The Good Habit: Pamper your Hands
Your hands are your most exposed body part and where age is virtually impossible to hide.
Unlike with your face, you cannot apply make up onto them (well, you could, but that would not be very practical …), and although you can achieve good results with treatments like Pulsed Light, for example, to remove solar lentigines or freckles, this is not always within everybody´s budget.
So when you are (almost) 40, it is not uncommon to suddenly start worrying about your hands and the first signs of wrinkles, thinning skin and spots on them.
This was my sad realisation a few years ago, when I looked at my poor beaten up hands one day, comparing them to the ones of some of my work colleagues. Compared to the perfectly manicured and soft hands of my coworkers (some of them were male!), my own set of dry 10 fingers with short bare nails, stood out crying for help!
Things got worse when I started showing signs of early arthritis in the winter: my knuckles swell up with the cold, making my fingers look like those fiery chorizos called “chistorras” in my home country. Apart from the aesthetics it is also painful at times.
So I decided to take the problem seriously: Apart from fighting arthritis and seeking medical advice, I also started putting a bit of effort into caring for my hands. It initially seemed like a big burden, but surprisingly I soon realised that it does really not take a lot of time. So, if you are in a similar position where you want some quick and easy Good Habits for pampering your hands, keep reading:
Hydrate, Hydrate, hydrate:
Do it in the winter, because it is cold and in the summer, because it is warm. Hydration comes from the inside and the outside. Up your water intake and all of your skin will thank you, including your hands. As for the outside: use hand cream several times per day. The way to achieve this is by having several tubes scattered around the place: put one in the drawer of your bedside table and apply it generously over your hands every night, last thing before you go to sleep.
Carry one in your handbag, and have a few others in all those places where you spend time during the day: your workplace, your car, next to the soap in your bathroom. Have them visible, so they remind you to actually apply the cream throughout the course of the day.
Neutrogena is my favourite brand for hand creams, as they are super nourishing, non sticky and with a very pleasant almost non existing smell.
Once a week take 10-20 minutes for a nail-care routine:
If you feel a full manicure is too much, then just a basic maintenance of filing, trimming cuticles, hydrating and applying a base layer of transparent polish will make your hands look great with minimum effort. Here is a quick tutorial that even the most lazy of us should be able to do. I try to do this quick routine once a week, Sunday evening being my preferred time to do so.
Protect your hands
Try to not overexpose your hand to the agressions of the environment, where possible. You cannot wear gloves all the time, but you should when it is cold outside, when you are cleaning around the house and using strong products, when you are doing the dishes. Also, in the summer, remember to apply sun screen to your hands! They will burn as much as you face and age if you are not careful. A simple trick is to use the leftovers of your daily face hydration cream (which should have sunscreen) on your hands every morning.