When it comes to the skincare and defying age, most people make it a priority to take care of their face. However, our hands, which we use all the time for daily tasks, often remain neglected. Not only there are no sebum glands on the hands, so the skin is less nourished than on the rest of the body, but also our hands are continuously exposed to the environmental elements like sunlight and harsh products and surfactants. As a result, the skin on our hands age faster and may look older than it actually is. That’s why it is so important to take care of your hands daily and pamper your skin with weekly hand spa at home.
At a glance:
What Is Hand Spa?
Unlike manicure that targets nail care and skin around nails, hand spa procedure cares for the skin on the hands. To clarify, this treatment focuses on removing dead skin cells, repairing skin’s moisture barrier, and rejuvenating hands. Moreover, it can be done professionally at the day spa or at the comfort of your own home.
The appearance of hands impacts how people perceive our age. In fact our hands age similarly to the way our face ages. That being said, the most common signs of hand aging are hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dryness, skin irritation, rough texture, thinning of the skin, loss of volume and a more prominent appearance of veins.
However, by incorporating a hand spa into your weekly skincare routine you can prevent your hands from premature aging and improve the appearance and health of the skin on your hands. In fact there are several benefits of doing hand spa at home:
- Dead skin removal
- Reveal younger looking skin
- Nourish skin
- Relieve muscle tension
Step-By-Step Hand Spa At Home
The following hand spa at home will take about 20-30 minutes. Ultimately, if you are in a rush you can do a mini hand spa treatment while soaking in a tub, exfoliate your hands while showering or apply store-bought hand treatments.
You will need:
- Bowl with hot water
- Hand towel
- Gentle exfoliator (scrub for hands, body or face, or chemical exfoliant)
- Any anti aging serum or booster
- Hand cream (can substitute with body oil or moisturizer)
Start you hand spa at home with clean hands. Wash your hands with a mild soap (not antibacterial) or use gentle face or body cleanser and pat dry.
Fill up a mid size bowl with warm or hot water and soak both hands for 5-10 minutes. You can also add bath salts, Epsom salt or a spoon of bath soaking solution. To explain, soaking hands in warm water allows to soften the skin and prepare it for the next step – exfoliation. If you have overgrown cuticles take care of those right after soaking.
Use body or face exfoliator like gentle sugar scrub or chemical exfoliant with lactic or glycolic acids or retinol. If you are using a chemical peel, then a solution with few low-concentrated acids is the best. Start by exfoliating one hand at a time using circular motions and gently rubbing front and back of your hands. Also, don’t neglect skin area between the fingers and around the nails. Once you are done exfoliating (2-3 minutes per hand), wash your hands with warm water to remove the remains of the exfoliator.
*If using chemical peel, follow instructions on the product since different chemical solutions require different treatment time.
Try the following exfoliating products that work great for the hands:
Soak a hand towel in hot water and wrap warm towel around your hands. The steam treatment allows to sooth the skin after exfoliation and also to trap the moisture and hydrate the hands. Remove the towel once it cooled off.
Apply moisturizing mask (face mask works too!), concentrated serum or booster of your choice to address aging skin, pigmentation, or dryness. This step is customizable since different individuals have different skin concerns regarding their hands.
We love using the following serums:
6. Optional – Hand Massage/ Use Tools
Massage each hand for few minutes with fingers or face roller to relieve muscle tension, or use a microcurrent or LED device if desired for anti aging benefits.
Finish off your hand spa at home by moisturizing your hands. For example, use a generous amount of moisturizing lotion or hydrating hand cream with antioxidants, vitamin C, green tea, ceramides, etc., or body oil or lotion.
These are our favorite hand creams:
- Eminence Mangosteen Replenishing Hand Cream ($34 on Dermstore) – with oil blend, lactic acid, antioxidants
- Derma E Protective Hand & Cuticle Cream (on Amazon) – shea butter, vitamin E & B5, olive oil, almond oil, aloe
- Andalou Naturals Lavender Hand Cream (on Amazon) – oil blend, fruit stem cells, antioxidants
- EltaMD So Silky Hand Creme (on Amazon) – with multiple ceramides, vitamin E, jojoba
8. Optional - Wax Dip
Melted wax treatment like Paraffin Dip is a very popular spa treatment for hands. In fact, this treatment involves submerging your hands into a melted warm wax, which helps to soften and smooth skin. In addition, paraffin wax treatment is used as heat therapy to help with joint and muscle pain and for those with fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc. However, keep in mind that paraffin is a controversial ingredient since it is a by-product of petroleum. On the other hand, if you are concerned with the toxicity of paraffin or you have sensitive skin you can opt for other wax alternatives like eco-fin (on Amazon), soybean wax, beeswax.
Try these highly-rated paraffin baths:
Alternative Quick Hand Treatments
If the above hand spa at home seems as too much work for you, try the following quick home spa treatment for hands. In fact, these are great options when you are short on time or as a mid-week quick pampering.
√ Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask (on Amazon). This hand mask comes in the form of gloves and is enriched with triple oat complex and shea butter. It soothes dry and irritated skin, hydrates, repairs and nourishes. Treatment takes only 10 minutes.
√ Patchology Perfect Ten Self-Warming Hand Mask (at Amazon). Self-warming and softening gloves that are infused with coconut, macadamia oil, rosehip oil, shea butter, omega 7, antioxidants, and other deeply moisturizing ingredients. This treatment takes only 10 minutes.
√ Karuna Hydrating Hand Mask (4 pairs at Amazon). Anti aging hand mask (gloves) that is formulated with active ingredients like peptides, camellia oil, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, jojoba oil and algae extract. It restores moisture barrier, promotes skin elasticity and relieves dry skin. Leave the gloves on for 10-20 minutes or overnight.
√ You can also incorporate tools like hand spa machines, electric brushes, face rollers, microcurrents and such to rejuvenate your hands at home. For ultimate relaxation try Conair HydroSpa Massaging Hand Sauna (on Amazon)
Daily Hand Care
- Treat the skin of your hands just like you treat the skin of your face.
- Apply sunscreen or hand cream with SPF especially when planning on being outside for a prolonged period of a time (hiking, biking, beach). We love Eucerin Hand Hydrator with SPF 30 on Amazon.
- Don’t use antibacterial soap on a daily basis as it is drying to the skin. Instead opt for natural or organic soaps.
- Use gloves when doing house work like washing dishes, cleaning, gardening, etc.
- Use moisturizing hand cream with antioxidants, vitamin C, green tea, ceramides, etc. on daily basis.
- Exfoliate your hands once a week with gentle physical or chemical exfoliator, or treat yourself to a relaxing hand spa at home.
In conclusion, your hands reveal your age just as much as your face does. For this reason daily hand care and weekly hand spa at home can prevent skin damage and slow down skin aging on the hands.
Even though there are not that many treatments (serums, exfoliators) designed specifically for the hands, you can safely treat your hands with skin care products formulated for face or body. That being said, some of the most common signs of aging on the hands like dry skin, wrinkles, pigmentation or irritation can be addressed with diy spa treatments like mild exfoliators, anti aging serums and hydrating creams.
Additionally, a weekly hand spa at home or at the salon will provide a much needed pampering for your hands after a whole week of daily tasks and exposure to environmental elements.
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Roberts, W, Colvan L, Gotz V. “Topical treatment of aging hands: a brief report.” Journal of Clinical And Aesthetical Dermatology, Aug, 2017
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“What can make my hands look younger?” American Academy of Dermatology Association