January 14, 2015 4 minute read
We spend so much time making sure our faces make it through the bitter cold months of winter that we often neglect the things that give away our age more than any other body part. Our hands. Does anyone else find that his or her hands suffer more than anything else during the winter? Mine do. My hands often look twice my age by the time those bitter dry winds have come and gone. They’re cracked, dry and rough. In an effort to devote more time to the skin on the rest of our bodies, I’ve compiled my guide to soft hands during that pesky arctic weather.
1. Exfoliate. This seems weird. It is weird. Exfoliating is just for your face and body, right? Wrong. Exfoliating should be done all over. Ever notice how your feet are baby soft after a pedicure? Do they exfoliate? I bet they do. Taking away all that dead and dry nastiness from the surface is a major first step towards smooth winter hands. You don’t need a special “hand exfoliator” for this, you just need your exfoliating body gloves. You can get them at the drug store or on Amazon.
2. Apply a mask. I know, another seemingly bizarre tip. But applying a mask to your hands once a week really does make a difference. I like to use a hydrating enzyme peel like my trusty Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask, or Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. It’s best to apply all over your hands and follow the directions like you would if you’d applied it to your face. Realistically though, I just apply it to the backs of my hands so that I can still use my fingers if I need.
3. Apply an oil. I like to slather my Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, all over my hands. It’s a firming oil that I’ve actually been using on my growing belly (it was formulated for pregnant women), but it’s been working wonders on those rough patches on the backs of my hands. I love the scent that comes from the 100% pure plant extracts including rosemary, geranium and mint.
4. Apply a moisturizer. Once the oil has absorbed, I like to ensure maximum absorption by applying a nice thick hand moisturizer. My favourite is Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Beeswax Hand Cream. The sweet almond oil and vitamin E do wonders to nourish dry skin, and the beeswax helps to seal it all in and protect your hard working hands. There’s something about almond scented products that just scream winter. This product leaves your hands a bit greasy after applying which makes it the perfect bedtime lotion to wear under some moisturizing gloves.
5. Wear moisturizing gloves. Moisturizing gloves will lock in all that moisturizing goodness and prevent your face from coming into contact with products that don’t belong anywhere near your face. This routine actually maximizes your sleep too, because you can’t use your iPhone in bed while your fingertips are covered in gloves. Genius? I think so. You can find them at your local health food and drug stores.
1. Wash with natural hand soap. As a stay at home blogger inbetween normal modeling work and maternity jobs I get the opportunity to use a gentle soap most days of the week. There’s nothing more frustrating than using a sulfate-laden soap in the winter and then trying to re-hydrate your hands after. I also wash my hands a lot (self-diagnosed germaphobe) so making sure I don’t unnecessarily strip away moisture is extremely important. My favourite brand is Avalon Organics Glycerin Soap, and their peppermint scent is perfect for wintertime washing.
2. Apply a long-lasting moisturizer. If you constantly have to re-apply your hand lotion it’s probably not the right product for the job. To get you through the day you will need a good moisturizer – one that’s not greasy (nobody likes a finger streaked phone screen), one that’s not sticky, and one that lasts. Weleda Skin Food, is my absolute favourite winter hand cream. The essential fatty acids and vitamin E in their organic sunflower seed oil are amazing moisturizers. It’s also got soothing rosemary extract and calendula! I recently left my tube at a shoot – cue tears – and my hands are definitely suffering. The best part about this lotion is that it can be used all over your body. I love bringing it to set to avoid the generic lotions being slathered over my dry elbows and knees.
The key to surviving this cold spell is to be proactive. Don’t wait until bedtime to slather on your heaviest cream and just leave it at that. Taking care of your hands all winter will keep them looking their age…or, dare I say, younger. So get to work!
*seen first on Models for Wellness