Effects of Current Climate – Excessive Hand Washing
In these bizarre times with the Coronavirus spreading globally the number one message is to wash hands thoroughly many times per day to reduce the spread of this pandemic –and this MUST be done. It’s the simplest and easiest contribution we can all actively do to fight against this invisible enemy together.
However, with all of this significantly increased hand washing there has to be a negative of course. The constant soap and water will have a drying effect on your skin and this has to be counter-acted. As well as keeping a soap dispenser by the sink ensure that you also keep a good hand moisturiser by its side so that you can moisturise immediately afterwards. Hand gel has an even more drying effect so make sure you have a small hand cream in your pocket or bag if you’re out doing your essential shopping.
Everybody concentrates on their face and chest when it comes to ageing creams and treatments but very rarely do they think about how to treat wrinkled hands or feet. This is surprising really as the hands and feet can age significantly faster than your face or eyes. Luckily though, these areas are the easiest to improve.
The Effects of Ageing Hands
Look at the skin on the back of your hands right now and you will see that the skin is much thinner than on the rest of your body and you may not know this but there are far fewer oil glands, and much less fat and collagen too.
The ageing process accelerates as you get older and the collagen which plumps up your skin in your younger years starts to reduce and small amounts of collagen or elastin fibres start to break. This causes the skin to look crepey and wrinkly, but this can also be caused prematurely by sun or sunbed exposure – yes that’s right, those extremely harmful UV rays that you’ve always been warned about. When this happens veins under the thin skin become more noticeable and over time the veins bulge bigger and are another sure sign of neglected, aging hands.
This obviously isn’t pleasant reading but don’t worry – there are things you can do to significantly reduce this ageing effect with a little bit of TLC.
The Main Causes & Accelerators
Even though ageing is the first culprit that people blame for wrinkled hands sometimes it can be a sign of underlying health issues so it’s important to see your Doctor if you have noticeably more wrinkles than you should for your age. Excessive stress can cause premature wrinkles but they can also be a sign of more serious health conditions such as heart disease.
- The number one cause of wrinkled hands is too much exposure to UV rays from the sun (or sunbed) – yes it’s lovely to have that bronzed look in the Summer but it comes at a price like most things unfortunately. The collagen and elastin in the skin are broken down by excessive exposure to the UV rays leaving the area prone to wrinkling.
Your hands are always out in the open, hardly ever covered up so they are susceptible to the environment, not just the temperature but pollution too. Smog and emissions do not help City dwellers in their fight against wrinkles.
- Contact with soaps and detergents on a daily basis dries the skin out making your hands rough and wrinkly.
- Of course, it’s a well-known fact that if you smoke this causes accelerated wrinkles.
- Genetics is a big factor – if one or both of your parents suffer from premature wrinkles then unfortunately that may be passed down to you. This usually applies to the exposed areas of the body such as the hands – so if that’s the case for you, say a great big Thank You to your Mum & Dad!
Tips to Keep Your Hands Looking Younger For Longer
1. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
It is crucial that you start moisturising your skin daily from an early age, don’t wait until the wrinkles start showing. Moisturise after every bath or shower that you take, the pores are open and this is the most effective time.
I always ensure I moisturise my whole body including hands and feet first thing in the morning, last thing at night AND straight after a shower. It’s something I’ve always done and my skin is less wrinkly than a lot of people my age.
2. Never forget the importance of hydration
Please go and get a glass of water to drink while you read this!
I cannot stress this enough – we are always being told to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day but most of us don’t achieve it or even care about it.
64% of your skin is made up of water! It needs hydration just like the rest of your body’s organs, don’t neglect it.
This is the easiest fix out of all of them. Dehydrated skin is dry and wrinkled. Think of a cucumber how young and firm it looks when it’s ripe and ready to eat, but then picture that cucumber when it’s past its sell by date and it starts to dry out and wrinkle around the edges – that’s your skin! Feed your skin, give it what it needs.
3. Avoid harsh detergents
Again, another fairly obvious one but when washing up, bleaching anything or cleaning in any way wear rubber gloves – they were invented specifically for that purpose – to protect your hands. Harsh detergents will dry out the skin which again causes the hands to look wrinkled, especially after many years of exposure without rubber gloves.
4. Paraffin Wax Treatment
All I can say is WOW! This treatment is usually carried out in a beauty salon but it’s now available in your home too with products you can use yourself.
The process involves you (or the therapist) dipping your hand(s) into the warm, melted wax until it is fully coated. You then wrap your hand in plastic and leave it to soak and feel the warm, soothing effect for up to 30 minutes. By this time the wax will have worked it’s magic and you need to remove the hardened wax from your skin.
Underneath your skin will be incredibly soft and moisturised – it leaves a slight waterproof coating which helps retain the natural oils within your skin after the treatment. Your hand will feel totally relaxed, any aches will be gone and circulation will be improved.
This actually works fantastically for tired, aching feet too.
It’s a wonderful treat to have it done in a beauty salon by a therapist but if you would prefer to do the treatment yourself the wax kits can be purchased from various retailers.
Please click here to read my Top 3 recommendations for Hand Creams and Top 3 Paraffin Wax Kits.
If you would like to comment on anything within this post or tell us what works best for you we would love to hear from you – comment below and we will answer each and every one.
Take care and keep washing those hands!