Cleansers, toners, serums, eye creams, face creams – the list of products that your skin needs can seem almost endless, so do you really need to be adding a hand cream into the mix as well?
Well, you’re about to find out. Let’s take a look at whether or not you actually need to be using a hand cream…
You may think that the skin on your hands is pretty strong. After all, when you touch your palms, the skin here probably feels quite thick.
However, the skin on the back of your hands is actually surprisingly different to the skin on your palms…
It is much thinner, and also contains fewer sebaceous glands, meaning that the skin here does not encounter the same amount of oil as the skin in other areas, leaving it prone to dryness.
Now, you have probably seen many people in your life that look younger than their age. However, if you take a look at their hands, this is often an instant giveaway as to how old that person actually is.
Ever wondered why this is?
Well, in addition to the extra dryness that the skin on the hands has to deal with, the skin here is also exposed to several damaging elements on a daily basis, such as:
- Water – each time you wash your hands, your skin is exposed to water, with water being a huge culprit when it comes to drying out the skin
- Chemicals – these can come from so many different sources, such as the products you use to clean your home
- Extreme temperatures – again, this usually comes from hand-washing
- Daily wear and tear – simply using your hands on a daily basis leads to wear and tear from friction that builds up over time
All of those factors dry and damage the skin on the hands, accelerating the rate at which the skin ages. They can also lead to dryness and cracked skin, which can often be quite painful.
So, how do you protect the skin on your hands from accelerated aging?
This is where a hand cream comes in…
Hand Creams vs Face Creams
Ok, so you’re now probably thinking…
Even if my hands need that extra protection, surely I can just use my face cream instead of a dedicated hand cream?
Technically, yes, there’s nothing stopping you from slathering your expensive face cream all over your hands, multiple times a day. However, aside from the fact that you will end up running out of your face cream much faster than you otherwise would have, there are a few other reasons that make purchasing a dedicated hand cream worthwhile.
Firstly, hand creams will be formulated differently from face creams. Most hand creams will contain rich, nourishing oils that not only deliver reparative nutrients deep down into your skin cells, but also provide vital protection. These oils are a must when it comes to an effective hand cream, and face creams simply do not contain enough of these, for the simple reason that, when applied to the delicate skin on the face, all of those heavy oils would likely cause clogged pores and breakouts.
As an added bonus, all of those moisturizing oils can also work wonders on your cuticles too…
Yes, you could always opt to purchase a dedicated cuticle cream as well, but, so long as you choose a hand cream with the right formula, this will be just as effective as a cuticle cream.
Wondering how a hand cream would benefit your cuticles?
In multiple ways, such as:
- Replacing lost fats and waxes to prevent dryness and keep cuticles soft
- Replenishing the nail plate to keep nails flexible and prevent brittleness
- Providing protection to boost nail growth
So, as you can see, it all comes down to ensuring that you have picked a hand cream that has a deeply nourishing formula.
Choosing a Hand Cream
The very first thing that you should take a look at when choosing a hand cream is the ingredient list on that cream. It’s true that many hand creams are formulated with drying alcohols and filler ingredients, which is exactly what has given hand creams a bad rep.
So, to make sure that the product you are about to purchase is actually worth the investment, make sure that its formula contains ingredients that are capable of providing your hands with the nourishment and protection they need.
If possible, try to also sample the hand cream before purchasing. One thing that puts many off is the way in which some hand creams leave the hands feeling greasy afterwards. It takes a very special formula to create a blend that is rich in oils but doesn’t leave any residue on the skin, and this is exactly why the OROGOLD 24K Classic Hand & Body Cream was created.
It boasts a creamy, yet lightweight, texture that will leave your hands feeling soft and satin-smooth. Its ingredient blend is truly superior, featuring skin care superstars such as:
- Shea Butter – rich and moisturizing, this natural butter has anti-inflammatory properties and is revered for the way in which it effectively soothes and relieves dry skin
- Aloe Vera Leaf Juice – packed with vitamins, antioxidants and skin-boosting enzymes to nourish and protect the skin on your hands
- Babasu Nut Oil – a tropical oil that treats dry skin, softens the cuticles and strengthens the nails
- Cupuacu Seed Butter – a botanical that is prized for its anti-aging sterol content, making this ingredient capable of hydrating dry skin while protecting against free radical damage
- Avocado Oil – full of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, this botanical is famed for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties
- Mango Butter – loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidants that provide deep moisture and protection
- Organic Chamomile Extract – a powerful botanical that boasts anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, while also being a fantastic source of antioxidants and essential oils
That’s only a very shortened list of the botanicals that you will find in the 24K Classic Hand & Body Cream, with each one providing a vast array of antioxidants for additional skin-enhancing benefits.
Getting the Most Out of Your Hand Cream
So, now that you have purchased a quality hand cream, surely all you need to do is apply it once a day and all will be good?
If you really want to treat and protect the skin on your hands, you will likely need to use your hand cream several times during the day.
Wondering when exactly you should be using it?
Ideally, every time you wash your hands, which means that you will probably need to keep your hand cream close by every day (but remember to also keep it away from direct sunlight and protected from extreme temperatures, such as in your car on a hot day, as this will only degrade the active ingredients within the hand cream’s formula). You should also apply an additional layer of hand cream whenever your hands start to feel dry or dehydrated.
Now, as mentioned above, using a hand cream each time you have washed your hands is so important. This is because of the drying effect that water has on the skin. Yes, this may seem a little strange at first – after all, water is the opposite of dry.
However, the drying effect doesn’t come from the water contact itself. Instead, the damage takes place when you dry your hands, or even if you leave the water to naturally dry, as this causes it to pull your skin’s natural moisture out into the air along with it.
To counter this, always apply your hand cream while your skin is still slightly damp. Your hand cream will most likely contain occlusive ingredients, which basically form a thin, protective barrier over the surface of your skin. When you apply a cream over skin that is already damp, then all of those extra water molecules sitting on your skin end up trapped beneath the occlusives. So, instead of evaporating into the air, all of that moisture ends up being pushed deep down into your skin’s layers, providing a more intense form of hydration.
Are your hands particularly dry, damaged or chapped?
If so, then you could probably do with a bit of extra help…
The best way to do this would be at night. Simply apply your hand cream as usual, but then immediately wear some thin, cotton gloves.
Because not only will this lock all of the moisture from the cream into your skin, but it will also prevent the cream itself from rubbing off through the night. Depending on how severe the dryness on your hands is, you may find an improvement when you remove the gloves after 15-30 minutes, although some may need to keep the gloves on all night. Keep in mind that you will need to wash your gloves after each use, since some of the ingredients that rub off onto the glove may end up oxidizing, causing significant damage if they end up back on your skin.
Here’s one final tip – aimed at those of you who tend to rub most of your hand cream into your palms. As discussed above, the skin on your palms is much thicker than the skin on the back of your hands. Plus, the backs of your hands are also exposed to much more damage, particularly from the sun, meaning that they require a bit of extra care.
So, when applying your hand cream, try to focus most of it on the backs of your hands, rubbing any leftovers into your palms.
Other Ways to Care for the Skin on Your Hands
Now that you are committed to regularly using a hand cream, you should also take a few additional steps to provide your hands with some extra protection.
Here are just some of the things that you could do:
- Make sure that you only use gentle and hydrating soaps on your hands. Stay away from any that have been formulated with harsh, moisture-stripping alcohols
- If you are a frequent hand-washer, try to cut back on how often you wash your hands. Keep showers and baths short and sweet too
- Try to reduce the amount of friction your hands encounter, whether this may be from DIY work, gardening, or simply holding on to shopping bags for too long
- Prevent your skin from coming into contact with damaging or irritating substances as much as possible. Common culprits include detergents, surface cleaners, car oil, paint and dust
- If your hand cream does not contain SPF, make sure that you are applying a sunscreen to your hands regularly throughout the day, ideally over the top of your hand cream
Gloves are a great form of protection, and you can purchase gloves in different materials to make sure that you have something suitable for each activity you may be doing. For example, lightweight cotton gloves are perfect for protecting your hand cream at night, while rubber gloves prevent your hands from coming into contact with hot water when washing. Padded gloves help with DIY work and gardening, while thick, warm winter gloves protect your skin from the damaging effects of cold temperatures.
As you can see, a hand cream definitely has its uses. Of course, if you still do not want to add to the clutter on your shelf of skin care products at home, you could definitely get away with using another type of cream on your hands, although you will likely be missing out on some of the additional benefits that a dedicated hand cream provides. When it comes down to it, the main thing is to understand the importance of keeping your hands well-moisturized and nourished, so that they can resist the visible effects of skin aging for as long as possible!