Hands Up

Above: Every single day your hands take a beating, whether it’s at home, the office or anywhere in between. Naturally, hydration is key and we’ve got the handy products you need
Above: Every single day your hands take a beating, whether it’s at home, the office or anywhere in between. Naturally, hydration is key and we’ve got the handy products you need

Our hands: we eat, throw footballs, touch, cook dinner, shake, grip tools and type with them all day long.  While a mere 10 per cent of the population are lefties, both our right and left hands have 29 major and minor bones, along with 29 major joints and a whole lot of durable and surprisingly tough skin. And yet, this is where we typically see the first signs of wear and tear and aging. Hand creams can help with that. Here’s what you need to know:

The dehydration culprits

Yes, washing your hands with soap and hot water is a must, but it’s also dehydrating. Raisins look more plump than our hands do after: washing the dishes post dinner party, an hour doing laps in the pool, rinsing off the day’s grime in the shower or simply practicing the old lather, rinse and repeat routine in the bathroom sink. Hand sanitizers, equally important to use especially when travelling, can also cause dehydration, redness, irritation and fine lines to set in. But staying clean and keeping germs at bay is key for our overall optimal health. It’s also not the only culprit; let’s not forget exposure to Canada’s ever-fluctuating weather conditions, pollution and hot indoor air. Combine all of this together and the only solution we truly have to combat it all is to pick up a hand lotion, squeeze a little out and rub it in.

The hydrating solution

You don’t need to guess, we’ve already said it: you need hand lotion. But you’ll also want to know what to do with it, once it’s yours. First, moisturize as often as possible, especially after stepping out of the shower, post workout at the gym or washing your hands in general. This may sound high maintenance but it’s necessary—applying a hydrating product helps your dermis retain water and seal in the essential moisture you need to keep your hands looking and feeling soft and smooth. Plus, dry hands are uncomfortable, often itchy and red, and can even have the potential to crack and bleed in colder climates. We’ve got you covered.

Key ingredients to look for

Sure, you can apply any old lotion and it will be better than not using anything at all. For maximum hydration and the best outcome possible however, it’s important to read the labels on the packaging for key, beneficial ingredients. Here’s what you should look for:

Oils like argan and avocado found in Moroccanoil Hand Cream Precious Care (from $24, available online at moroccanoli.com) act as an excellent anti-oxidant, helping protect your skin from the harsh elements and pollution.

Spot-treating ingredients such as PhytoCelltec and vitamin B3 in Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Hand Cream ($35, available at Nordstrom stores across Canada) increase the skin’s vitality, brightening its overall appearance.

Seaberry and cranberry oils, like those in Fresh Seaberry Nourishing Hand Cream ($26, available at Sephora stores across Canada) protect and soften the skin while maintaining its elasticity and smoothness.

And the colloidal oatmeal and lipids in Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Hand Cream ($9.50, available at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada) work like a protective glove, replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier while preventing water loss.

Adriana Ermter

Adriana Ermter

Adriana is an award-winning writer and editor. The former beauty director for FASHION magazine and editor-in-chief of Salon and of Childview magazines has hosted beauty videos for fashionmagazine.com, as well as contributed to Men’s FASHION, Chatelaine and chatelaine.com, Flare and flare.com, Huffington Post Canada, National Post, AmongMen.com, thekit.ca, iVillage.ca and thewhaleandtherose.com. She lives in Toronto with her very spoiled feline, Trixie-Belle, and a fantastically large perfume collection.

You may follow Adriana on Twitter: @AErmter and on Instagram: AdrianaErmter.

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