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Tips from our Wellbeing Spa Therapists

Expert knowledge and advice

Baby, it’s cold outside

How to keep healthy beautiful hands during winter season.

Like your face, your hands function as bridges to the world. You shake hands when you meet or greet someone for the first time and when you seal a deal. Your hands express your affection to those you love. They soothe sad children and those suffering from illness. In any case, whenever you're interacting with others, your hands will probably spend some time in the spotlight.

Here are some tips on how to get soft hands (and hopefully keep them that way).

Know how to clean your hands properly. In the course of a day, your hands are exposed to all sorts of germs, dirt, harsh substances, sunlight and more. To make matters worse, the frequent washing that's designed to keep your hands sanitary also can keep them dry, cracked and wrinkled. Wash your hands with care. Though we live in a germy world, conventional soaps and alcohol-based gels seriously dry out the skin, causing irritation and ultimately skin ageing. Instead, look for a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser that will help to keep hands hydrated while washing. For best results, use warm water and mild soap to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin. Start by rinsing your hands and then applying a small amount of soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Cleanse between your knuckles, on the back of your hands, your fingernails, etc.

Moisturise often. After exposing your hands to water, gently pat hands dry and apply a dollop of hand cream while skin is still damp to lock in moisture. Be sure to choose a smart formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter. Look for your hand cream to include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, Shea butter and essential fatty acids for the most effective hydration possible. Keep a tube in your handbag, one near your desk and one at your sink, so you remember to apply throughout the day.

Treat yourself for nourishing manicure. It’s important to pay attention to your hands and indulge them from time to time. A manicure is a great way to pamper your paws, moisturise and remove dead skin cells that are ageing the appearance of your hands.

Shape nails. Clip the nails, if necessary, after soaking for just a few seconds to prevent the nail from splintering when it is dry, then gently file them into shape. A slightly rounded nail shape or square-rounded edge is generally the best way to go. Avoid metal or extremely coarse nail files to prevent splintering—opt for a gently abrasive emery board or crystal nail file instead.

Soak away. Ahh … the relaxing part. Get a bowl and fill it with warm (not hot!) and add a bit of your gentle face cleanser to the water. Soak your hands only for a few minutes. The water and cleanser will help to loosen dirt, dead skin, and soften cuticles. Use a nail brush to gently clean your nails and the skin around them. Gently scrape under your nails if necessary to remove dirt.

Prepare your cuticles. Dry your nails and apply a cuticle cream. Using a cuticle pusher, also called an orange stick, gently push back the cuticle. Do not force them back, be gentle. Wipe off the excess cream with a tissue or towel in the direction that you pushed.

Exfoliate.Exfoliating hands is not difficult and it need not be expensive. You'll find a range of exfoliation products. Some will be pricey (depending on the brand), while others can be mixed up in your kitchen. Salt and sugar are two ingredients you may have on hand -- they make wonderful, natural exfoliants when mixed with oils and juices. This is an easy salt scrub recipe you can create yourself.

Ingredients:

·       One cup sea salt

·       One-half cup of oil, such as sweet almond, jojoba or a massage oil

·       A few drops of essential oil, such as rosemary or lemon


1.    Mix the salt and oil together.

2.    Add the essential oil and mix everything well.

3.    Apply to your hands, taking care to rub gently in circular patterns.

4.    Focus on rough areas.

5.    Rinse well with tepid or warm water.


Apply a thick layer of moisturiser. Now that your hands are clean and supple, use a rich, creamy moisturiser, and massage it into your cuticles and hands. This will hydrate and replenish the skin. If you don’t have a good moisturiser at hand, you can use your favorite oil instead.

Fancy a splash of colour? You may want to apply a colour to finish off your manicure. Please remember few important steps:

Apply the base coat. Cover the nail with a clear base coat or nail hardener. This will even out and ridges and unevenness that may still be on the nail, serve as a primer for the polish, help the polish to last longer and keep the color from staining your nails.

Polish your nails. Pick a nail polish that you really like. Roll the nail polish bottle between your hands for about 10 seconds. Shaking the bottle causes air bubbles in the polish and makes harder for the polish to stick to your nails. Begin painting nails using a thin coat. Follow with the final one.

Apply the top coat. Finish with a clear top coat for a hard, smooth, scratch-absorbing, chip and flake-resistant shield. Let it dry completely Have fun and enjoy your newly beautiful nails!

Last but not least….

Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is crucial for keeping your entire body, not just your hands, healthy. Hydration comes from within, so make sure you drink enough water throughout the day and you will see results that come from the inside out.

Taking good care of your hands doesn't have to be a major production. There are things you can do every day to help your hands look and feel good. Develop a good routine and give your hands a helping hand.


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