Protecting your hands : Ladies Fashion

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Hands are especially vulnerable to premature ageing because they're exposed to the sun's skin-damaging UV rays so often, yet most of us neglect the skin on our hands more than any other part of our body. The result? Hands often look years older than the rest of us. Yet with a few simple protective measures and a little tender loving care, you can keep your hands looking and feeling their best.

Keep your hands looking younger
Your hands are particularly prone to ageing, but here are a few ways to slow down the process:

  • As the skin on the back of your hands has fewer oil glands, it tightens and chaps easily upon exposure to sun and dry air, especially around the joints. Wear gloves during cold weather and always dry hands properly after washing to avoid further moisture loss. Apply hand lotion that's rich in super-hydrating humectants (such as glycerin and lactic acid) regularly.

  • Thinning bones and shrinking fat cells cause skin to sag as we get older. Keep bones strong with calcium supplements.

  • Microcirculation (blood flow in the capillaries) becomes less efficient as we age, making skin look dull; gentle exercise will pump blood and its nutrients back into the hands.

  • Sun exposure, cigarette smoke and the ageing process slow down production of collagen and elastin - the proteins that make skin supple - leaving skin paper-thin, wrinkled and age-spotted. Hand creams with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) help slough away dead skin cells and increase cell turnover and may help lighten age spots and smooth fine lines. Handcreams with anti-oxidants, like vitamin C or E, help protect against skin-thinning free radicals.


Pampering treats
The skin's protective oil barrier is ten times thinner on the backs of the hands than on the face. As a result, water evaporates and the top-most layer can lose more than 90 per cent of all its moisture. To keep hands feeling soft and smooth, pamper them with regular beauty treatments:

  • The fastest way to rejuvenate rough, chapped hands is to use a rub-off or peel-off exfoliating mask twice a week to lift away dead cells. Or use a handful of fine salt mixed with jojoba or almond oil. Follow with a hand lotion packed with humectants and occlusives (like mineral oil, petroleum jelly and silicone), that provide a barrier against further moisture loss.


  • Once a week, give your hands a deep treatment. Massage a neutral 'carrier' oil, such as olive, hazelnut or almond oil, into your hands. Then put petroleum jelly on top of the oil to seal it in. Pull on a pair of disposable plastic gloves and slip your hands into cotton gloves - the warmth helps the oil to penetrate. Once you wash away the residue, your hands will feel incredibly soft.

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