x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The beauty spy: On beautiful hands

You won’t see her, but she’s there, in the salons, spas and shops, and she’s happy to share her secrets on beautiful hands.

Our hands are on display almost all the time, so it's odd that we spend so little time looking after them, especially when you consider that the skin on them is very thin and needs more care than other parts of the body.

I hope all that will change once you've read this column. I am very much into the beauty routine for my hands, and here it is.

Exfoliate. Yes, we all know you exfoliate your face (and neck), but you need to exfoliate your hands too. There is a fabulous product called Velvet Hand Scrub by Sephora, which I love. It takes 10 seconds to administer and leaves your hands silky smooth. If you don't have access to Sephora's product, you can make your own version using sugar (or salt) and olive oil, or by just adding sugar to your liquid soap.

Sunscreen is your new best friend. Wear it daily - even if it's raining - on the backs of your hands to discourage those tell-tale brown spots. And wear cotton gloves when driving because the sun pounding through the windscreen damages your hands. So what if you look like a butler? At least you won't have old hands.

I know I bang on about moisturising in this column, but it is the answer to almost everything. You should moisturise your hands at least five times a day. I love Nuxe Rêve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream, as well as Lancôme Nutrix Royal Mains. The best lower-budget ones are from Nivea: Refreshingly Soft Moisturizing Cream and Smooth Replenishing Hand Cream with Macadamia nut oil.

Don't neglect your palms, either; squirt a bit of cream onto one and rub the moisturiser around the fleshy part of your palm with your thumb, then massage your fingers from base to tip. If you spend all day tapping a keyboard, then this is a great little relaxer.

A good habit to get into is to use hand cream every night before you go to sleep. You can also pop on cotton gloves overnight, which will increase the efficiency of the cream. You may as well do your feet while you're at it, but make sure you do this just before you nod off or you might find yourself skating across the bathroom floor.

Chipped, broken nails are not a good look, so even if you don't go for manicures, then just file them and paint them with clear polish. It's amazing what a difference that will make to the overall look of your hands.

And if you do insist on gardening or washing dishes, then please wear gloves. Otherwise all that hard work and care will go down the drain.

 

3 of the best

Suncare products to suit your skin type

CLARINS 50+ UVB/UVA SUN WRINKLE CONTROL CREAM FOR FACE, DH150 This clever sun cream contains 100 per cent plant-based ingredients that help protect against anti-ageing and sun spots.

ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR CREAM SUN DEFENSE FOR FACE SPF50, DH118 Ultra light and oil-free, this lotion has all the benefits of the legendary Eight Hour Cream but is ideal for shiny skin tones.

LANCASTER SPORT EXTREME CONDITIONS, SPF50, DH125 Whether you're working up a sweat in the sun, snow, water or wind, this high-SPF anti-reflection cream glides on easily without a sticky residue.

 

M loves

Ramadan Minx Nails

With Eid just around the corner, we've begun prepping ourselves with "special occasion" treatments. If runway shows were any indication, then star prints are in (think Dolce&Gabbana A/W 2011), as are customised nails (Alexander McQueen had their own Minx designs). That's why we were thrilled to discover these Minx nails at Bellacure - they tick all the right boxes and will add a bit of rah-rah to our Eid outfit. Our advice: be gentle with your hands, as these nails can last up to 10 days if you're careful. If the Minx starts to peel, you can easily heat your nails under a hair dryer and smooth down the bits of film that lifted. Dh250, Bellacure Nails Spa, Muroor Road on 15th Street, 02 658 1000, www.bellacurenails.com