Caring for your Hands
 
Sun and weather exposure, years of minor scrapes and cuts and the constant exposure to water and detergents, has adverse, often aging,  effects on your hands. Here are some hints to keep hands soft, smooth and youthful.
 
1. Wear rubber gloves when washing up, but wash them out after to prevent a
    build-up of bacteria.
2. Massage daily with a good hand cream, which contains moisturisers, keep it
    by the tap to remind yourself to use it.
3. Always wear gloves in cold weather to prevent chapping.
4. To exfoliate, mix a portion of salt and oil together and gently massage it into
    your hands. Then rinse your hands in tepid water and moisturise.
5. Age spots will fade or be prevented by using, on a daily basis, a hand cream
    that contains SPF15.
 
Nails
Now we move to the focal point of a nice pair of hands, NAILS. If your hands look good a short,
chewed set of nails will let you down every time, so now's the time to stop biting and start looking
after your nails. If you can't, there are some excellent products available today which can be
bought in the high street which can help to solve the problem.
 
Nail and Cuticle Care
Colour
Your nail should be of a slightly yellowish tone at the tip and a soft pink on the nail bed, if yours are not, this could be due to poor circulation. To check your circulation, squeeze a nail until it goes white, then release the nail and the pinkness should reappear within three seconds, if it doesn't then daily hand massage can help.
 
Filing
To prevent your nails from breaking and splitting, always file gentle in one long stroke from each side to the centre. Keeping the nail oval or slightly square rather than pointed can also prevent breaking. You should always use a 3 way buffer as this gives you a coarse, smooth and the finishing wax seal. Omit the wax finish if you wish to polish your nails, as the nail polish will not adhere to the wax.
 
Conditioning
Nails need feeding, nourishing oils and creams smoothed daily onto your nails help seal in moisture, which helps prevent flaking and splitting. Almond or Jojoba nail products are excellent nail food. Olive oil, mixed with a little moisturiser, is a cheap alternative and works just as well.
 
 
Cuticles
Never cut overgrown or tough cuticles, this can lead to infection. Soak the nails in warm soapy water to soften the cuticles before applying a little cream or oil; gently push back with a cotton bud, orange stick or manicure hoof. Now you can remove any dead skin that is still attached to the nail bed, using either a damp cotton pad or a clean soft cloth.
 
Polishing
Before applying nail polish, always wipe the nail plate with a non-acetone nail varnish remover, to ensure that the nail bed is oil free. Always use a base coat before applying your chosen colour as this helps reduce discolouration of the nail. Paint the nail in three strokes, one down the middle and one either side so as not to cover the same area twice, allow them to dry and then apply a second coat. Finally apply a topcoat which will seal your colour and provide a chip- free finish. To remove nail polish, always look for acetone free or gentle nail polish remover, apply to cotton wool and remember this removes moisture, which you will need to replace.
 
Colours
Long elegant fingers can carry off most colours, but for a more dramatic look go for reds, burgundies and russets. Shorter nails however look better with paler tones and beiges, but a good manicure will go with any outfit and gives your nails a clean, fresh healthy look. Paler tones suite broader nails also, but a good tip is to leave a small piece at each side of the nail unpainted which makes them appear narrower.

Following the advice above will enable you to have hands that are in peak condition.

 

Picture ©  chıcgeeĸ