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Hand and nail care 101

You do all your chores and tasks with your hands — they bear the most brunt of your daily activities. Which is why you must take extra care of them. When you moisturise your body, don't forget your hands and nails. This will in the long run ensure that they don't look shabby or give away your age! 

-Invest in a non-greasy hand cream that contains retinol, peptides and B vitamins, which will increase collagen production and keep your hands smooth and soft. Apply it at least twice a day. Also, look out for ingredients like glycolic acid and vitamin C that will reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles on your hands.

-Exfoliate just your hands once a week — this will remove dead skin cells and ensure that your hand cream can penetrate deeper. Use an exfoliator that contains alpha and beta-hydroxy acids for more effect.

-Moisturise your fingernails as well. The best way to do that is to gently massage petroleum jelly or cuticle cream on your nails just before going to bed.

-Buff your nails gently once a week — this will improve circulation to your nail bed. Don't ever cut your cuticles. Instead, push them back gently.

-Eat foods that are beneficial to your nails — foods that are rich in calcium will keep your nails smooth and healthy.

-If you notice cracks in your skin — on your palms or inbetween your fingers — regularly apply petroleum jelly or a cream that your dermat suggests.

-Wear gloves while doing housework, especially if it involves water. Always wear gloves while doing the dishes. This will ensure that your nails don't get brittle.

-Don't apply nail polish all the time — your nails also needs to breathe. Too much of nail polish remover can also make your nails turn yellow and dry them out.

While applying sunscreen on your body, don't miss your nails and hands — they require sun protection as well. Re-apply the sunscreen every couple of hours if you're outdoors constantly. Nails are made of keratin and need protection just the way your skin does.

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