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5 Ways to Care for Your Hands Every Day

Like your face, your hands function as bridges to the world.

You shake hands when you meet or greet someone for the first time and when you seal a deal. Your hands express your affection to those you love. They soothe sad children and those suffering from illness.

Maybe you "talk" with yours. In any case, whenever you're interacting with others, your hands will probably spend some time in the spotlight.

5. Wash with Care

The last 11 months has been the time for cleanliness for sure: Washing your hands is the best thing you can do to keep from spreading bacteria, viruses and other nasty things to yourself, and from yourself to others. We are all doing our best to be respectful towards the ones around us and keeping our own safe by keeping it clean.

A little knowledge about skin can help you understand how to wash your hands properly. Skin is composed of layers. The outer layer (the stratum coronium) is mostly made of dead skin cells surrounded by natural oils produced by the living cells in the layer beneath. The natural oils make a protective shield that keeps water inside the body and germs and other irritants out. If the outer layer doesn't have enough natural oils, it won't retain enough water and your skin may be dry, rough, red, cracked and itchy.

Rinse hands well and dry by patting or blotting gently. Don't rub.

4. Moisturize!

Good moisturizers can help prevent or treat dry skin on your hands. They hold that needed water in the outer layer of skin, making your hands smoother and softer. They also help your outer skin act as a temporary protective shield. Many people like to use some sort of water-based lotion, but that may not be the best choice. Lotions may make your hands feel great at first, but the water will evaporate quickly, drying your skin anew.

Creams are thicker and longer-lasting than lotions. Most creams are water-based, but folks with extremely dry skin may want to use an oil-based cream. Oil will hold water inside your skin longer, but the cream will leave a residue on your hands, which is why Lotions Bars and Butters tend to be the big favorite. These little compact bars can provide the hydration and protection you need without it evaporating away!

3. Protect hands from harsh cleaners!

Your hands have a hard enough time as it is. Give them a break by protecting them from unnecessary exposure to anything that will make things worse. All you have to do is make wearing gloves part of your daily routine. Until you get into the habit, taking a couple of minutes to put on gloves before various activities might seem bothersome.

Wear gloves anytime you plan to use harsh cleaning products. There's no use being careful about the soap you use to wash your hands if you're also exposing your hands to household cleaners. Keep a couple of pairs of elbow-length rubber gloves around for heavy cleaning. Wear gloves when gardening or doing yard work to protect hands and nails.

In cold weather, wear gloves when you go outside. It's not just to keep your hands from feeling cold. The gloves will also keep them from drying or chapping in the wintry air.

2. Give Yourself a At-Home Mini-cure

A manicure may be a mood-elevating treat or preparation for a special occasion, yet not available while the COVID to lurking about! Just because we are inside and shouldn’t be out doesn’t mean you can’t still treat yourself.

Most of us won't get a manicure every day much less the last year or so, but we can give ourselves the little things that help keep nails healthy. More importantly cleaning out all the dirt and bacteria we can pick up through the day! For example:

  • Don't bite your fingernails. There's nasty stuff under there!

  • Use moisturizer on your nails as well as on your skin. You can use a handy lotion bar or some delicious cuticle butter!

  • Don't cut cuticles, push them back too far or use chemicals on them.

  • Buff nails with a soft cloth. I recommend buying through a small business, check out LanCraftUS!

  • If nails become discolored, stop using polish for a while.

  • The acetone in nail polish remover can damage nails, so use it sparingly.

  • Keep your nails clean.

  • Use a file with a fine texture to shape nails and remove snags.

  • File nails to a rounded point to preserve their strength.

1. Take Care of Your Whole Self

If you want to take care of your hands, start by taking care of the rest of your body. The body is a unit made of many separate, but intertwined parts. The skin and nails on your hands will benefit from a basic, everyday healthful routine. If you want to keep your hands and fingernails healthy, smooth and young-looking, think about what you eat.

Make sure that you stay well hydrated as well. External conditions -- dry air, harsh soaps and the like -- can cause dry skin. Drinking plenty of water helps your skin retain moisture. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

Stress that isn't managed well can damage skin and nails. If you have problems with rashes or eczema on your hands, stress is likely to cause a flare-up. Stress also can make the nails more brittle. And if you're prone to nail-biting, stress can send you back to your old, bad habit.

I am sending out tons of love and warm wishes for your new year and hoping you are all staying safe and healthy out there. I will be rolling out some new treats over the next couple of weeks and hope you all will enjoy!

Look out for more information coming soon on all the new goodies and some need to know stuff!

- Kaela

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