For men, skincare typically begins and ends with the face, and they too often neglect their hard-working hands. However, keeping your hands in optimum shape ensures a good impression everywhere you go, whether you’re sealing a business deal or impressing a dinner date. These simple tips will help you create a polished, professional look that’s easy to achieve and maintain.
Men, take a careful look at your hands. If your routine includes little more than lotion and occasional nail-trimming, it might be time to reevaluate. With a bit more effort, a small time investment and commitment to the right products, you can have smooth, presentable hands that are as polished as the rest of you.
Strategize your skincare
For many men, hand care begins and ends with soap and water. While keeping your hands clean is an essential part of general hygiene, there’s more to keeping your hands healthy – like moisturizing regularly and defending against signs of aging. Whether you work with a keyboard and mouse or a hammer and nails, you can use these tips to keep your hands in tip-top shape.
- Start clean. The Center for Disease Control recommends at least twenty seconds of good scrubbing to properly sanitize your hands. If you have sensitive skin, opt for lukewarm water to prevent irritation. Rather than antibacterial soap, which can kill good bacteria necessary for a healthy immune system, look for a soap with glycerin or plant extracts, like NEST Fragrances Liquid Hand Soap - Moroccan Amber, to hydrate and nourish skin.
- Moisturize and protect. Our hands are in constant contact with the elements, exposed to daily factors like harsh weather, artificial heat and air, drying soap products and potentially irritating materials. Depending on your skin type, choose a cream, lotion or gel formula to keep your hands hydrated.
- Normal skin: For supple skin year-round, use a versatile lotion like AHAVA Men's Mineral Hand Cream, which hydrates and repairs damage without leaving behind an oily residue.
- Sensitive skin: Want to save time while treating rough, sensitive hands and preventing dryness? Try an overnight cream like Barielle Intensive Hand Treatment Cream, formulated with Oat Beta Glucan to counter irritation for sensitive skin types.
- Mind your calluses. Calluses are toughened patches of skin that form in reaction to sustained friction and pressure – particularly common if you work with your hands or lift weights. While calluses usually don’t pose a health risk, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If your calluses are painful or inflamed, consult your doctor and he or she may suggest surgical removal. Otherwise, you can deal with calluses at home by soaking your hands in warm water for five to 10 minutes, then rubbing the callus with a pumice stone. It may take a few treatments for the callus to disappear, but using a treatment like CALLUS CARE Complete Callus Care with Pumice Stone can help rehdryrate dry skin and remove thicker calluses.
- Soften up. The tough, leathery mitts of the rugged lumberjack aren’t the goal of the modern man. You want smooth, presentable hands that won’t make a rough impression. For a DIY option, AskMen suggests you massage your hands once a week with vegetable oil or a mixture of butter, lemon juice and rose water. You can also try a lightweight formula like Elemis Wild Lavender Hand Lotion, made with natural jojoba and lavender oil to replenish hands without making them feel greasy.
- Find solutions to sweaty palms. Sweaty palms are normal on hot days or if you’ve been working out. If your hands get sweaty to the point that they interfere with your day-to-day routine, you may have hyperhidrosis, a condition in which the body sweats more than is biologically necessary. Your physician may prescribe medication to help manage this condition.
Take a look at your nails
Nail care, long considered the province of women, can be incorporated into any man’s lifestyle with little to no fuss. No one wants discolored, brittle nails, just as most men don't want an overly polished, beautified look either. A happy medium between the two extremes is key. With these steps, you can have healthy, unobtrusive nails that give the impression you want.
- Keep them clean and trim. This may seem self-explanatory, but when you’re leading a busy life, paying attention to the state of your nails often falls by the wayside. For easy maintenance, first soak your nails in soap and hot water, then scrub under your nails with a nail brush, such as ACCA KAPPA Bioceta Natural Bristle Nail Brush. Then, use a nail clipper to carefully cut to follow the natural curve of the nail. The LA Times advises that the white edge at the top should be as long as the width of a dime. Once you’re clipped, use a nail file to round down the edges to keep your nails neat and safe from infection.
- Try a manicure. These days, more and more men are taking advantage of the wonders of manicures. Not only do they keep your hands and nails in good shape, they also offer some relaxation. Most basic treatments include a moisturizing hand massage, or you can treat yourself to a more thorough manicure that will soften your hands and shape your nails. Ask the nail technician to not push back your cuticles, since this can damage the barrier protecting the nails. And, if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing clear polish, skip the nail buffer.
- Fortify nails with the right foods. Fingernails are made of layers of a protein called keratin. If your nails develop unsightly ridges, change color or become brittle, it’s important to take a look at your diet, particularly your calcium intake. Foods rich in iron, calcium and biotin can help your nails stay strong, or opt for a biotin supplement like Natrol Biotin. To treat dullness or discoloration, AskMen suggests rubbing your nails with lemon. If your nails aren’t responding to home remedies, ask your doctor for some tips.
- Avoid hangnails. Hangnails can be a painful and unsightly nuisance. To hep prevent hangnails, don’t bite your nails or pick your cuticles. If you do get a hangnail, resist the urge to pick it or try to pull it off, since this can lead to infection and discomfort. Instead, massage the skin with vitamin E oil. This will moisturize and soften the hangnail enough for you to snip it with cuticle scissors. Once removed, cover up the area and wait for it to heal completely.
Our hands perform so much work for us every day. Not only do they handle the labor of our everyday lives, they also represent our character and the level of care we put into our appearance. Fortunately, hand care doesn’t have to be mysterious or elaborate. Once you have the basics down for a daily routine, you’ll stride out the door in confidence, ready to make an effortlessly polished impression when it matters most.
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