Mama Matsuo Musing #8: The Hands of Time

Tis time for another musing from my Mama Matsuo! This one is something that none of us really care to think about most of the time, but if you fear aging or are in preventative-skincare mode, listen up.

Today's tip is something I ignored for too long & am now coming back to:

Mama Matsuo Musing #8: Take Care of Your Hands

Seems obvious, no? And yet, we don't always realize that our hands are exposed to so many damaging things all day, every day. Hands, much like your neck, are one of those areas of your body that can immediately give away your age...not that I'm all that sensitive about my age. That's not what I'm saying, but it's one of the easiest places to ignore and, because of that, ends up getting abused.

Growing up, I always admired my mother's hands and even though she complains that there's no way she could get a manicure now because she's constantly washing dishes or cleaning the house, they're still beautiful to me. She complains about liver spots, sun damage, her nails breaking...but in my mind, they will always be those gorgeous, slender, warm and loving hands that comforted me in my times of need while growing up.

Mind you, my mother is now 66 years old and she still looks amazing. I suspect an unnatural amount of collagen in her skin and great genetics. (I can only hope to inherit those things, but I guess I won't know until I'm her age.) And though she may have relaxed a little on the hand care, the things she taught me have resurfaced in my life in a big way. So, what can you do to take care of your hands even when you're busy?

Don't Say Goodnight Tonight...

Without slathering some cream on your hands.

Yep. You may be in a situation where you wash your hands constantly all day. Whether that's due to your occupation, your OCD, or that you're always spilling things on yourself, but you can still allow yourself the luxury of letting your hands get some moisture while you sleep.

While slumbering your cells regenerate and repair themselves...and you're probably not waking up every two hours to wash your paws. So, buy yourself a bottle of lotion and put it on your night stand.

If you're too lazy to roll over and pump some lotion on your hands and rub it in before you pass out, you may be a lost cause. C'mon, people! It's not that hard!

For the more adventurous, go get yourself a pair of cotton gloves. Really slather on the lotion and put the gloves on and wear them through the night. Your hands will give any baby's butt a run for its money in the morning. I can't do the glove thing. Wearing anything on my hands or feet while I sleep will completely derail me from drifting off, so I hope some of you have the ability and can enjoy the benefits. You can also try the glove bit during the least you can clean or type or watch an episode of the Real Housewives with some cotton gloves on.

You Deserve It

What am I talking about? I'm talking about manicures.
Manicures are something that everyone can afford once or twice a month and that's all you really need to maintain your cuticles and nails. If you're talented and have the time to do this for yourself every few weeks, that's awesome!

I can get around to it sometimes, but rarely. Sitting at home with wet nails is my version of hell on earth...Staring at all the things I need to get done and not being able to do them...OR doing them and then completely demolishing my manicure. (Let's not even get into the "falling asleep with semi-dry nails and waking up with wrinkly polish" thing.) At least if you go to a nail salon, it's a bit of forced relaxation. Just sit back and have a nice chat with your manicurist or stare off into space. I like either of those options depending on my mood.

I recommend a manicure every two weeks and a pedicure once a month for those of you who don't have a lot of time. Take a girlfriend with you and make it an estrogen date. Manicures are a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to add a little bit of luxury to your life. If you claim you don't have time for a manicure, you're lying. Stop being a martyr.

And even if your nail polish chips, if your hands themselves are being taken care of, no one's saying you can't just go sans-polish. I've started doing that recently and it's been a breath of fresh air to go completely bare.

I Don't Want No Scrubs...

I lied. I do. I just couldn't think of a good title for this section.
So, yes, scrubs. You don't have to go out and purchase a super expensive scrub to do some exfoliating on your hands. Try an olive oil + sea salt scrub OR a honey + sugar scrub.

Just have the components ready to go, drunk your hands in some warm water for 5 minutes and slather on. Rub your hands together, concentrating on any rough patches and don't forget to rub around your cuticles to slough off any dry or flakey skin. Rinse it off and follow-up with some hand lotion. Throw on those cotton gloves for a double whammy.

Dear Babies' Butts, someone's hands are softer than you! (This is where I enthusiastically point at you and your hands.)

Doing this before bedtime is a great idea (assuming you have that bottle of lotion on your nightstand.) Like any other moisturizing (body or face), exfoliating beforehand gives your moisturizer the opportunity to head straight for the skin cells that need the most love. No wasting time on those dry, scaly skin cells that you need to get rid of anyway.

Major win!

Beware, All Ye Who Go Outside (Which Is, Basically, Everyone)

This is a toughie. I've become an advocate (better late than never) of sunscreen and you may not have noticed, but your hands are always in the line of UV fire. Long gone are the days of ladies wearing fancy gloves, so it's time we carried around some sunscreen to dab on our hands.

This is harder than any of my other points because, as said, a lot of us wash our hands constantly. I would say try your hardest to carry around some sunscreen in your bag and put some on your hands whenever you get a chance. I don't expect anyone to do this religiously. It's a hard thing to keep up, but hopefully you can make a habit of it and avoid the young face/witch hands combo that I see from time to time.

At the end of the day, sun protection on everything that is exposed is key...but, it's really difficult to do. So, try. That's all I ask. I'll try too. We can try together. GO TEAM!

And there ya have it. Not too complicated of a list. (Well, the last point is, but the majority isn't.) So, you have no excuse. Hands are important for so many reasons. You work with them, express yourself with them (yes, I'm a hand-talker), comfort with them, adore with them. They do so much for us, so it's time we do something for them.

And to Mama Matsuo's hands. As rough and un-manicured as they are (your words, not mine), they'll always be beautiful to me. So, in short, do beautiful things with your hands and keep them beautiful if you'd like. xo!

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