There’s no doubt about it: summer brings many beauty benefits. With a bit of a tan, increased physical activity and some subtle hair highlights, you’re probably feeling extra pretty at this time of year. The same, however, cannot be said for your hands. Days spent in the harsh sun can wreak havoc on your mitts, leaving your palms dry, your cuticles cracked and your nails, well, don’t even get me started. Yep, it’s time for a serious hand SOS – here’s how to help your hands in 6 easy steps:
STEP 1: Strengthen your nails
We all love a carefree summer, but your nails? Not so much. A quick test will show you whether a nourishing nail strengthener is in order. Simply press down on the tip of your nails with your thumb – if they bend forward (or worse, split), they definitely need a targeted treatment to restore them to their former glory. You don’t have to compromise on colour, though. Try Revitanail Triple Strength Nail Polish, which comes in cute hues like Marshmallow and Pomegranate, or use Manicare Maximum Strength Nail Defence as a base coat.
STEP 2: Care for your cuticles
Summer’s outdoorsy activities can lead to cracked, dry and downright manky-looking cuticles. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to consider a cuticle oil. A couple of drops will do the trick, but to reap the most benefits, take the time to massage it into your nails (this will help to stimulate blood supply, soften and hydrate). Try essie Apricot Cuticle Oil or Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil.
STEP 3: Deal with dryness
During summer, your mitts lose a lot of moisture due to sun exposure, so it’s important to replace it with a good hand care cream. Look for lotions containing vitamin E, which is great for repairing delicate, damaged skin. For best results, apply a generous amount before bed – it’ll work wonders overnight. The Body Shop Vitamin E Hand and Nail Treatment is my go-to – it’s ultra nourishing and it smells AH-mazing.
STEP 4: Combat the cracks
Dry hands is one thing, but if you’re starting to get cracks or irritation, you’re going to need to up the ante. Mavala Mava+ Hand Cream Extreme Day Treatment is great for relieving extra-dry hands, as is Garnier Hand Intensive 7 Days SOS Repairing Hand Cream with Shea Butter. Top tip: For an extra hydration hit, consider wearing moisture gloves overnight. We love Eco Tools Bamboo Moisture Gloves.
STEP 5: Target pigmentation
If you’re anything like me, you’re prone to forgetting to rub sunscreen on the back of your hands. This can result in pigmentation and sun spots as well as loss of firmness and elasticity. To stop your hands from adding years to your appearance, try using an anti-ageing cream such as Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream or Avon Anew Clinical Absolute Even Spot Correcting Hand Cream.
STEP 6: Slip Slop Slap
Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off with your SPF! Although we’re quick to slather sunscreen on our face and bodies, our hands are often neglected. Once you’ve targeted existing pigmentation, prevent further spots from developing by using one of our favourite hand creams with SPF such as the nourishing Natio Wellness Hand Cream SPF15.
Are your hands looking less-than-healthy after summer? How do you care for your hands?