March 08, 2022
Hands are like a person’s second face, but since the metabolism of the skin of the hands is slower than that of the face, coupled with daily chores like cleaning and washing, your hands can age much faster than your face, with issues like dryness, age spots, wrinkles, and volume loss. To make matters worse, the frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitisers over the past 2 years can easily damage the skin barrier, subsequently turning many hands into sandpaper with inflammations.
See, everyone ages, that's nature, but if you are taking care of your face, you really should take care of your hands too. Otherwise, no matter how much money you spend on your face, age will show, just like oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman (photo from Dec 2021).
So what is the best way to care for the hands?
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), strip the skin of its natural oil, and can damage the skin’s lipid barrier, thus weakening its water retention ability, which leads to dryness and pre-mature aging, as well as its defence ability in stopping harmful bacteria and pollutants from entering the body through the skin, resulting in dryness, irritations, redness, and inflammations like eczema and dermatitis.
In addition, they are both alkaline. SLS for instance, has a pH of 7.5 to 8.5. Whilst, bar soap generally has a pH range of 8.0 to 10.0 (even handmade soap is considered alkaline). This alkalinity can increase the skin’s natural pH, disrupt and damage the skin barrier, strip the skin of its important oils, deteriorate the skin's natural water retention and defence function, resulting in dry, itchy, and inflamed skin, as well as worsened eczema and dermatitis symptoms and flare ups.
So, ditch any hand wash with sulfates, and avoid bar soaps. Instead, look for a hand wash that has nourishing properties.
Moonlight Garden Nourishing Hand Wash <- Click to shop
Most of us use sunscreen everyday (and if you aren’t, you really should), but many forget to put it on their neck and hands, which are also prone to UV damage as they are not protected by clothing.
Just like what they can do to our face, UV rays can cause pigmentation, loss of collagen and elasticity, wrinkles, and inflammations. While these sun damages may be invisible to the eyes, they accumulate, and will start showing up in one to two decades. For instance, pigment cells rise to the surface and collagen production slows as we age, which is why age spots and wrinkles start to show up as we get older.
With the frequent hand washing, it may be hard to keep reapplying sunscreen on the hands. At the very least, however, try to apply before heading out in the morning, and reapply before going out for lunch. This will make a big difference in the long-term.
Artemisia Power Protection Moisturiser SPF50+ <- Click to shop
It takes around 14-21 days on average for our cells to renew themselves in our 20s; this process gradually lengthens to 28-45 days in our 30s, 45-60 days in our 40s, and 90 days in our 50s-60s. Exfoliation is therefore needed to help with stimulate the renewal process especially as we age.
Now, as usual, we don’t recommend scrubs, as they can easily destroy the skin barrier, leaving the skin irritated and dry, and impair its ability to fight against bacteria, resulting in redness and inflammations. Rather, it’s better to use an acid-based product, as acids only dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells without affecting healthy skin cells. Simply use the exfoliating serum or cleanser on your hands when you apply it on your face, and that’s it! You don’t even need a separate product.
No. 9 Exfoliant <- Click to shop
Skin is skin, thus besides hand cream, you don’t really need a separate set of products for the hands. Just apply whatever collagen-boosting, brightening, hyperpigmentation-targeting products you use on your face to your hands. The effects they can provide for your face will also show up on your hands too! In fact, if there are any products your face doesn’t like, just use them on your hands.
Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex <- Click to shop
First of all, our skin is like a sponge that absorbs better when damp. In other words, it is much better to apply hand cream when the skin is still damp from washing, so that it can work much better. Which means, you should really be leaving your hand cream in the bathroom or carry it with you, instead of putting it on after you return to your seat or room.
Secondly, our hands not only get dry, but age as well, thus a simple moisturizing hand cream that merely seals in moisture without providing the skin with nutrients isn’t really enough. Try to find a formula that contains ingredients that help soothe, brighten, calm inflammations and stimulate collagen synthesis, in addition to moisturizing ingredients.
Moonlight Garden Nourishing Hand Cream <- Click to shop
When your hands are extremely dry, peeling or cracking, it is beneficial to use an oil, as they are made of a mixture of soothing oils and botanical extracts that are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phenols, phytonutrients, etc to truly nourish and soothe. They also tend to have anti-inflammatory properties too!
Also, because of their lipophilic nature and small molecular size, they can penetrate the skin’s layers way faster and deeper to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, nourish skin cells, heal cracks and wounds, create a protective barrier against external aggressors like pollution and allergens, fight free radicals, and ultimately slow down signs of aging.
Surrounding Surfaces Cuticle Treatment <- Click to shop
No, you don’t need to go and buy a hand mask. All you need to do is:
Trust us, your hands will be as soft as a baby’s bottom afterwards!
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