I often call February 'pamper your hands' month.
It's often the time when the relatively thin skin on my hands begin to suffer from the harsh conditions of Winter and my nails are prone to breaking.
This year it's worse because we've all been using anti-bacterial hand gel. I've even heard children saying their hands are dry!
There's little adipose tissue beneath the skin on your hands so they're extremely sensitive and likely to show signs of ageing long before the skin on your face. Hands become de-hydrated due to lower humidity outside and heating inside, nothing at all to do with drinking water!
Pamper your hands because frequent washing results in the natural oils being drained which can lead to dry, red or scaly hands, brittle nails and dry cuticles.
Although few of us afford the same importance to hands as we do the skin on our face, it's almost as sensitive.
And yet we show off our hands every minute of the day and they have to endure so much more hardship!
A little extra time and effort to pamper your hands will soon pay dividends.
Wear quality rubber gloves as much as possible for household chores and gardening.
Apply a good moisturizing hand cream regularly to raise your skin's barrier moisture level.
Apply cuticle oil into the base of your nails every night to moisturize, protect, improve circulation and encourage healthy growth. This will also improve the appearance of your nails, protect your polish and give a lasting shine.
Always keep a nail file or emery board handy to shape and smooth your nails and file only in one direction, from side to center.
Our hands can let us down with a lot of common issues as we age but with a bit of extra care many of them can be eliminated.
Really flaky skin can be symptomatic of a minor problem with the immune system. Allergies or eczema can produce itchy and painful hands on both hot summer days and in dry winter conditions.
But most of us who suffer with dry hands from time to time can help ourselves.
For the ultimate solution you need Bag Balm, a product originally developed for cows udders (!!) and the reviews say it works miracles to penetrate, deep moisturize and revitalize. skin.
Once you've achieved soft and attractive hands and nails it's time to show them off whether or not you choose to have a professional manicure.
I only began having manicures a couple of years ago because my husband strongly objects to the smell of nail polish! So lucky me I'm allowed to be extravagant and it makes me feel elegant, well groomed and - dare I say it, younger!
But you can have the next best thing by using a long lasting gel nail polish that doesn't need a UV lamp like the professionals. Difficult to say how long it would last but considerably longer than normal.