In our world today, the most acceptable form of greeting is a handshake. It is used among friends and in formal meetings. So you know your hands make an impression as well as your appearance. This is one of the reasons why a hand cream is necessary.
It is to this effect we are sharing with you what is required of a hand cream. This valuable information will enable you choose one to cater to your specific needs. Let us take a look at what makes a hand cream what it is.
What Is a Hand Cream?
A hand cream is a mixture of active and inactive ingredients that are healthy for the hands. It is usually thick and sticky, readily moisturizing the hands all day without drying off easily.
The desired result of hands that look young and fresh is achieved this way. Hand creams also help with aging hands.
Why Should You Use a Hand Cream?
We use our hands constantly. They are also exposed to sunlight during the day, which actually is not good for them.
Furthermore, every day we live on earth means we are getting older. This is reflected on our hands as age spots, wrinkles, skin discoloration and noticeable blood vessels.
So how does a hand cream come in handy?
i. It reduces the signs of early ageing on the hands.
ii. Increases amount of moisture
iii. Makes the skin more elastic in nature.
iv. Protects the hands from the assault of the Sun’s UV rays.
However, there is a reason hand creams are specially made. Let us analyze this a bit so we can understand it better…
i. The skin on other parts of the body isn’t as thick as the skin on your hand, especially your palm.
ii. The watery nature of most lotions or moisturizers cannot effectively moisturize the hand. That’s why you often feel the need to splurge on more skin lotion. This happens because the skin on the hand easily absorbs the lotion or moisturizer as it is not thick enough.
Ingredients Your Hand Cream Should Contain
It is important to know what hand cream works best for your hands. And by this, we mean knowing the ingredients a good hand cream should contain. We’ve listed some essentials below:
This is one among the major ingredients found in a good number of hand creams. Water is a good source of moisture and that’s why brands employ them.
However, it is not a stand-alone ingredient because water cannot effectively moisturize the hands. This is because it easily dries or runs off.
So, in order to get the water to seep into the skin and stay, it is mixed with oil.
Humectants function by drawing in surrounding moisture towards them. We could refer to humectants as ‘moisture magnets’. When applied to the skin, this process is repeated and the moisture is moved deep into the skin. Commonly known humectants are glycerin, urea and honey.
Most hand creams naturally contain an oily matter which is referred to as an occlusive. This is what gives hand creams the sticky feel when you apply them.
Hand creams employed by nurses are occlusives which is necessary due to the several activities they perform with their hands. Commonly known occlusives are petrolatum, paraffin, lecithin, lanolin, mineral and oil extracts.
Emollients have the ability to give a smooth and soft feel, as well as a younger look to the skin. Those with aged hands will benefit greatly from these ingredients.
Vitamins do a lot for our skin, such as getting rid of aging signs and scars. In addition to these, vitamins also boost collagen production. Vitamins like A, C with E are commonly found in hand creams.
For hands that are really dry and cracked, lactic acid cannot be exempted from your hand cream ingredients. It has an awesome ability of making skin flexible and repairing the driest of cracks on the hands.
Anogeissus is gotten from a tree’s bark. It is not just rare but also regarded as sacred by certain cultures in Africa. Well known for its ability to heal, Africans have used it for several years already.
It was studied and tested for over five years and proven to really posses healing potentials as well as fibrillin. Fibrillin is a protein that enables the skin to retain its firmness and elasticity.
Allantion brings your hand back to life through its powerful healing of cracked skin. Dryness is reduced to non-existence and blemishes are removed. In addition, allantoin gets rid of sunspots.
Hyaluronic acid is an amazing hydrating ingredient that will actively hydrate the hands. It will cause wrinkles and other aging signs to disappear.
Retinol causes the buildup of collagen in the skin as well as enhances cell growth.
This ingredient serves as a sort of control on oxidative stress. It turns it around as well as avert it.
Green Tea, Polyphenols and Alpha-hydroxy Acids
A combination of these ingredients will do the following:
i. Get rid of age spots
ii. Brighten the skin
iii. Insert antioxidants into the skin
Choosing a Hand Cream According to Specific Needs
Below we will address just a few special needs and how you can choose a hand cream for them.
Having cracked hands is no funny matter. This can even get more complicated during winter. Severe cases can cause knuckle bleed. This condition is due to a huge lack of moisture on as well as in your hands. So what kind of hand cream will help such a situation?
We recommend a hand cream that has these ingredients in it:
It has properties that can easily soften and well as renew skin that has become so dry.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E Oil reduces and repairs the scars on your hands that might have come as a result of their dry nature. It does this by effectively moisturizing the skin.
This serves as an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It also creates a layer of protection on your hands that puts a stop to future injuries.
Wrinkled and Aging Hands
One of the functions of a good hand cream is to make you hands look younger. Our hands readily give our age away. So how do you battle this?
Every day we are bombarded with harmful rays from the sun which cause our hands to age. Therefore your hand cream should contain SPF value of about 30 or more. This will offer good protection from UV rays.
Vitamins A, C with E should be found in your hand cream. Collagen and Keratin should not be missing either. The combination of these ingredients in your hand cream decreases skin discoloration and boosts collagen production.
It will also promote the growth of new skin tissues. The result of these functions is hands that look fresh and young.
Due to the nature of their job, nurses have to wash their hands regularly. The action of soaps and frequent rinsing of hands leaves their skin void of protective oils and cells.
The result is that their hands become easily irritated; the soaps they use usually contain harsh ingredients. In addition to this, the skin on their hands starts to look dry and cracked. So what hand cream should a nurse go for?
Such a hand cream must contain ingredients like shea butter, essential oils, lactic acid plus Vitamins A, C with E.
They stimulate the growth of new skin tissues and also soften the hands. They remove dryness and restore skin elasticity.
Hand Cream: How Often Should You Apply It?
Two major factors will determine the frequency of use:
i. The first factor is the nature of your hands. If your hands are extremely dry, are cracking or peeling, the usage would be more frequent.
ii. The second factor is how often you wash your hands. This is quite obvious and necessary because as soon as you wash, you wash the hand cream away. So there will be a need to reuse it after every wash to ensure optimal effectiveness.
General Guidelines Concerning your Hand Cream
i. During the day, use a hand cream with sunscreen in it. An SPF value of 30, at least, will serve as excellent protection.
ii. We also recommend that you use a hand cream at night before you sleep. This type should be rich in emollients.
iii. To apply your hand cream, press it onto the back of your hand. Then using the back of the other hand, rub it in.
iv. If your hand cream contains sunscreen, which it should, you need to focus more on the top of your hand. This is because it is more exposed to the sun than your palm.
v. If you become uncomfortable with the sticky feel your hand cream leaves behind, there’s a solution. Opt for hand creams that have the feel of a lotion.
vi. At night, you can use of hand gloves for moisture retention while you sleep. It will also reduce the sticky feeling.
vii. Always exfoliate your hands’ skin. This process will allow your skin absorb the moisture from your hand cream. And it will better enhance the overall look of your hands.
viii. Be consistent in using your hand cream and give it time to work. 2 to 3 months is how long you might have to wait before you notice significant improvement.