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Rejuvenating your hands
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 18 - 04 - 2019

Your hands can tell the world how old you are and how well you take care of yourself. But as we age, the skin on our hands can become wrinkled and dried out, and while there's nothing wrong with growing older, many of us aren't best pleased with such a feeling.
Keeping your skin looking youthful, radiant and healthy is much easier when you eat well, avoid the sun, practise a good anti-ageing skin care routine, and maintain an overall healthy life style. You can take years off the look of your hands by treating issues like age spots, wrinkles and creped skin, thin skin, dryness and stained or brittle nails.
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Here are some steps to make your hands look younger naturally:
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Wash correctly: Avoid washing your hands with hot water in favour of warm water to preserve your skin's natural protective layer. Frequent contact with soap can make your hands lose moisture and start flaking. Don't use antibacterial soap unless absolutely necessary. Opt for moisturising soap with jojoba oil, olive oil or aloe vera. Use paper towels instead of electric dryers.
Wear gloves: Using rubber gloves while you wash dishes, mop floors, or clean bathtubs can help protect your hands from extreme temperatures and chemicals. You can even add a bit of moisturiser to your hands underneath the gloves for a mini hand spa treatment while you get chores done.
Moisturise your hands: Always moisturise your hands after you bathe or wash. Pat your hands dry and apply your favourite moisturiser while they're still damp. Apply an anti-ageing cream as needed or twice a day, morning and evening. If you have dry skin, apply it every time after washing your hands. Rub some hand cream into your nails as well, and apply Vitamin E cream on the cuticles.
You can also make your own moisturising hand mask with one tablespoon of oat flour and one tablespoon each of rose water and either almond, olive, coconut or jojoba oil. Warm the mixture on the stove and apply it to your hands. Wrap your hands in plastic wrap and rinse the mask off once it has cooled, or after about 10 to 15 minutes. Drink enough water to moisture your skin from the inside as well as the outside as well.
Scrub your hands: Your hands need scrubbing once a week. For a natural hand mask, mix half an avocado and an egg yolk with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply it to your hands, and let it rest for 20 minutes. You can also mix olive oil and sugar for a different scrub.
Use sunscreen: Excessive sun exposure causes blemishes, pigmentation, and destroys collagen and elastin in the skin. Therefore, using regular sunscreen for your hands is a must to prevent premature wrinkling and slow down age spots on the hands. Citrus fruits are also a good natural whitener. So, to whiten the skin on your hands, you can make masks out of one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of milk and one teaspoon of honey.
Massage your hands: Rub a small amount of olive or coconut oil into your hands before bed to help moisturise your skin and improve circulation. Add some sugar to the mix for the additional benefit of exfoliating your skin at the same time. Be gentle as you massage, and be sure to get the back of your hands, palms, fingers, and cuticles and nails. To help plump your hands up again, try a weekly collagen mask on the back of your hands, or rub in an eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid.


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