Rescue 411: Give Your Hands And Feet The Late Summer Skincare They Need
Beauty & Grooming Aug 21, 2018
Sun damage? Mosquito bites? Dark spots? Hands and feet are definitely beat after a summer of fun and play. As the sun’s rays fade and the damage becomes more apparent, read on to find out how you can repair and restore them back to their glory. So give your hands and feet the late summer skincare they need!
With our South Asian skin, the pigment impacts the appearance of scars, and the ashiness created by dead skin is obvious. So we take a closer look at repair, prepare and then adding flair to your hands and feet.
The mosquito bites that you have scratched on your hands and feet in June have likely morphed into dark brown scars that are taking forever to fade. To ensure that the treatments you apply will actually penetrate, always exfoliate twice or three times a week. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, frees the pores and allows the creams to penetrate.
Pay Attention To Your Skin
The skin on your hands is exceptionally thin, and one of the first places to reveal your true age. Therefore the exfoliator used on the hands should be creamy, and gentle. I recommend the L’Occitane Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub. This organic shea butter-infused cream exfoliates with walnut husks and smells like apricot oil and shea. You only need a nickel-sized dollop of product to easily and effectively exfoliate both hands.
The best way to exfoliate the hands is to rub the product in circular motions, in particular the back of the hands as this is the most sun-damaged area. Given that hang nails are also an issue at the end of summer, massage each finger from the base to tip, using circular motions. This will increase blood flow to the tips which will give you healthier looking cuticles.
The skin on the feet has two areas, the soles which are quite tough, and the topside which is thin. I find it rather expensive to have an exfoliator for the hands, face, body and feet, so what I do is use the body exfoliator on the feet. The challenge is to find a formula that is coarse enough to smooth the soles without tearing the topsides of the feet. I recommend the Beautycounter Sugar Body Scrub in Lemongrass. First, since it is sugar-based, it’s less coarse and will not sting, unlike salt-based scrubs. Second, it contains a plethora of minerals and oils such as sweet almond, apricot kernel, evening primrose and sunflower. The presence of these ingredients restores suppleness to the skin while the dead cells are removed.
It’s important to be in a sitting position when you scrub your feet because the oils and water make for an unstable surface and there is a risk of injury. Once seated in the bathtub or on a shower chair, take a generous scoop and rub your feet using circular motions to ensure a rush of blood to these body parts. The heels are tough so make circular motions but do them quickly. Since the topsides have thin skin, motion slowly as if you are touching silk.
After rinsing the hands and feet, apply a restorative serum. Over the years, I was not as diligent about my feet as compared to my hands and now I can see fine lines when my feet are dry. I searched high and low for a reparative foot serum but couldn’t find one suitable. I now apply the Aveda Hand Relief™ Night Renewal Serum to my hands and feet on a nightly basis. It contains licorice extracts and molasses which treat dark spots (mosquito bites be gone!), and it also plumps the skin. The Night Renewal Serum, like a face treatment, does hydrate and plump on impact but for discolouration, you need to wait a several weeks to see a difference.
The serum should be applied on your hands and your feet using long, strong strokes from the wrist to the tips, and the ankles to the toes, respectively. The idea is to encourage circulation and bring them to life. I am thrilled with this serum because it taught me that what I do to my hands, I can do to my feet which saves on time and money.
Hydration on a regular basis is an integral part of the hand and foot beauty process. The twin act to hydration is to make sure that you do not strip away natural oils when you wash your hands and feet.
I am thrilled to discover that Burt’s Bees Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream is luxurious and opulent hand cream, that is 100% natural. It contains shea butter, and botanical oils such as borage, macadamia, rose hip, sesame and sunflower. Your hands—and feet—are literally massaged in a creamy heaven. I’m amazed at how my hands look revived after I repeat the massage I perform with the serum. I am equally thrilled with how soft my heels feel after I massage this product into my feet.
Each morning, prior to leaving the house, the last step of my beauty ritual is to apply Clé de Peau Hand Cream SPF 18. This subtly scented product is lightweight and sinks into the skin with a few strokes. The sun protection does not leave an ashen cast over the hands, and it preserves all of the hard work you put into diminishing the dark spots. The tube is 75 ml so it does not take up a lot of space in your handbag. If you’re exposed to the sun at work (or even at home for that matter), it’s imperative that you re-apply the cream throughout the day (using the massage technique) so that you keep up the moisture and sun protection levels. The majority of sun damage is caused through casual exposure.
BYOS: Bring Your Own Soap To Work, (No, Really!)
Another aspect of hydration is the office soap. It tends be industrial-strength and it literally strips the hands of life. I recommend that you bring your own soap to the office, and it should be gentle, after all we are washing hands, not preparing for surgery. I appreciate the Beautycounter Hand Wash in Citrus Mimosa because it uses organic aloe, calendula and green tea, to keep the hands soft. It might seem odd to carry your own bottle to the bathroom but it certainly feels better than scratching your skin because they are parched from the industrial soap. Remember when the hands are hydrated and soft, it is easier to maintain a manicure as the nail bed does not contract from dryness which disturbs the polish, and it avoid hangnails… which brings me to another aspect of hydration.
The cuticles are the humble country bumpkin cousins of the glorified and varnished nail bed but when they are cut, red or dry, they easily capture all of the attention. The cuticles give the nails their vitality and strength, which is imperative for beautiful hands and feet. The single most important thing that you can you after massaging in your cream at night, is to dab a few drops of Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil™ and then gently rub it in to all ten cuticles. I love how this product which contains apricot kernel, jojoba and sweet almond oils, is rapidly absorbed by the cuticles. My cuticles look instantly softer and more professional.
If your nails are particularly brittle, and chip, I recommend that in addition to the hydration steps I’ve mentioned, you should on a clean, oil-free nail bed, apply a layer of Butter London Sheer Wisdom™ Nail Tinted Moisturizer. In the bottle it looks like a nude polish (there are 5 shades so all South Asian women will find their nude), but it contains a Micro Smart Active Technology that delivers hydrating ingredients such as Vitamin E, tea tree oil, keratin and arginine, that reinforce the nail bed and give it strength.
The greatest mani and pedis are the result of disciplined preparation and hydration, as these steps create a strong base where colour can shine. To preserve your hard work remember that nails are tough but not that tough … so when you shape your nails be gentle on the fingers and toes. I recommend using a non-metal nail file, and then sweep it across the nail one in one direction. Repeat this one-direction sweep until you obtain the desired shape.
In all likelihood with all of the cuticle care that you do during the week, there will be very little dead cuticle to remove. In the event that the there a few white, sticky spots, apply a remover such as Butter London Melt Away™ Cuticle Exfoliator around the nail bed, place your hands/feet in water, wait for 2 to 3 minutes and then using a disposable wood sticks gently pass over the spots. The spots will fall away revealing the nail’s surface.
Beautiful hands and feet, like a great figure, strong grades or a beautiful singing voice require discipline. There is no silver bullet that will restore the lustre to the hands and feet, and in fact a flashy nail polish will highlight the sun damage. The key is to apply creams, cleanser and treatments, consistently and properly, and over the course of a month, your hands and feet will return to their former glory.
Meena (@meenalaregina) always loved the idea of exploring the non-conventional idea of beauty. Having grown up as a pimply chubby teenager, she wanted to see the change in the world that best reflected your uniqueness as well. Her well-received collection of blogs where she tries on various beauty p...
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