Take a moment to think about how much you’ve used your hands today. You’ve opened doors, flipped through your phone, put on your shoes. Our hands are how we interact with almost everything in the world, and because of that, it’s vital that we take care of them. One of the simplest ways to do so is with a moisturizing hand cream.
Here are four reasons that a hand cream should become an essential part of your routine:
1. Keep them looking young
Hands are one of the first places to show our age. This is due to both the thinness of the skin on the backs of our hands, as well as the fact that we use and wash them so frequently. Water alone can dry out hands, but with germ-killing soaps, disinfectants, and sanitizers, our hands are often fighting a losing battle. Regular use of hand creams add moisture and elasticity back into our skin, helping to prevent them from developing wrinkles, age spots, and calluses.
2. Prevent dryness and dehydration
In terms of our skin, hands are complicated. The skin on the back of our hands is some of the thinnest, most delicate on our bodies, while our palms are thick and durable. This causes an imbalance in the hydrolipidic film (an oily substance that covers our skin to help lock in moisture), leaving your hands far more susceptible to dehydration. Hand creams work to strengthen your skin’s barrier both by adding hydration and keeping this hydrolipidic film intact. This means softer skin, cuticles, and nails.
3. Repair cracked hands
Our hands are very responsive to seasons and temperature, but at no point is this truer than winter. The colder, drier air strips hydration and flu season keeps us perpetually washing our hands. This combination often leads to such severe dehydration that the skin on our hands begins to crack. A nourishing hand cream can quickly repair the cracks and restore hands.
4. Self-care & stress relief
Hand creams are a simple, quick luxury. Taking a few seconds to give your hands a bit of TLC can be comforting and can help you relax. Often delicately scented, hand creams add a pleasant aroma that encourages our brains to unwind. Paired with the fact that the tubes are often relatively small, they’re a perfect size to keep in your purse and use whenever your hands need it.
5. Help keep your hands clean
On top of making our hands look and feel nice, certain hand creams are actually hygienic. We may not be able to see it, but bacteria and grime begin building up as soon as we’ve washed and dried our hands. Because some hand creams contain antibacterial ingredients, they help rid our skin of microscopic pests, while working to stabilize the skin barrier’s functions.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 2016, pages 1118-1124
International Journal of Dermatology, February 2017, pages 176-183