4 Ways To Nourish & Protect Your Hands
Our hands are the busiest part of our bodies but are so often neglected when it comes to the TLC they need and deserve. They’re vulnerable to all the pollutants, chemicals and sun exposure that the rest of our bodies are covered against - plus, they are in the most contact with potential harm. So, their susceptibility to all these skin attackers requires us to find ways of protecting them!
You’ve probably got a good skin-care routine for your face, but do you do the same for your hands? The fact is, the skin on our hands is sensitive and prone to sores and cracks, too. Open skin on our hands is then at risk of infection, because of the bacteria it touches. At Cel, we know how important your hands are, so to keep them looking and feeling healthy, we’ve put together some steps you can take to nourish and protect your hands!
1. The Right Soap
Something we do every day, and quite often, depending on our actions throughout the day. Bacteria sits everywhere, so hygiene is important to keep up. But what about what you wash it with? A lot of hand soaps dry out the skin because they use chemicals that are anti-bacterial, but not moisturizing.
If you’re washing your hands numerous times a day using a soap that dries the skin, you’ll end up with cracked, sore hands. That’s why you should look for a hand soap that uses ingredients that will soften and protect the skin on your hands!
Our hands are actually one of the first parts of our body to age, which is why using a hand wash that moisturizes and hydrates, past the sink basin, is essential to having healthy, soft hands. Otherwise, dry and cracked skin can make the skin more likely to wrinkle.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Nails
Your nail health depends a lot on your diet and how you look after them. Having said that, everyone’s nails grow at different speeds – your nail shape and length can be down to genetics. Other factors can also be a cause of changes in nail growth, such as hormones, temperature, altitude or aging.
But, raised ridges or dry, brittle nails could be a sign that you are lacking certain nutrients. The same vitamins that help our hair to grow can play a role in how strong your nails can be!
Dry and brittle nails are often caused by deficiencies in these vitamins:
- Protein. We need protein in order to promote the production of keratin, which is the protein that keeps our nails and hair strong. Without protein, our nails are prone to damage. Protein is found mostly in animal foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy, but also in legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Biotin. Otherwise known as vitamin B7, it encourages healthy cell growth and helps you to digest protein-building amino acids, which are vital for the growth of your nails. You can find biotin in foods such as dairy products, salmon, nuts, seeds, and sweet potato.
- Folate. Folic acid (vitamin B9) contributes to the formation of red blood cells, which are responsible for the renewal of cells which build up the nail. A lack of folate may contribute to slow nail growth, which leaves the nail brittle. Find B9 in beans, lentils, citrus fruits, and dark green vegetables.
Ridges on the nails can be vertical or horizontal, and they have different meanings.
Vertical ridges run from the tip of the nail to the cuticle. They’re often caused by a deficiency in iron or magnesium.
- Iron plays an essential role in the transfer of oxygen around the body – if oxygen doesn’t reach your nails, they can’t grow healthily and result in the appearance of vertical ridges. Make sure you get enough iron, by eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, peanuts, animal foods, and beans.
- Magnesium encourages the absorption of protein, which promotes healthy nails. A deficiency in it is also known to be responsible for vertical ridges. Magnesium is easily found, yet research shows that many Americans don’t consume enough of the recommended daily allowance. Get your magnesium in foods such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts such as cashews and peanuts.
Horizontal ridges are also known under the name of Beau’s lines. These ridges are more often a sign of a more serious problem. They could be a symptom of an underlying disease, which is preventing the growth of nails. If you notice Beau’s lines on the majority of your 20 fingernails, it could be caused by:
- Thyroid disease
- Kidney disease
3. Plain Cuts The Strain
We all love to add a splash of color to our appendages, but sometimes it’s good to give them a break! The polish we apply to our nails often contains chemicals that can harm our skin and dry out the nails. What’s worse is nail polish remover. It contains acetone, which is also found in bleach and paint thinners, which is extremely drying. So if you like to change your color regularly, the acetone could be causing you to have dry, brittle nails!
Instead of painting your nails so often, leave them bare for a while. It will allow your nails to absorb vitamins from the sun, which keeps them discolored and encourages them to grow faster.
If you think your nails look dull, buffer them using a nail scrub and buffer. It removes dead cells off the surface, and leaves your nails looking shinier! It’s a great alternative to the paints and will give them a naturally smooth texture.
4. Moisturize, Left And Right
With exposure to the daily toxins, pollutants, and chemicals throughout the days, our hands are inclined to become dry, especially on the skin on the back of the hands. They can become red and cracked easily, especially during the colder months!
Keeping them hydrated is key to having healthier looking and feeling hands. But sometimes the moisturizer we have for the rest of the bodies doesn’t cut it. Why? Well, the skin on the hands is amongst the most sensitive skin on the body. The skin on our necks, eyes, and hands are the most prone to aging, because of the thin skin that resides there.
The other reason we need to moisturize is to keep our cuticles intact. When cuticles tear or are cut purposefully, they are open to infection. Cuticles keep the nails protected so that they can grow properly. Hydrating the cuticles using a cuticle cream or hand moisturizer will aid the protective barrier, which fights off bacteria, yeast, and fungus.
Your hands deserve some good TLC because they are constantly at work. The skin on every part of your body needs to be cared for, and the hands are especially vulnerable to all the nasties out in the world. Take these steps to nourish the skin and nails on your hands, for not only aesthetic reasons but to also keep them healthy.