After your face, hands are part of your body that people notice most. In spite of this, Hands and Feet are the most neglected parts of your body. So should not you be aware of how to take care of your hands? Let your hands give you away your age!

Keep your hands clean

Caucasian woman washing her hands

There’s no use in painting your nails and rubbing in lotion if your hands and nails are dirty. If you have nail polish on, remove it before washing your hands. Grab a toothbrush and squirt some soap on it, then rub it in. Leave it next to you. Wash your hands in warm water, not cold or scalding. Use a good quality soap. Rub the soap everywhere: your wrists, in between your fingers, and the area around your nails. Wash the soap off, and then use the soapy toothbrush to scrub the actual nail and the dirt under it. Then make small circular movements around your whole hand with the toothbrush. This gets the hand really clean and makes dead skin disappear.

Use a milky hand wash

The clearer the cleanser, the more it may dry out your skin. Also avoid soaps that contain the harsh chemical triclosan (often marked “antibacterial”) and instead look for naturally antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus.

Be always gentle

Your nails are delicate, and scrubbing them too roughly can actually expose you to infection. Another no-no: Using metal nail tools under the nail, as too much digging under the nail plate will cause it to separate from the skin, leading to an irregular white arching nail tip.

Trim regularly

Regular trims are as important to your nails as they are to your hair. aid141648-728px-take-care-of-your-hands-and-nails-step-5-preview-version-2So set aside time to clip them every two weeks, adjusting to more or less often once you see how your nails respond. Thoroughly clean the undersides of your nails before clipping the nails: make sure that there isn’t any dirt left. It’s best to keep them short, which looks neat and is easier to manage. Try to cut all your nails the same length and shape. If you need to, file them afterward. Rub in some cuticle cream on each nail. If you don’t have any cuticle cream, use lip balm instead. Leave the cream in for twenty minutes.

Value health over length

Long nails are beautiful, but if you’re someone who has struggled with snags or breakage, Dr. Shamban recommends that you keep your nails short — at least to start out with. A shorter style with a rounded edge tends to be easier to manage and looks neater, so you can focus on building strength without worrying about anything else. As long as each nail is uniform in shape and matches its nine neighbors, you won’t miss the added length.

Gives your nails a break

aid141648-728px-take-care-of-your-hands-and-nails-step-2-previewSave the elaborate nail art and those bold colors with lots of pigment for the weekend, and during the rest of the week, give your nails time to rest and repair with a clear gloss. Going from one strong polish color to another without giving your nails a break can dry them out, turn them yellow, and over time, even weaken the structure of the nail.

Don’t cut your cuticles

The cuticle has a very important purpose to serve: It seals the area at the base of the nail. So when you cut or remove the cuticle, it breaks that seal of protection, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria and the possibility of infection. The better you are at leaving cuticles alone, the more your nails will thank you. But if you’re dead set on messing with them gently push back the cuticle once a week with a wooden orange stick after getting out of the shower, then massage them with a cuticle cream or thick, creamy lotion.

Always moisturize

You wouldn’t go to sleep without moisturizing your face, so why should avocado-on-a-wooden-tableyour nails be any different? Use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails hydrated while you get some shut-eye, but any nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer will do. In a pinch, you can even use a dab of lip balm.

Consider your diet

Your fingernails are made of a protein called keratin, so just as with the clarity of your skin or the shine of your hair, you can improve your nails by tweaking your diet. Falcone advises adding vitamins and supplements like biotin, Vitamin E, and fish oil to your daily regimen, while Dr. Palmer recommends protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts. The one thing every expert agrees on: Once you hit on the combination that works for you, you’ll be rewarded with stronger, clearer nails.