4 Steps to Beat the Flu Without Beating Up Your Hands

The cold and flu season is here. How will you protect yourself? The Golden rule is wash, wash, wash! We know we need to keep our hands clean and germ free but how do we care for them after all that wear and tear? Our hands are constantly exposed to the environment, sun and subject to harsh treatment. They often give away our true age. Help! 4 steps to properly clean and maintain younger looking hands STEP 1 Proper hand washing is key. To keep your hands free of the nasties, wash with soap and water after:

  • Taking public transportation.
  • Using public or private restrooms.
  • Using elevators or touching public doors and door knobs.
  • Coming into contact with with children or someone who is ill.
  • Before and after working with food.
  • When preparing food or caring for wounds use a nail brush to clean under nails

How to properly clean your hands according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Wet hands using warm water and apply soap.
  • Use regular bar or liquid soap. The Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding antibacterial soap.
  • Rub hands together for at least 15-20 seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  • Dry completely. Avoid cloth towels as they collect germs and bacteria. If in a public place use a single use paper towel and use the paper towel to open the door.

Notes about hand sanitizers:

  • The WebMD says they kill bacteria and viruses.
  • They should never replace washing with soap and water unless there is no water available. They are only an effective additional tool to hand washing.
  • They should be alcohol based. According to a CNN report, avoid ingredient “triclosan” as it may be toxic after continued use.

So your hands are clean, what now? STEP 2 Time to moisturize but, only if you are not handling food or caring for wounds. Apply a good lotion that has ingredients like Vitamin C ester and glycerin. The Vitamin C ester will help reduce the appearance of age spots and the glycerin will help retain moisture. Use after every hand washing. For extra dry hands or in super cold weather you may need to reach for something stronger. Choose a balm that has ingredients like Shea Butter or coconut oil and Vitamin E. The Vitamin E will help repair damage from the cold and exposure to water, the shea butter and coconut oil will keep your skin moisturize and help retain water. For chapping or cracking skin, use your lotion first to replenish the water and when absorbed follow up with a thick layer of balm. Wrap hands with socks and let sit until absorbed. STEP 3 Don’t forget the Anti-aging! Don’t be afraid to use your anti-aging face serums on the back of your hands. These are your best defense against keeping skin tone even and reducing the papery look hands develop as we age. STEP 4 Apply sunscreen Our hands are always out there exposed to the elements just like our face. Show them some love and apply sunscreen whenever applying it to your face.]]>

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