Often overlooked, we only deal with them when they start to chafe, to dehydrate or to show stains. But just a few daily attention is needed to keep beautiful and healthy hands, even in winter.
We always take great care of our face: we clean it every day, use the right creams, and protect it from the sun. On the other hand, we only worry about when problems start to arise. Yet this part of our body would need special care and attention every day, being continuously exposed on one side to the sun and temperature changes, on the other to frequent washing. On closer inspection, contrary to what we might think, our hands are very vulnerable and delicate.
The skin of the hands has unique characteristics, very different from those of the rest of the body. In the palms the epidermis is thicker, has furrows and small folds, there are no hairs or sebaceous glands but is rich in sweat glands and nerve endings. It has evolved over time, keeping some gender peculiarities almost unchanged: the male skin is thicker and more robust, has a greater vascularization and is therefore warmer than the feminine one, which is thinner and more sensitive to tactile stimuli.
Healthy hands and nails are a functional and communicative tool that distinguishes our species and, even before the face, they are our “visiting card” because they tell a lot about us and our habits.
From cleaning to protection
To keep the skin of our hands healthy and prevent dehydration, cracking, redness and blemishes, little daily precautions are enough: gently cleanse, moisturize, protect and restore the elements to restore normal physiological barriers.
Continue Reading: How to nourish the skin?
For cleansing it is important to choose delicate products that respect the physiological pH of the skin and that do not alter the composition of the hydrolipidic film. A good detergent should contain delicate surfactants of natural origin, synthesized starting from corn starch or olive oil, moisturizing substances such as glycerin and aloe vera and restorative like panthenol and wheat proteins. The hands should then be rinsed with warm water and carefully dried, so as to avoid residual moisture, in contact with cold air, chap and dehydrates.
All antibacterial products should be avoided for healthy hands, since their daily use alters the cutaneous flora unbalancing the balance in favor of the “bad bacteria” and thus exposing us to the risk of dermatosis and redness. Unless you have to perform an operation, proper cleansing is sufficient to eliminate dirt and the vast majority of pathogenic microorganisms.
After washing it is advisable to apply a good emollient, moisturizing and nourishing cream able to restore the “barrier function” of the skin. Vegetable oils and butters like olive oil, shea butter and sunflower oil, together with vitamin E and glycerin, should never be lacking in a good hand cream, while other substances can be supplemented and enriched with the formula active ingredients including plant extracts with emollient and protective action, panthenol, allantoin, aloe vera and honey.