Fabulous Hands All Summer
The summer solstice has come and summer’s long days are finally here. For yours truly that means it’s time to don the sun gloves and follow a summer hand care routine religiously. During the winter we all protect our hands from the cold with gloves, but the scorching summer sun, frequent exposure to salt and chlorinated water can all be brutal on the delicate skin of your hands.
The skin on the back of the hands is thin and has very little fat or muscle underneath. Consequently, signs of aging show up early on the hands, in the form of “crepey” skin, age (liver) spots and wrinkles. We’ve all noticed celebrities whose youthful faces are belied by their aging hands — people, celebrities included, tend to neglect their hands when it comes to skin care. However, maintaining beautiful hands is not difficult and will give your confidence a big boost; treat your hands well and you will be rewarded with smooth, youthful hands and gorgeous nails.
Without a doubt excessive sun exposure is the number one aging factor. I personally follow the time-honored tradition of wearing gloves, but at the very least slather on high SPF sunscreen 15 minutes before venturing outdoors. Remember to reapply every couple of hours.
Hand models are known to moisturize their hands 30 times a day, which might seem excessive to the rest of us. But it’s a good idea to moisturize after every wash. I’m never without L’Occitane Hand Cream, http://usa.loccitane.com, which soothes your hands with deeply hydrating shea butter and honey.
Another tip: apply a thick layer of hand cream and slip on moisturizing gloves for a few hours (or overnight). Try Studio 35 Moisturizing Gloves, which are infused with natural oils, available at www.drugstore.com
Also, don’t forget your cuticles — I like virgin coconut oil as a cuticle treatment and almond oil also works well.
My favorite hand scrub is simplicity itself:
1 tablespoon raw, organic honey
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon cane sugar
Try this at least once a week, follow with moisturizer and gloves and your hands will be silky smooth.
If you’ve been naughty about sun exposure, you might notice pesky sun spots cropping up on the backs of your hands. One 100 percent natural way to fade age spots is with a paste of lemon juice and salt: mix 1 tablespoon sea salt with 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice to create a paste. Apply with a toothbrush to gently scrub the age spots, and rinse off with warm water.
If you’re impatient to rid yourself of stubborn spots, you can try a cream or serum containing the following ingredients:
- Kojic acid
- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
- Glycolic Acid
- Reishi Mushroom Extract
A cautionary note on hydroquinone — it is a potent melanin inhibitor and its application should be limited to areas with spots; do not use all over your hands or face. A good one to try: Reviva Lab’s Brown Spot Lightening Night Cream, www.revivalabs.com.
Excessive exposure to sunlight and chlorinated water can take its toll on your nails, making them soft and prone to breakage. During the summer months, it’s important to keep your nails and cuticles well-moisturized and protect your nails with a nail strengthener like Nailtiques Protein Formula 2. Do not over buff your nails and keep them from yellowing by dabbing them with lemon juice (a hand model secret).
To keep your hands and nails looking their best, protect them from the sun, moisturize frequently and avoid harsh soaps. I also recommend assiduously avoiding housework, but if this is not possible, wear gloves whenever performing household drudgery. Follow these tips and you’ll have fabulous mitts in no time — though you may need to hire a housekeeper.