Our hands have been through a lot this year! Washing. Sanitizing. More sanitizing. Washing. And more sanitizing! While face masks are still covering half our faces, it’s time for our hands to steal the spotlight. Treat them to a spa day — they deserve some love and a fresh coat of paint. I’ve gathered some helpful nail and skin care tips/products for soft hands and well-kept nails. Check them out!
1. Use a Good Hand Wash
Clear cleansers will dry out your skin. Often soaps marked “antibacterial” contain harsh chemicals like triclosan. Instead, look for a product that contains a natural antibacterial ingredient like tea tree oil or eucalyptus. Check out Kosmatology Organic Foaming Hand Soap that comes in 5 different scents.
2. Never Put Your Hands in Hot or Icy Water
“Hot water makes skin dry by taking away sebum; cold can cause a constriction and then a dilation of capillary vessels, leading to redness,” explains manicurist Mie Kitabayashi of Beverly Hills’ Chi Nail Bar.
3. Use Hand Oils
“Oils are the best way to get moisture into the skin,” according to manicurist Kimmie Kyees, who recommends Sally Hansen Dry Chapped Hand Creme ($6, at drugstores), which contains safflower seed oil.
4. Don't Cut Cuticles!
Use a cuticle cream or oil instead of cutting them. Cutting your cuticles can leave you open to infection and will make them grow tougher and jagged. The cuticle acts as the root of your nail, so if you want healthy and long nails, you need to start taking care of your cuticles. Apply the cuticle oil or cream and gently push back your cuticles once a week. Some great products to use are Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, Deborah Lippmann’s Cuticle Oil, and Be Natural Cuticle Eliminator.
5. Moisturize Post-Sanitizer
It’s a step most of us wouldn’t think to do, but it’s important: “High amounts of alcohol can dehydrate skin and nails, making polish chip faster,” says Sally Hansen manicurist Tracylee. Just wait until the sanitizer has dried.
6. Protect with Sunscreen
I bet you never thought to apply sunscreen to your hands, but they need protection just like any other part of your skin. Sunscreen can dry out your hands though so use a product like Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38 with lotion.
7. Try Anti-Aging Cream
To keep your hands young and smooth, try an anti-aging cream on them like L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 20 which contains Bellis perennis (a daisy plant) extract. L’Oreal Paris Revitalift is another good option. Its retinol improves elasticity. Apply it to the backs of your hands at night.
8. Treat Your Hands to a Mask
Smooth on a mask like CND Almond Illuminating Masque and place hands in plastic bags. Top with a warm towel for five minutes.
9. Give Your Hands an Overnight Treatment Once in a While
Recommended by hand models, a tip for super soft hands is to slather them in lotion and cuticle oil before placing them into cotton overnight gloves. Your hands will retain moisture all night. Try Burt’s Bees Hand Salve or the Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream. They’re both rich and sticky so they work well with the glove technique.
10. Use a Base and Top Coat When Applying Nail Polish
Top coats and base coats help keep nails healthy and your color long-lasting. Base coats nourish the nail and keep polishes from staining your nail.