By Ruby Latif
I’ve always been fascinated with hands – our hands tell our life story. They do our day-to-day tasks like tying our shoes, sending texts and emails, cook our dinner and tuck our loved ones in. Our hands are an expression of style; we get a better sense of what people like by the jewellery they adorn and the nail colour choice they wear. Calluses on hands can tell us if a person plays an instrument or a sport.
In an age where plastic surgery, chemical peels, chemical injections can help hide a person’s age and keep people guessing; hands have become the biggest tell-all of a person’s true age. With age, our hands will lose fatty tissue, and bones will become more prominent. With age, blue veins will become more visible, skin’s roughness will show. And with age comes wrinkles and age spots. All of these symptoms occur on our face- which is more easily treatable; unfortunately it is our hands that are more neglected. As our hands are also visible (we shake hands, we wave with them, when we are expressive we speak with them), it is all the more reason for us to take better care of them!
Just like your face and body, your hands need attention too. In the summer make sure you apply sunscreen with a minimum of SPF15. UV light is your hands’ worst enemy; it causes a loss of elasticity and suppleness. You should always wear gloves in the winter, and when doing housework or gardening. Just like you would exfoliate your body/face, you should also exfoliate your hands as it will help with the absorption of hand cream. Treat your hands to a manicure, to maintain healthy skin and nails. If you are unable to do so, below is a 15 minute manicure you can do at home:
1. Use scissors to cut and shape your nails. Do not use clippers as they can split and shatter the nail.
2. Use an emery board (nail file) to file your nails. Do not use a metal file as they can rip nails or create jagged edges.
3. Rub cuticle cream on your cuticle bed and place your hands into a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. A great product for removing cuticles is Sally Hansen, “Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength”. It dissolves cuticles in 15 seconds and cuts a manicure time down. It can also help remove calluses. Cuticles are important, protecting the roots of your nails from invasion by harmful bacteria.
4. Push back your cuticles with a wet hoof stick, do not push back dry cuticles, you can rip or tear them. Work from the outer side of your cuticle in circular movements, and don’t push too hard.
5. Lightly buff your nails with the grainy side of a buffer, follow with the smooth side to even it out.
6. Soak your hands in the warm water again. Use a soft brush to remove any traces of dirt.
7. Use an exfoliate on your hands to scrub away dead skin and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
8. Dry your hands and apply a moisturizer.
9. Dampen a cotton ball with nail polish remover and lightly apply over your nails (this is to remove any excess hand cream residue).
10. Your manicure is complete and ready for polish (if you choose). When applying polish, always use a base coat as it will stop coloured enamels from staining your nails and follow the polish with a top coat to give the colour longevity.