Is Hand Care Really The New Facial? Here’s Why Your Hands Need Their Own Skincare Routine

hand care

Hand care is becoming increasingly important as people are quickly realising that while they’re only focusing on the face, the skin on the hands is taking a serious beating. Sunspots, pigmentation, dry skin, early signs of ageing like lines and wrinkles – yep, everything you deal with facial skin is true for the hands as well.

In fact, hands tend to show signs of ageing much faster, which is why it is imperative to pay some keen attention to the hands as well.

We spoke to skin expert Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder & Medical Director of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic who explains, “Hand care is extremely important to protect and nourish the skin on the hands. Hands are the most exposed as compared to other areas of the body. When hand care is not done, the fingertips and palms can start showing cracks and fissures which can be painful with time.

In fact, people who are prone to hand allergies, eczema, and psoriasis can see worsening of the symptoms.”

She adds, “The skin on the hands is a little different – on the back of hands, it is more delicate and thinner with lesser oil glands whereas the skin of the palms is quite thick and not easily penetrable, with no oil glands. Additionally, hands are more exposed to external factors like frequent hand washing, sun exposure, climatic changes, and pollution as they are always uncovered. The skin starts ageing faster and shows roughness, spots, dullness, lines and wrinkles with no hand care. So, a proper hand care regimen always helps.”


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Handcare Basics 101

So, where should one begin then? “The basics for hand care, to ensure it is protected and nourished, is to stick to a simple routine like one similar to the face – cleansing, moisturising and sun protection,” says Dr Madhuri. Further, if needed you can add exfoliation and active ingredients in your hand routine depending on the skin concern.

She suggests steps as such: Start with a gentle cleanser – a body wash instead of harsh soaps is a good idea. Next, when it is still slightly damp after washing, apply a moisturiser. Try repeating the moisturiser application 3-4 times a day especially when you are washing your hands frequently. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 and PA+++ on your hands before stepping out in the sun.

In fact, She also recommends using sunscreen when cooking. “The heat from cooking can affect the skin on the hands and cause hyperpigmentation and early ageing signs, especially if someone is a chef or cooks often.” Who’d have thought of that? Duly noted now!

Other simple hand care tips:

  • You can also use vitamin E oil to nourish and moisturise or find a hand cream that includes this.
  • Avoid too much use of sanitisers as it can disturb the skin barrier
  • Also, avoid frequent washing of hands as this will lead to more dryness and irritation.
  • If a particular hand cream is not doing the job for you, switch to another more hydrating one.
  • Fit a manicure into your busy schedule every couple of months for some deep nourishment and pampering.
  • Do you find yourself drying your hands under hand dryers often? Then avoid this as it can dry out the skin.
  • Wear protective rubber gloves if you tend you use your hands for gardening, cleaning, washing, etc. very often.

We’ve also put together a list of other products that can be used for the hands to protect, nourish and hydrate.

Nourishing Hand Creams

While this is a no-brainer, many take basic moisturisation for granted, so we’re starting from here. Hand creams are usually creamier and richer than other creams and lotions so that they can properly nourish the skin on the hands.

“In hand creams, look for ceramides, glycerin, shea butter, mango butter, squalene, fruit oils, lipids, and petrolatum,” says Dr. Madhuri. The ingredients can be the same as ones used for the face but concentrations of these can be higher, she clarifies. So, go ahead and take your pick.


Just as Dr Madhuri mentioned, SPF plays a key role in maintaining the health of the skin on our hands and protecting it from harmful UV rays. You can find hand creams that come with SPF or even apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 and PA+++ on your hands before stepping out in the sun to avoid sun spots, tanning and pigmentation.



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Exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells, helps brighten up the skin and resurfaces bumpy texture. And while this is popular for the face, it is definitely catching up for hands as well. On the hands, it can help rid any dry skin, pigmentation and sunspots. Dr Madhuri recommends using a chemical exfoliator, rather than a physical one.

“Chemical exfoliation is safe for hands provided done correctly with the right ingredients,” points out Dr Madhuri. Ingredients to look for include AHAs like glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acid, she says. Start with a lower concentration, if the skin is able to tolerate it, go for a higher concentration as compared to the face.

She advises exfoliating only once or twice a week as excessive exfoliation can again disturb the skin barrier. And always follow up exfoliation with a good moisturiser.

Hand Masks/Gloves


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For some serious TLC, try a hand mask once every few months. Hand masks come infused with various skin-loving ingredients and when worn for a prolonged period say 20-30 minutes, ensure the skin is able to absorb the goodness and is left feeling soft and nourished. Psst.. it also gives you a chance to not use your hands and just take a break and relax. Talk about self-care, huh?!

Overnight Care

If the skin on your face deserves night serums and intensive sleeping masks, well, so do your hands. Give those hardworking hands a little bit of overnight pampering with creams that soften and soothe chapped, dry skin overnight, leaving them feeling smooth and nourished.

Dr. Madhuri advises using lighter lotion-based products during the daytime and thick cream-based ones at night for deeper nourishment while sleeping. Any rich cream that is probably already in your beauty vanity can be used for this or you can pick an overnight hand cream too.



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Dr Madhuri advises adding anti-ageing ingredients like retinol, peptides, and vitamin C to your hand care routine. There are also a lot of combination products available for hands which you can opt for, she explains.

“The skin on the hands needs a higher concentration than the face because the tolerability is higher and the skin is a bit thicker, so start by using the same ones you’d use on the face and then increase the concentration accordingly on the back of the hands.”

And last but not least, she shares that you can consult your dermatologist for treatments like hand skin boosters, fillers, hand photo facials and hand aquafacials to delay the signs of ageing.

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