If you were to name a part of the human body that does more than the rest but gets less care and pampering, what would it be? Will you answer “hands”? Or perhaps you think it’s your feet.
In most cases, it’s both.
Sure, you may head to the salon to get a manicure and a pedicure while you get your hair done occasionally, but do you think that’s enough?
If you use hand and foot moisturizers and foot scrubs, you’re off to a good start. Now, what remains is learning about these eight best practices in hand and foot care:
Your hands are arguably the busiest and most used part of your body. Make sure you look after them well with the following tips:
1. Keep your hands clean the right way.
Despite numerous reminders from health authorities, a lot of people still fail to realize the importance of handwashing. Cleaning your hands every day is vital not only in preventing the spread of infections and diseases but also in reducing the risk of skin conditions.
Of course, you should be careful when choosing the products you use to clean your hands as some germicidal soaps can leave your skin dry.
If possible, opt for a soap that can cleanse and moisturize your hands at the same time. Read the label and check whether it contains the necessary hydrating ingredients, like olive oil, shea butter, or aloe vera so you don’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
If soap is unavailable, you may also use hand sanitizers that contain the moisturizing ingredients mentioned earlier.
2. Don’t skip the cream.
Hand creams are your best friend in maintaining your hands’ soft and supple texture. In fact, some argue that these products are better than hand lotions in a lot of aspects.
Since these are thicker in nature, hand creams offer longer-lasting moisturizing effects.
Oil-based creams are beneficial when you have extremely dry skin. Look for those that contain humectant ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids and glycerin as they attract moisture present in the air into your skin.
If the top layer of the skin lacks water, spaces emerge between skin cells, causing a cracked appearance. In this case, you’ll need a hand cream with emollient ingredients. This includes shea butter, glycerin, and natural oils that fill the empty spaces between the skin cells for smoother and softer skin.
So, always keep your favorite Dior skincare hand cream in stock, and massage it into your hands after washing in the morning and before bedtime.
3. Try to avoid cutting your cuticles.
When you get a manicure, do you have your cuticles trimmed? If so, you might be exposing your skin and nails to infection.
You see, those cuticles serve as your shield against infection-causing bacteria that may thrive on your nails. If they are trimmed, germs can enter the skin and nails easier, increasing your risk of infection.
So, the next time you get a manicure, you might want to ask the staff to avoid trimming your cuticles.
Of course, it’s still your choice whether or not to cut them.
If you decide that trimming your cuticles is necessary, make sure that you soften them first. Start with a warm finger soak or shower with warm water. After that, you can push them back using a cuticle remover. Don’t forget to moisturize.
4. Exfoliate your hands regularly.
Hand exfoliation should be done every week to get rid of dead skin cells. This way, your hands will feel softer and smoother.
To exfoliate your hands, you can buy a hand scrub from your local grocery or beauty store. You can also mix your own hand scrub using olive oil, sugar, and lime juice.
Pro Tip: Be gentle when scrubbing your hands and always moisturize them afterward.
Your feet are responsible for carrying your body weight all day. Return the favor by keeping them healthy with the following tips:
5. Treat your feet with a daily soak.
A soak can do wonders not only for your feet but also for your entire body.
Soaking your feet in lukewarm water can soothe sore feet and reduce any swelling. It also helps moisturize your skin and improve blood circulation in the body. More importantly, soaking also washes away bacteria before they get the chance to settle into the tiny cracks and sores of your skin.
Pro Tip: When mixing a footbath, pour a bit of Epsom salts into the mixture for skin exfoliation. This can also make removing splinters easier, alleviate pain, and even treat fungal infections.
6. Keep your heels moisturized.
Like your hands, your feet also need ample hydration to get through the day.
If your heels are painfully dry that the skin has started to crack, it would be best to see a dermatologist or podiatrist for proper treatment. If the dryness is not as severe, you can use a few of many foot moisturizing products available in stores near you.
You can try medicated heel pads to soften the calluses as you walk. These don’t need prescriptions and are widely available in pharmacies and beauty stores.
Once your calluses have been exfoliated, use heavy cream and massage it onto the tough skin of your heels. Go with products that contain the emollient petrolatum (more popularly known as “petroleum jelly”) or humectant ingredients like lactic acid that attract moisture into the skin.
7. Scrub gently after soaking.
Scrubbing your feet periodically also helps keep it looking gorgeous.
Experts recommend having a foot bath made from black tea that contains the natural anti-bacterial agent called “tannic acid.” This helps reduce the risk of an athlete’s foot.
After soaking your feet for about ten to 15 minutes, use a foot file or pumice stone to scrub off dead skin and calluses. Make sure you do this gently.
You can also use moisturizing foot scrubs that contain sugar, crushed fruit pits, and chemical exfoliators to remove dead skin. Don’t forget to apply cocoa butter or shea butter foot balm or cream.
Pro Tip: When buying heel balms or creams, read the ingredients list and look for urea or salicylic acid that helps soften hard calluses.
8. Apply sunscreen.
Your face and arms aren’t the only ones that need protection from the harsh UV rays – your feet do, too.
Make sure you don’t leave home without applying broad-spectrum sunscreen on your feet, especially if you’re wearing sandals or slippers when going out. Choose products with 30 SPF or higher.
Your hands and feet may require more attention and care than what you’re currently giving them. Follow these best practices to make sure they stay soft, smooth and healthy.