With all the constant (but essential) handwashing we are all doing at the moment, your hands are no doubt dry, flaky, cracked, tight and sore. Even if you apply hand cream regularly, it doesn’t always seem to be enough to soften and hydrate the skin. Below is an easy nourishing hand treatment you can do at home to help restore moisture to your hands. For best results, do this a few times a week, or daily if you can.
Use a body or facial scrub to help remove dead skin cells and flakiness. Gently work the exfoliator into your hands, paying particular attention to areas that may be rough or flaky such as in between your fingers or the backs of your hands. If you don’t have any exfoliator you can make your own by mixing a little sugar or salt with an oil such as olive, coconut, sunflower, almond or jojoba. Rinse your hands thoroughly then pat dry.
Massage not only helps to ease muscle and joint pain, it helps to improve the skin’s appearance by removing dead skin cells and stimulating the production of natural oils. Using a nourishing oil will also help to deeply moisturise the skin. Again, you can use any vegetable or plant oil (carrier oils) you have in your kitchen cupboards or bathroom cabinet (mineral oils such as baby oil won’t be as hydrating). If you have any hydrating essential oils like rose, jasmine, lavender, sandalwood, geranium, frankincense or neroli, you could add 1-2 drops per 5ml of carrier oil. Warm the oil blend slightly by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a luxurious feel. Massage the oil thoroughly into all areas of your hands and fingers.
A heat treatment will help the oils to be absorbed deeper into the skin. Apply a little more oil to your hands if needed, then place them in plastic food bags (to be eco-friendly you could wash the bags and leave to dry then re-use for your next hand treatment) and then wrap them in warm towels. If you don’t have any plastic bags you can just wrap your hands straight in the towels. If you find this tricky ask a member of your household to help, or alternatively do one hand at a time. Leave for at least ten to fifteen minutes. You can use this time to relax by listening to music or an audiobook, watching TV, meditating or doing a foot soak.
Most of the oil should have been absorbed but if your hands feel too greasy you can wipe off the excess. Just like using a facial serum underneath your moisturiser, applying a serum before your hand cream will provide an extra layer of hydration. If you don’t have a hand serum you can use your facial one.
Finally, massage in your hand cream and leave it to sink in.
When this treatment is carried out regularly, you should notice an improvement in the condition of your hands. Other things that can help are switching to a more natural handwash that doesn’t contain drying chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate and using gloves when cleaning, gardening and washing up.