Hand Care: How to Take Care of your Hands

Jergens® Skincare Team:
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Healthy Skin

Hand Care: How to Take Care of your Hands

Use our top hand care tips to protect the look and feel of your hands.

They say that dirty hands are a sign of hard work, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of them! We use our hands for many things, from doing our daily chores and enjoying our hobbies to earning our livelihood. Whether it’s baking in the kitchen or scrolling through Instagram, our hands are extensions of our thoughts. Which is why it’s essential to observe proper hand care.

Reasons Why Your Hands Need Proper Care

Even in daily life, there are plenty of factors that can cause hands to become dry, rough, or sensitive. These include:

  • Overwashing. With Covid-19, you may find yourself washing your hands more than ever before. Overwashing is essential to stop the spread of germs, but it can lead to extremely dry skin and make your hands more susceptible to eczema or hand dermatitis.

  • Harsh Soaps. Certain soaps can dry out your skin, causing your palms to become red or sensitive.

  • Sun Exposure. Along with the face and neck, our arms and hands typically face the most exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

  • Exposure to Cold Air. Cold, dry air—especially during the winter—can also dry out your hands. Taking care of your skin during the winter is essential. Winter weather typically means lower humidity, which can make your hands more vulnerable to dryness.

  • Prolonged Use of Household Chemicals. Many disinfectants and cleansers can dry out your hands.

Signs Your Hands Need Some TLC

  • Excessively Dry Skin
  • Flaky or Itchy Palms
  • Chapping
  • Abnormal Sweating
  • Sudden Rough Skin or Stubborn Calluses

How to Take Care of Your Hands

Proper Handwashing

Soap is effective at fighting germs and bacteria because it destroys their lipid membranes. Unfortunately, our own skin barrier is also made up of lipids, which can get stripped away from overwashing. If you find your skin becoming dry and sensitive, consider switching to moisturizing hand soap. When washing your hands, avoid washing them in scorching hot water. Lukewarm water is perfectly fine to help kill bacteria and helps prevent dryness on your hands. If you need to wash your hands when you’re on the go, use a hand sanitizer.

Moisturize Regularly

Regular moisturizing helps your skin stay smooth and hydrated. It can also help diminish visible signs of aging on your hands. Many soaps and hand sanitizers can strip away oils, lipids, and ceramides that form the skin's protective barrier. Forgetting to moisturize your hands can lead to dryness, itchy red patches, or chapping. To prevent dry skin on your hands, we recommend applying hand lotion immediately after washing your hands.

When searching for the best hand lotion for you, look for moisturizing ointments or creams that contain mineral oil or petrolatum to replenish the skin’s protective barrier. If you find yourself washing your hands multiple times throughout the day, place a wet skin moisturizer near your sink. Wet skin moisturizers can be applied to wet hands and quickly absorb into your skin to protect against dryness. If you use hand sanitizer, make sure to wait until it’s completely dry before using moisturizer.

If you have excessively dry skin, try moisturizing your hands overnight. Lather an ultra healing body balm on your hands and then carefully cover them with gloves or socks to prevent the lotion from rubbing off overnight.

Exfoliate Weekly for Smooth Hands

Exfoliating is the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Our skin's outer layer typically sheds dead cells every 30 days or so, and exfoliating once or twice a week helps your skin get rid of this dead layer. It also enables skincare products to be more effective at penetrating the skin's surface, where they can do their job.

There are two main ways of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves a tool like a brush or sponge to scrub the skin. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation uses chemicals—like hydroxy acid—to gently dissolve the dead skin layer. Choose the exfoliation that best suits your skin type. Mild chemical exfoliators are better for sensitive skin as scrubbing might cause irritation. On the other hand, mechanical exfoliators may be more effective for oily or thicker skin.

One rule of thumb is the stronger the exfoliation, the less often it needs to be done. Just be sure you don’t overdo it, as it can cause raw or irritated skin. Similarly, exfoliation is not recommended if you have open wounds, cuts, burns, or bug bites on your hands. Exfoliating can dry out your skin, so always make sure to use a moisturizer after exfoliating to rehydrate your skin.

Protect Hands from Sun Exposure

When going out in the sun, apply sunscreen to your hands as they are often the most exposed parts of your body. UV rays are responsible for 80% of the skin changes associated with aging. While sunscreen applied to the face and arms tends to stay on, it usually gets washed off from the hands. So, if you want to fight visible signs of aging on your hands, always remember to reapply that sunscreen after washing! For additional protection against UV rays, consider wearing gloves when you’re outside for long periods of time.

Key Takeaways

As one of our most used body parts, your hands need to be pampered after all of the day’s work is done. Here are some of our top tips for taking care of your hands:

  • Wash your hands with moisturizing soap and lukewarm water to gently cleanse your hands.

  • When washing your hands, use a moisturizer immediately after to lock in moisture.

  • If you spend a lot of time outdoors, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hands to help prevent dryness and premature aging.

  • Exfoliate once or twice a week at most, using the method that’s right for your skin.

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