An example of well-cared for hands
An Example of Neglect, Hands Down!

A friend of mine helped her mother paint a steel railing for a wheel chair ramp at a church this past fall.  This paint was the durable type for metal in industrial applications.  After they got the job done, they found gas would not remove this paint from their skin.

My friend’s mother had an old can of mineral spirits that did remove this paint. She poured some of this particular solvent into a red solo cup in order to clean the paint brushes as well.

According to Toby Keith (the country singer) a red solo cup takes 14 years to degrade. However it was discovered this particular paint-thinner can dissolve one in approximately one minute or less.

The warning label on the can of paint-thinner said not to get it on skin or clothing.  My friend and her mother had been using it on their hands.

My friend has cleaned with bleach and oven cleaner over the years, but didn’t wear gloves because they cause sweating for her, and she is unable to “feel” if a surface is properly cleaned if she wore them.

My friend complains that she cannot pick up micro-fibre material or other soft items because it sticks to her rough, dry and mistreated hands like Velcro. Her fingertips and pads can crack and actually hurt at times.

Hands are a vital part of your body, but they can show a person’s age quite readily.  A person may get asked for proof of age if they are purchasing something or going somewhere that requires them to be 19 years or older because of their youthful facial appearance.  Yet they may be offered the seniors’ discount if one is to judge by their hands.

Most people may not be as extreme as my friend and her mother, but we all can admit to examples of when we neglected to take care of our hands.

What part of the body shows age the most? The face? No, it’s the hands!

Hands are exposed daily to sun (UV rays), wind, cold, household detergents and chemicals…and the majority of people do not take the necessary steps to protect against their inevitable ageing process.  Hands show the years through hyper pigmentation (sun spots) and moderate to extreme dehydration.  Just imagine what your face or body would look like if we washed with soap seven to 10 times per day!

Think about how much time and money you invest in maintaining the youthful appearance of your face and take care of it with regular cleansing (exfoliation and masking) as well as using high-quality serums and creams with UV protection.

Hands play such an important role in our lives and they also have a huge impact on who we are.  They greet people with a handshake or a wave hello and enable us to perform our daily duties.  Think about how often you look at someone’s hands during the day.  They are the most exposed and abused area of our body, yet we do very little to maintain their appearance and to ensure a graceful ageing process.

Here are a few simple tips to help you give your hands a more youthful appearance:
  • Have regular spa manicures, which include a similar process to facials (cleansing, exfoliation, masks and hydration.) You can also get more specific treatments such as using glycolic (AHA), to even out the skin tone, reduce the appearance of brown spots and significantly increase hydration.
  • When applying face cream in the morning/evening you can use the excess to add extra moisture to your hands. It is sure to contain active ingredients you will also enjoy.
  • I recommend an exfoliation once or twice weekly (as with the face and body), and the use of specific hand creams (with UV protection) according to your skin type (i.e. dry/dehydrated, normal or more mature skin).

The most important advice: sunscreen, which should be used daily!