Hands in need of some extra pampering? Similar to a beauty regime for the face, a hand regime can really beautify and soften your hands to protect them against common aggressors (household chemicals, in-door heating, sun rays, wind and cold) and telltale signs on ageing. No Sarah Jessica-Parker paws around here!

A key product in any hand care routine is the hand scrub – of which there are many. Here we dish the dirt on three hand scrubs:

Manual, mechanical scrubs
Manual, mechanical scrubs are just that: scrubs that you have to actually manually (with your hands) rub into your skin in mechanical motions to create friction. Most sensitive types hit trouble when they start overusing these products, as they can be harsh on delicate skin and even cause abrasions in extreme cases of overuse. Only ever use an exfoliating product once a week, or once every eight -10 days, if you’re particularly sensitive. Look for products with smooth, as opposed to rough particles. These products will usually be labelled as having exfoliating ‘beads’ or ‘pearls’, which will exfoliate the skin without going as deep as the rough particles in everyday scrubs like sugar and salt scrubs. Try products like: Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream, Nivea Visage Gentle Exfoliating Scrub with Provitamin B5, Dove Daily Exfoliant Shower Scrub and QV Exfoliating Polish which have softer beads in them and can perform double-duty as both hand and face scrubs.

Enzyme Scrubs
These scrubs are hardy but less intense than a manual scrub. Enzyme scrubs work by creating a chemical reaction that causes dead surface skin cells (that’s the dry, dull skin you see one to two weeks after your last exfoliation) to dissolve. They’re great for ultra-sensitive skin because you can simply lather them on and let them work their magic, rather than having to repeatedly scrub them into your skin. Try products like: Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, which contains lavender and aloe to soothe sensitive skin and Jurilique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator.

Chemical Scrubs
These are scrubs (sometimes called peels if they contain AHAs) that use chemical acids – usually Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) to dissolve or loosen the ‘glue’ (stratum corneum) that holds dead skin cells together on your skin. If you’re only mildly sensitive, you can get away with using one of these once every couple of weeks (but definitely no more frequently) and only leaving it on your skin for half the recommended time (times differ from product to product, so read the instructions first). Try: Ilcsi Organic Skincare AHA Fruit Pulp Treatment and Priori Advanced AHA Invigorating Face and Body Scrub with LCA Complex.


Other hand articles:

Dry hand dramas

Stopping cuticle infection

Ready, steady, mani/pedi