You know how hard your hands work. Whether they're swinging a hammer, chopping vegetables, setting roof tiles, caring for young children (and being washed dozens of times per day) or performing any of hundreds of tasks that take their toll on your skin, your hands are the reason you can make your livelihood.
But what if you don't want the world to know just how hardworking your hands are? Or what if you just don't want to experience the cracking, peeling, soreness, and redness that tends to happen when hands are out in the elements or being washed constantly?
The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your hands soft, smooth, and feeling their best, no matter what difficult jobs they take on during your workday.
Wash Your Hands Gently
Yes, you need to get the grime off, but you don't need to scrub your hands vigorously using harsh soaps and detergents. If you have a particularly greasy job, then you might be used to using strong ingredients to remove the dirt from your hands. These can strip away moisture, leaving your hands red and irritated. Instead, look for a product like our exfoliating scrub. This cleanses the skin gently by removing grease and dirt without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
Also, use warm, not hot, water. Water that is too hot can cause further irritation and chapping. Cold water is unpleasant, so choose a temperature that is lukewarm or tepid. When you are done washing, blot your hands with a soft cloth towel rather than rubbing them with paper towels.
Always Moisturize Your Hands
Whenever possible, moisturize your hands after washing. A good moisturizer will seal in natural skin oils and prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated. While you might not be able to apply lotions immediately after washing (for example, if you are working with food, you will want to use hands without any products on them), be sure to moisturize after each washing when you are not at work. You can also apply a heavier cream before bed. We recommend our Intense Moisture Hand Cream, which is perfect for daytime or nighttime use.
Wear Gloves When It Makes Sense
Depending on your job, you might not be able to wear gloves during your workday. If you can, however, any type of covering for your hands, such as latex gloves or leather work gloves, will provide a lot of protection for your skin.
When you are home, use rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning. And when the weather is cold, wear warm gloves to protect your hands from the chilly air. If you can protect your hands as much as possible even when you are not working, they will stay softer and smoother.
Wear Sunscreen on Your Hands
Speaking of protecting your hands, be sure to smooth on some sunscreen each day. Do this even on cloudy, overcast, or cold days. The sun's rays can penetrate cloud cover and cause damage that shows up as dryness, uneven skin tone, and, after years of exposure, sun spots, moles, and possibly even skin cancer. Rub sunscreen into the backs of your hands, your fingers, and your wrists--anyplace that is not covered by clothing.
The bottom line is that your hands can be smooth and irritation-free, even if you work in an industry that entails a lot of washing or exposure to the elements. Taking these steps will help you to feel confident that people you meet won't know just how hard your hands work unless you tell them.