice stone after bathing or mix 1-2 tbspns of sugar with olive oil and rub it on your hands to loosen dull dry skin. Use up to 4 times a week and apply moisturizer afterward.
- Stay away from hot air dryers. They may be better for the environment, but they are worse for your hands. If faced with these moisture sucking machines, opt for a pat dry with toilet paper or a simple shake dry and then put your lotion on.
- Wear gloves to bed. For an overnight hand treatment, apply some super thick lotion and jojoba oil and soak in the bath or put on wool socks or cotton gloves and go to bed. Rinse in the morning.
- Use a humidifier. Great for keeping dry skin moist on all body parts, humidifiers can really come in handy in cold and dry regions. The best location for the humidifier is your bedroom, so you can lock in moisture as you sleep.
Ready for your close up? Let us know how your engagement ring selfie turned out after you followed these instructions, or let us know how you prevent skin damage. We love to hear it!