Good hand care and foot care can keep these hard-working body parts both healthy and pretty, from palm to sole and tip to toe. After your face, they’re likely the most visible parts of your body. Don’t let cracked, chewed, or chipped nails make the wrong impression! Take good care of them and help them shine for you.
Wash up. It’s easy to remember to wash your hands — you’re staying a step ahead of germs all day. Your feet don’t need the same attention — a once-a-day wash should keep them clean. Afterwards, dry them thoroughly and look them over for anything unusual.
Slough and shine. A gentle scrub can help your hands and feet look young. For hand care, use the same scrub you use on your face, since the skin on your hands is thin and delicate. For foot care, a coarser body scrub is OK, especially on thick-skinned heels, toes, and the balls of the feet.
Keep moist. Hand and foot care means a daily dose of moisturizer at the minimum, or better yet, a light lotion following your shower and a heavier cream at bedtime. On your hands, you’ll likely need additional applications throughout the day since hand washing and other exposure to water can be drying.
Shun the sun. It’s easy to forget to put sunscreen on your hands. But most signs of aging — including those unattractive liver spots — stem from sun exposure. Help keep your hands looking young by applying sunscreen daily. To make it easier, choose a moisturizer with sunscreen built in. Your feet aren’t exposed to the sun as much, but it’s easy to overlook them when you slip on sandals. They’re directly in the sun’s rays, though, so don’t skip the sunblock.
Create a barrier. Physically block things that can damage your hands and feet. Wear gloves to protect your hands when washing dishes or hand washing clothing, cleaning with chemicals or gardening, and keep the cold at bay with mittens or gloves in wintertime. Wear some type of shoes to protect your feet unless you know for sure that no hazards lie underfoot. Keep something under your feet near pools and showers to help prevent athlete’s foot.
Go for fit. Would you wear a pair of gloves that just don’t fit? Put the same thinking to work for your feet. We aren’t asking you to sacrifice style for comfort — if you like a pointy shoe style, go up a half or full size to accommodate your foot!
Once you’ve wrapped up your hand and foot care routine, dress up your fingers and toes with pretty, polished nails. Neatly trim your fingernails to the length you like. For toenails, cut straight across to reduce the likelihood of ingrown toenails. Protect your fingernails — and your polish — by wearing gloves, and don’t use your fingernails as tools. If you bite your nails or cuticles, break the habit. You’re risking infection. Clip any hangnails that develop — pulling them can rip healthy skin. Try touching up your polish before removing and replacing it, since nail polish remover can be drying.
Good hand and foot care can help keep your hands and feet strong and attractive from fingertip to toe.