Hand creams are designed to repair and restore damaged skin. Since our hands have thinner skin than our face or neck, they may appear more noticeably aged from exposure to elements such as water or severe temperatures. The oils in a hand cream may replenish lost moisture and also form a protective layer to prevent additional damage. Make it a habit of applying a hand cream on a regular basis for softer, more supple hands.
Dry hands may be caused by environmental conditions such as weather, frequent hand washing, exposure to chemicals, and certain medical conditions. For deep moisturizing, choose a hand cream that contains ingredients such as cocoa butter, aloe, jojoba oil, or glycerin, which are all designed to help moisturize your skin.
Common ingredients found in hand creams include petrolatum, mineral oil, shea butter, lanolin, glycerin, and lactic acid. These ingredients are designed to help prevent moisture loss and also provide protection to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to avoid hand creams that contain fragrances or added colors, which may irritate your skin further. The ingredients found in hand creams are intended to protect skin by keeping away irritants and retaining moisture in your hands. Emollient moisturizers may keep moisture from evaporating off the surface of your hands, while humectant formulations may increase the water content of the outer layers of skin.
Depending on the condition of your hands, a hand cream may be applied every time your hands are washed, or just when they are feeling dry or dehydrated. During the day, a hand cream that includes SPF may be used for added protection, particularly during the summer.
There isn't a right or wrong way to apply hand cream. However, the most efficient way is to first target the thinner, more delicate layer of skin found on the back of the hand, which may dry out more quickly. Then rub the cream all over the surface of your hands and allow the lotion to fully absorb.