For tradies, keeping your hands in working order is a job all of its own. Working with your hands all day certainly takes its toll on your skin. However, taking care of your hands is essential because your hands are your livelihood. Here are five tips to keep your hands hydrated, happy, healthy and ready to clock in in the morning
Rethink How You Shower
If you find that your skin is chronically dry, your showering habits could be contributing to the problem. Limit your showers to 10 minutes or less and decrease the water temperature from hot to lukewarm. Showering for long periods in hotter water strips your skin of its natural oils and contributes to dehydration. When in the shower, try adding an exfoliation step into your routine. Exfoliating removes surface-level gunk and dead skin and clears out pores to increase the absorption of products like lotion.
Apply Moisturiser After Showering
The way moisturisers hydrate your skin is by trapping already existing moisture and sealing it in. So, moisturising immediately after showering is your best opportunity of the day to hydrate your skin. When considering hand care for tradies, use an ointment or cream instead of a regular lotion.
Ointments are thicker and more occlusive than a lotion and will lock in more moisture; they are also less likely to have irritating ingredients such as fragrance. When examining the ingredient list of your moisturiser, check for hydration superstars such as urea and glycerine to hydrate those hands.
Reimagine Your Diet
As they say, you are what you eat. That is truer than you know. The nutrients in your food fuel the rest of your body, and if you are giving it insufficient fuel, it will not perform. To give your body’s natural hydration a boost, look for foods high in lipids, omega-3 and omega-6. These skin superfoods improve your skin’s health by reducing signs of aging, skin sensitivity and inflammation and even change how your skin responds to UV rays and cancer. You can incorporate these nutrients into your diet by consuming fish like salmon or mackerel or cooking with grass-fed beef.
Add Some Humidity
That’s right, the very air you breathe could be contributing to your dry skin. If you live in an area with low humidity, you are more prone to dry, cracked and damaged skin. However, on the other hand, too much humidity leaves pores open and more susceptible to bacteria. Controlling the humidity in your home is a powerful weapon in your fight for hydrated and healthy skin. Ideally, the humidity level in your home should stay between 30% and 50%. The easiest way to control the humidity in your home is by buying a humidifier or dehumidifier based on your needs.
Protect Your Paws
Damage from outside sources can quickly dry out your hands. Protecting your hands from daily wear and tear is an essential step in retaining hydration. There are several ways you can protect your hands, depending on your work environment. For example, if you work handling chemicals or your hands are constantly wet, you should consider wearing gloves.
Gloves will help prevent the water from stripping away your skin’s natural oils and provide an extra layer of protection between your hands and any corrosive chemicals. If you work outdoors, carry some SPF with you to protect your hands from UV rays which can burn away your natural oils, causing dryness and more permanent, serious damage if exposed for long periods of time.
Tradies are hands-on people, literally. Your hands are in touch with every single part of your life, from clocking in in the morning to hugging your loved ones when you come home at night. Your hands do hard work, but with the right moisturiser, they can still be soft!