Do your nails have weird-looking cuticles or do hands feel as hard as a pumice rock? May be it's because you give your hands too much stress or that your nails are not properly cared for. Your hands touch hundreds of things everyday. They go through wear and tear and are tools without which you would feel helpless. Yet, many of us tend to ignore 'looking after' our hands, we take them for granted and often forget how many germs hands tend to pick up everyday. And if neglected, your hands skin may end up needing medical help. Taking good care of your hands doesn't have to be a major production. There are things you can do every day to help your hands look and feel good. Develop a good routine and give your hands a helping hand. Here's what you should do...

Wear Gloves : If you have to get your hands wet often, it is best that you wear rubber gloves. Household chores often involve water and harsh cleaning products. And overexposure to water can result in dry, flaky and irritable skin. If you are cutting vegetables, use disposable gloves available at chemists. You could also wear cotton gloves at night before going to bed after applying moisturizer. And when you step out, don't forget to apply sunscreen to the back of your hands as well.

Eat Well : If you want to keep your hands and fingernails healthy, smooth and young-looking, think about what you eat. What you eat not only reflects on your face and hair, but also on the skin of the rest of your body. Research has found that a diet has plenty of vitamin C but goes easy on the fats and carbohydrates may help skin look younger. Make sure that you stay well hydrated as well because drinking plenty of water retains moisture in your skin. Avoiding cigarettes also helps, if you're a smoker, cut down on your habit. Smoking makes your skin look older and more wrinkled. It also stains the fingernails.

Wash with Care : Washing your hands often is a good way to ensure you keep bacteria, viruses and dirt at bay, but don't overdo it. If you make it a practice to wash your hands the right way, their look and feel shouldn't be a casualty of your healthy habits. Use a good hand wash, which is gentle on your skin. While removing germs and dirt is your priority, you don't want to strip natural oils from your hands. A mild hand wash with lukewarm water is ideal. A little knowledge about skin can help you understand how to wash your hands properly. You should also avoid harsh soaps, use non-drying soaps instead. Antibacterial soaps aren't necessary and may even dry skin more. They also can kill good bacteria on the hands and encourage bad bacteria that resist antibiotics. Rinse well and gently pat your hands dry, never rub them vigorously.

Moisturize : Hands tend to get dry because of constant use, so moisturizing them, and especially your cuticles, is important. Good moisturizers can help prevent or treat dry skin on your hands. Use a lotion that is made specifically for hands. An effective moisturizer will prevent your skin from drying and will also keep water locked in the outer layer of your skin, making your hands, softer and help the outer skin work as a protective shield. When choosing a moisturizer for daily use, make sure you read the ingredients. Moisturize at least thrice a day if you want them healthy and soft. Even guys need to moisturize because no girl likes dry hands!

Get A Manicure : A manicure may be a mood-elevating treat or preparation for a special occasion. Whether you get one at a parlour or give yourself one at home, a manicure once a month is a must. We can give ourselves a mini-cure, or the little things that help keep nails healthy and attractive. A manicure at home won't take long, soak your hands in some scented essential oil mixed with water, push your cuticles back gently when they are soft and moist, buff your nails, shape them with a file and apply some hand lotion. Manicures really help your hands and help to nourish your nails. Never ever cut your cuticles or push them too far in.

Warnings : 

  • Do not cut your cuticles because that can lead to an infection.
  • Make sure you don't have any Aids as you dip them in lemon juice as this can lead to slower healing, and infection and pain.
  • Remember the more jagged your cuticles are when you push them back, the more jagged they will be when they grow back.

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