01 Beauty lies in the Soul: Hand Care Tips

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hand Care Tips

Give your hands enough attention
For many people especially housewives and manual workers, the hands are the most overworked and ill-used part of the body. They are exposed to all kinds of wear and tear: to the effects of temperature and climate: to frequent wetting: to the onslaughts of harsh chemicals: and to the risk of minor injury and subsequent infection. Yet the care of the hands is often completely overlooked until, say, the skin becomes rough and cracked or a nail is broken.
Here are a few simple tips that can make your hands look beautiful.

Washing your hands innumerable times with soap makes your skin lose its moisture. Keep a piece of lemon next to your hand-washing soap. Rub it over your hands at least once a day, before washing. This will help delay the onset of age-spots.

While doing household chores make it a point to wear rubber gloves. It is a good idea to wear cool cotton gloves whenever possible.
Cracking your knuckles can give you wobbly fingers. So stop breaking them unless you want fat fingers, which you think are a turn-on.

Long nails can look very elegant, but only if they are kept clean and in shape. File them regularly with a filer. Dirt in the fingernails can show how clean you are. So if you can’t keep nails clean, keep them short and simple.

Always remember to apply some moisturizer before going to bed.

Exercise and watch your hands turn beautiful
Try this yogic exercise, which is good for your hands - Stretch your fingers wide and clap hard, so that your fingers of both hands are aligned. Like thumb-to-thumb, forefinger-to-forefinger. This increases blood circulation.

Hold both hands in front of you with palms facing inwards, loosen their wrist grip and flap them backwards and forwards. Feel them tingle as the blood rushes to them.

Squeeze the tip of each finger as hard as possible for about five seconds. This also helps in activating blood circulation.

Close your fingers and circle your wrists ten times in each direction.

Take care of your hands before it starts showing that you are really becoming old.

Chapped hands
The repeated use of soap and water damages the top layer of the skin, and can cause excessive scaling, or chapping. When washing hands lukewarm water and the simplest soap should be used. Exposing unprotected hands to bleaches and other kitchen chemicals, and also to shampoos, can aggravate chapping. To For many people especially housewives and manual workers, the hands are the most overworked and ill-used part of the body. They are exposed to all kinds of wear and tear: to the effects of temperature and climate: to frequent wetting: to the onslaughts of harsh chemicals: and to the risk of minor injury and subsequent infection. Yet the care of the hands is often completely overlooked until, say, the skin becomes rough and cracked or a nail is broken.

In some extreme instances, chapping can lead to eczema, or inflammation of the skin. Eczema can also affect people who are allergic to certain materials. As the hands are almost always in contact with some material, the condition can persist. One has to see the doctor in this condition.

Children in particular are affected by warts, which develop on the hands or fingers and are contagious. Most warts disappear spontaneously, as immunity develops, though they persist for a year or more. There is no way of preventing them. If they cause concern a doctor, who can destroy them with corrosive or freezing fluids, should see them.

Nails and their problems
The main function of the fingernails is to protect the sensitive tips of the fingers and concentrate the sense of touch. On average, a nail grows from its base to its top edge in about six months. If nails are not cut they will become split and broken.

Flaking nails
The top layers of nails can separate and start to flake off if they are exposed to too much soap and water or detergent. If flaking occurs, wear plastic gloves when washing dishes or clothes, and massage nail cream into the nail base each day.

Brittle nails
When nails easily crack or break they can be a permanent worry. Weak nails are caused by general ill health or a protein deficiency in the diet. You can increase your nutritional intake by eating more lean meat, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Brittle nails could also be suffering from extreme dryness and, if this is the case, rub in a nail cream every morning and night and keep the nails fairly short until the condition improves.

Loose nails
The excessive use of nail hardeners containing formaldehyde can cause the nail plate to separate from the nail bed. The space beneath the nail may then become infected, causing discoloration. Loose nails can also accompany diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.

Hang nails
If the nails are frequently immersed in water the outer skin layer may split away from the cuticle. The splits, or hangnails, are painful and can become infected. They can be snipped off with sharp nail scissors. To prevent them occurring the skin should be kept flexible by nightly applications of cold creams

Black nails
A heavy blow on the nail---or jamming it in a door---can cause bleeding under the nail, which eventually fall off. New growth will cure the condition. If the injury is very painful the nail may have to be removed surgically.

Nail Biting
In both adults and children, nail biting is a common habit, sometimes stemming from insecurity, boredom, anxiety or excitement. Excessive nail biting results in very weak nails and in extreme cases, damaged fingers caused by chewing the nail down to the quick---the sensitive skin beneath the nail. The best remedy is often to appeal to the individual’s vanity. Failing this, the person concerned must use willpower to conquer the habit.

Home Manicure
Remove old nail polish with a single stroke by soaking a cotton wool pad with nail polish remover. Wipe away traces of polish around the cuticles stick dipped in remover.
Using an emery board, shape nails lightly, working from both edges towards the center. Avoid moving the board back and forth quickly, which produces heat that dries out the nail and leads to splitting. Try holding the emery board at a single angle under the nail. Don’t file down the sides- the nail tip needs the sides as support, otherwise it will weaken and nicks form.
Apply a cuticle remover around the nail contours. Using the tip of a cuticle stick wrapped in cotton wool, gently push back the skin. Work away dead tissue before carefully passing the stick under cuticles.
Wash your hands in warm soapy water, and brush nails with a soft manicure brush so that polish will adhere to them properly. Pat hands dry with a towel.
If nails are weak, apply a strengthening or hardening product, paying special attention to the tips. Allow to dry.
Apply a protective base coat, covering the entire nail but stopping short of the cuticle.
Apply two coats of polish, starting with a single stroke down the center of the nail, then across the cuticle base and down the two sides without touching the cuticle. Allow each coat to dry.
Finish with a topcoat for extra gloss and the shield against chipping.
For optimum skin and nail health, check that your diet includes plenty of vitamin A, E and B complex, and the minerals calcium, Zinc, magnesium and iodine. If need be, take nail-fortifying vitamin and minerals supplements.

Thirty-minute pedicure
Clean toenails and remove all traces of polish with a conditioning remover, as described for the manicure.
Cut toenails using a nail clipper and file into the desired shape using the rough side of an emerge board. Hold the board slightly angled down over the edge of the nail. Smooth the edges towards the center with a light motion; don’t cut or file them always as this weakens the nail and can lead to in growing toenails.
Lightly massage the nail contours with a cuticle oil or cream.
Place both feet in a bowl of warm water into which you have added a handful of bath salts or a few drops of pure essential oil such as peppermint. Soak feet for five to ten minutes.
Dry feet thoroughly with a towel and apply a drop of cuticle remover to the nail contours. Leave it on for a few minutes while you smooth away any hard skin or cal louses on the soles of your feet using an exfoliating cream. Then gently ’roll’ the cuticles back with a manicure stick covered with cotton wool. Massage hard skin again with the scrub, then rinse off in the warm water.
Rinse your feet in cold water to boost circulation. Dry them again with a towel, paying special attention to the skin between your toes.
Clean your toenails again with a cotton pad soaked in remover to take off any oily film.
If required, apply a hardening formula to the toenails, taking care not to let it touch the cuticle or the surrounding skin.
Apply a base coat, followed by two coats of polish, and finally a topcoat, as described for the manicure. Placing cotton wool between your toes separates them to make applying polish easier.

The cuticles on toenails are so tough, it’s important to work on them with a cuticle remover at least once a month, paying particular attention to the little toe, which usually suffers the most. If you have a dry skin on your feet, the best way to remove it is with a scrub cream, which will leave your feet smoother and well conditioned or best of all, use pumice stone for smoothing those rough patches.

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