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hands against a pink surface surrounded by flowers and cotton balls.

Making a Hand Care Routine

Your hands can show your true age, no matter how much care you take to turn back the hands of time on your face. The skin on your hands is thin and is regularly exposed to tons of demanding activities. Even if you have an office job, your hands take a beating. 

Hand washing, cleaning, grabbing weights at the gym; all these activities take their toll on your hands. Hand care is essential for making sure your hands aren’t dry, cracked, and seriously uncomfortable—Not to mention, you’ll make sure they don’t give away your true age. 

Here’s what you should know about developing a hand care routine that will fit into your schedule as easily as your hands fit into gloves. 

Why is hand care important?

Take a quick peek at your hands. Go ahead, we’ll wait. You might be surprised by what you see. We use our hands daily, much more than we realize. Hand washing, sanitizer, and pretty much everything we do all day, every day gives our hands a beating and often leaves them feeling rough, dry, and dehydrated.

Protecting your hands with proper care keeps them from drying, cracking, and aging prematurely, which sounds pretty darn good to us.

What can affect my hand care needs?

Your hand care needs to change regularly, depending on your activities and the climate. During the winter months, you might need a heavier hand cream than you do in the summer, and if you spend a lot of time with your hands submerged in water, your dried-out digits might need a little extra TLC.  

Here’s what you have to consider when it comes to hand care. 

Weather

We all know our hands feel drier in the winter and are more susceptible to cracking and chapping. However, even in the summer, your hands can need special care. 

Direct sun exposure can damage the skin on your hands and even put you at risk of developing skin cancer

Daily activities

Washing pots and pans with dish soap, cleaning the house with chemical-laden household cleaners, or even sanitizing your hands when you’re out and about are all daily activities that are harsh on your skin, but those probably aren’t your only hand-harming tasks. Swimming, smoking, and even your diet can affect skin health. 

Exposure to harsh ingredients

Sorry (not sorry) to burst the bubble, but there are probably ingredients lurking in your products that are no good for your hands on any level. Not sure if your creams, lotions, or sanitizers contain harsh ingredients? Watch out for these culprits:

  • Alcohol (like the kind you find in hand sanitizers)
  • Chemicals from hair care products
  • Hot water (okay, technically not an ingredient, but if you use scalding hot water to do dishes or bathe, natural moisture is getting sucked right out of your hands) 

Remember, the skin on your hands is thinner than the skin elsewhere on your body—even the skin on the palms of your hands is different from the skin on the back of your hands. Your palms have no hair follicles and don't have a single sebaceous gland, which means it’s naturally a drier area than the rest of your skin. 

If your hands are in bad shape, we can help. 

Here’s how to build a hand care routine that will keep your hands soft and nourished during any season. 

How can I take care of my hands?

Taking care of your hands is easy with the right products and a little attention. Think of hand care as you think of your skincare routine, and you’ll form a routine you’re easily able to handle (pun oh so intended). 

Wash

Washing your hands is the foundation of a good hand care routine and a daily necessity for anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting sick. With COVID-19 still sticking around, you’re probably washing your hands more than they’re used to. 

To ensure you don’t end up with dry hands or cracks that never heal, use only warm water when washing your hands, and stick with gentle cleansers that don’t contain harsh chemicals. 

Side note: You don’t have to use “antibacterial” hand soap to get rid of germs on your hands. According to the FDA, there’s not enough evidence to prove that antibacterial hand soap does a better job of getting rid of germs than regular soap and water. 

Moisturize

Keeping your hands hydrated is crucial to ensuring that your hands can last through any season and any activity. 

For always-hydrated hands, use a lotion or cream with natural oils, like coconut or jojoba, and apply it immediately after exposing your hands to water.

If you have seriously dry, cracked hands, consider using hand masks overnight. Apply the mask to your hands and slip on a pair of cotton gloves. It might sound a little weird, but it feels like the ultimate luxury.

Exfoliate

Fun fact: Your hands need exfoliation, too. 

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells to reveal smoother, healthier skin. Most hands need to be exfoliated twice weekly to stay soft and smooth. Your mileage may vary depending on how rough your hands are. 

Use a scrub that has small, fine granules. Large granules can get caught on your cuticles and cause them to rip and tear—and we’re all about proper cuticle care.

Use SPF

You probably slather sunscreen all over your body, but you’re likely forgetting your hands. It’s easy to skip applying sunscreen on the backs of your hands, but your hands are vulnerable to sun damage just like the rest of your body. 

When you apply sunscreen, make sure you use an SPF of 30 or higher, especially if you’ll be in direct sunlight. Massage the sunscreen all over your hands, focusing on the areas around the nails, too. 

Your hands can get a sunburn just as easily as any other part of your body, so when you reapply your sunscreen, don’t forget to reapply on your hands as well. 

Hand care brands we love

Store shelves are lined with products that claim they’ll give you healthier hands, but you know better. Here are some brands we love that aren’t just good for your hands; they’re kinder to animals and the environment, too. 

This Works

If you’re a Kinder Beauty Box subscriber, you’ll get to know the This Works Stress Check Kind Hands in your September box. 

We love this hand cream for use every day, throughout the day. Every single time you wash or sanitize, this hand cream goes to work. Lightweight and made with 98% natural ingredients, it’s the perfect tagalong in your bag and will become a permanent fixture in your desk drawer—and this one you’ll actually use. 

Scentuals

Scentuals offers organic, cruelty-free hand care products that range from soaps and cleansers to ultra-rich hand repair creams. You can even grab a lightly scented hand sanitizer spray that is gentle on your hands and tough on germs at the same time. 

Farmhouse Fresh Maypop Steeped Coconut Milk Lotion for Hands

This hand cream is ideal for sensitive skin. The two main ingredients: coconut milk and passion fruit pulp, have soothing properties that can help alleviate irritation from dry skin. 

Pro Tip: Massage it into your nail beds as an alternative to cuticle oil, and you’ll feel like you just got a fresh manicure. 

Kopari

Kopari’s skincare products are coconut-based, lightly scented like the beach, and always cruelty-free. We love their Exfoliating Crush Scrub for dead skin removal on both the hands and the entire body. This scrub has super fine granules that act as a skin polish. 

Use twice weekly to reveal fresh, radiant, glowing skin.

Zion

Made with healing ingredients that help with dryness, Zion Health offers a hand wash, cleansing balm, and hand repair cream that include natural minerals and clay to keep hands at peak hydration. 

Their hand repair cream is a blend of five different plant-based oils infused together to form a rich, deeply repairing lotion perfect for any skin type. 

Try using this cream at night under a pair of gloves to wake up to seriously soft skin. 

Rustic MAKA

Rustic MAKA offers hand lotion and mild cleansing soaps. 

Dream Catcher moisturizing lotion contains an ample amount of vitamin E to help soften and condition hands. Set it by your kitchen sink and use it after dishes, housework, or other hand-harming chores. 

Lend a helping hand

You’re already getting regular manicures and using the best hand cream you can find, so step up your hand care game and develop a routine to get the softest, healthiest hands possible. Protecting your hands from the elements and your daily life is easy with the right products and a little common sense. 

Scrubbing pots and pans? Wear gloves.  

Outdoors in cold weather? Use hand cream when you go back inside.

If you still have questions about hand care, check out The Kinder Beauty Blog for answers. Kinder Beauty is your source for kinder, more sensible products that help keep your hands (and body) balanced, beautiful, and in harmony with both animals and the environment alike. 

Sign up for your Kinder Beauty Box today.

 

Sources:

Skin Cancer of the Hand & Upper Extremity | The Hand Society 

UCSB Science Line | UCSB.edu 

Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It, Use Plain Soap and Water | FDA.gov