5 Easy Steps for Young, Healthy Hands

As a nail artist I see a lot of hands on a daily basis. I’ve given manicures (and some pedicures, too) to well-known celebrities, models/talent on set, and clients in my nail studio. One common complaint I hear across the board is “My hands look so old”. And it’s unfortunately true that our hands do tend to show signs of aging often before our faces do. This is due to many reasons, but namely because we don’t pay as much attention to the skin on our hands like we do the skin on our faces. But there’s no reason why we can’t offer a little more love to our hands to prevent and slow signs of aging. In fact, it’s quite easy to do! Here are 5 simple steps you can do each day to keep your hands looking youthful, moisturized, and healthy. 


1. Stay Hydrated! 

The number one tip I aways give for dry hands, dry knuckles, rough hands, and hangnails is to DRINK MORE WATER. This shouldn’t be news to anyone - we all know that drinking water is crucial to a healthy body; but did you know just how much dehydration can effect your skin? Dry, itchy skin with patches of roughness and excessive fine lines is a sure sign of dehydration. The only way to ensure your skin is glowing, plump, and firm from within is to stay hydrated. 

You become dehydrated much sooner than you begin to feel thirsty. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already crossed over to an unhealthy level of dehydration. In order to stay ahead of this, you need to consume the recommended amount of water for your body weight, activity level, and born sex. To calculate the minimum amount of water to consume per day, divide your body weight (in pounds) in half - that number is the minimum number of ounces you should be drinking per day. So a 150lb person should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water daily. A more accurate and specific water consumption calculator can be found here. 

If you deal with dry skin on a daily basis, it’s likely that you aren’t drinking enough water. So how do we remedy this? Here are a few tips:

    • Calculate how much water you need per day and set a daily goal that matches that amount.
    • Get and keep with you a large water bottle that clearly measures the water within - this will help you visualize your water consumption and stay on track throughout the day.
    • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water once an hour.


2. Keep Your Hands Moisturized

Now that I’ve expressed the significance of moisture from within, let’s discuss the importance of external moisture. The skin on our hands is very similar to the skin on our face, neck, and chest, however it lacks the same hearty lipid layer that brings oil to the outermost epidermis and replenishes skin with moisture. So we need to physically help maintain proper hydration by applying moisturizing products.

Dry skin on hands appears older for a reason - without moisture, skin will become stiff, weak, and flaky, and prolonged dryness can lead to pre-mature aging, cracking and lots of discomfort. Keeping skin moisturized helps maintain skin strength, elasticity and firmness, keeping it looking and feeling young and healthy.

The best time to moisturize is ANY TIME, but there are definite points throughout the day where hydration is crucial. Those would be immediately after washing your hands, doing dishes, showering, swimming, or basically any time your hands are exposed to water for more than a few seconds. While water is great to drink, it’s an enemy of the hands because it sucks moisture from skin and leaves it dry and vulnerable when it evaporates. 

Look for a moisturizer that offers more than just hydration - like the anti-aging peptides and antioxidants in marian skincare the Cream. The ingredients in this luxurious formula will not only keep hands hydrated throughout the day, but will bring much needed vitamins and minerals to the skin to assist in collagen production, plump and firm skin, minimize wrinkles, and strengthen the skin’s natural line of defense against environmental stressors. 


3. Don’t Overdo It With Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers!

This one is really important to note because we are all guilty of it now, in this post-pandemic world. Covid-19 has turned us all into hand-sanitizer-toting germaphobes, nervous to touch any surface without immediately drenching our hands with incredibly harsh virus-murdering solutions. But while convenient, these alcohol-based sanitizers are not as effective as you think. While they do kill a lot of germs on your hands, they are no where near as successful at removing bacteria, viruses, and dirt as washing your hands with soap and water. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite (after literally just telling you to avoid prolonged exposure to water) it is so important to keep your hands clean, and the best way to do that is to wash them. 

What’s key is to remember to moisturize after washing. 

Excessive hand-sanitizer use will only dry out and age your hands and won’t even fully clean and sanitize as soap and water will. Your hands lead you everywhere and thus they will inevitably come in contact with some nasty little organisms, so by all means keep them clean. But please, put down that Purell.


4. Wear SPF!

One of the top reasons our hands show signs of aging so early on is the constant exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays they endure, and all whilst unprotected. When was the last time you thought to put sunscreen on the tops of your hands before you left the house? Maybe that last time you went to the beach/festival/theme park/etc, and it happened to get on your hands because you doused yourself with spray? Or that time you accidentally squeezed too much spf 20 face cream out of the bottle so you absent-mindedly rubbed it onto your hands to use it up? But your hands are exposed to the sun DAILY, literally every time you go outside. Shouldn’t you treat your sun-facing hands with the same love you treat your beautiful face? Yes, the answer is yes. 

Just like your day cream, you’ll want to apply your spf of choice frequently, but focusing on the tops of your hands, wrists, and forearms. Look for a formula with a minimum spf of 30, ideally mineral/physical in nature (zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide). Avoid sprays, which contain drying agents that will negate your moisturizer, and anything containing Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, and Octocrylene (known hazards to the environment and your skin). And don’t forget to reapply if you are out in the sun for more than a couple hours, and especially after washing your hands.


5. Moisturize Your Hands Before Bed

Just like moisturizing your face before bed, moisturizing your hands is crucial to maintain healthy skin overnight. While you sleep, your body uses the water you have consumed to operate and stay cool. However, you’re not able to replenish this used and lost water in your sleep so going to bed prepared for the midnight dehydration party will ensure you’re not waking up with dry hands. And bonus, since you’re sleeping and (hopefully) not washing your hands while unconscious, that lovely lotion you’ve applied won’t go anywhere and will have plenty of time to absorb and do its good work. I highly recommend keeping your night hand cream on your bedside table, and turning the application into a relaxing evening ritual that you practice once your cozy in the sheets. 

Look for an evening moisturizer with a rich formula that offers long-lasting hydration and supports and increases the anti-aging benefit of your daily hand cream, such as marian skincare the Treatment. This night cream for hands is formulated for overnight use and will maintain the necessary hydration your hands need while you sleep. A true powerhouse product, the Treatment will also deeply nourish hands with it’s blend of antioxidant super fruits, battle sun damage and fine lines with Squalane, and speed up cell repair and regeneration with Coenzyme Q10, which boosts collagen production and improves elasticity and firmness. All while you snooze. 


Once you incorporate these 5 simple steps into your daily routine, you’ll find that it is in fact quite easy to maintain healthy skin on your hands, and quite enjoyable, too. 

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