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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Most of us spend money like water on face creams, moisturizers and anti-wrinkle lotions. And yet, when we reach the age of reckoning, we act surprised to see our hands staring back at us, wrinkled and spotted and�we shake our heads as if to say - now when and how the devil did that happen? Let's start at the very beginning. Things would be a lot less complicated if we understood the simple fact that the hands and face�are the first to show signs of ageing. They are the areas that undergo the maximum exposure to the sun and the elements. And plus, with all the work we do with our hands, it's no wonder they find if hard to escape the tentacles of age.

This said, it follows that these are the areas that need the maximum care and attention. Though the market is flooded with cleansers, toners, moisturizers, make-up removers, creams that claim to prevent wrinkles, reduce wrinkles, delay the onset of wrinkles and so on and so forth for the face, there is little else you can apply to your hands other than the
standard hand and body moisturizing lotion. And if you're really lucky, you might chance upon a hand cream. There's no need to despair though, as hands don't ask for much. All they really need is moisturizing - lots of it. (Of course, exercise won't hurt either!)

Keep a piece of lemon next to your hand-washing soap. Rub it over your hands at least once a day, before washing. This will help delay the onset of age-spots.

Make it a point to wear rubber gloves when doing housework like dusting, cleaning out a cupboard or arranging shelves. In fact, it is a good idea to wear cool cotton gloves whenever possible.

If you crack your knuckles, stop now unless you think wobbly fingers are a turn-on.

Long nails can look very elegant, but only if they are kept in shape. File them regularly with an emery board - steer clear from a steel file as it can wreak havoc. And remember, nothing looks as unattractive on hands than dirt under the nails. So if you can't keep nails clean, keep them short and simple. Hey, no one said looking good was easy!

Try some of these simple hand exercises:

  • Stretch your fingers wide and clap hard, so that your fingers of both hands are aligned - i.e. thumb to thumb, forefinger to forefinger. Not only is this yogic exercise good for the hands, it aids blood circulation as well. Don't do this in public though, unless you want to be mistaken for the alternate species of humankind.
  • Stretch your hands out in front of you, pull back curling in fingers with as much pressure as possible, as if you are trying hard to pull in something heavy.
  • Hold both hands in front of you with palms facing inwards, loosen their wrist grip and flap them backwards and forwards. Feel them tingle as the blood rushes to them.
  • Squeeze the tip of each finger as hard as possible for about five seconds. Any longer, and you'll be getting into acupressure - which is another story entirely.
  • Close your fingers and circle your wrists ten times in each direction.
Then of course there is always the alternative to visit your neighbourhood beauty parlour. Most parlours provide an intensive manicure which could last from half an hour to an hour, in which you get a full cleansing and moisturizing treatment by the use of hand masks, followed by a hand massage. No, you say. You prefer lathering on hand cream every chance you get to sitting in a parlour staring at the roof for an hour while you get waited on hand and foot for one simple reason: You have a life. (Which means, in sour grape terminology, you have a job, a million other things to do and don't get the time.) Well, if only you knew how appealing a beautiful pair of hands is, you'd make sure you take out the time.

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