“He was handsome, intelligent, and had the perfect shoes. But hands of sandpaper!” a friend once lamented, as she narrated stories of her dating experiences. So much so that she had to shoot down her prospective beau’s advances solely because every time they locked hands, she felt a dreadful shiver down her spine. For the gentlemen reading this, yes, your hands do require a bit of pampering. And here’s an easy guide to hand care for men.
“Good hands are a sign of a good personality,” says Mumbai-based grooming and etiquette coach, Shampa Roy. “The condition of your nails, cuticles, and also the overall softness of your hands, speaks volumes about you as a person. Especially in the workplace, when your hands are in focus during presentations and conversations, as well as in handshakes.”
An easy guide to keeping your hands well maintained at all time
The key to keeping your hands soft and young-looking is to constantly moisturise. “Always keep some hand cream on your desk and use it regularly,” Roy recommends. Keeping a small tube of moisturiser in your backpack or travel bag during flights is also a good idea as hands tend to get dry.
If your hands are really in need of a boost of moisture, try out hydrating gloves. Like a sheet mask, these one-time-use gloves are packed with moisture essentials, and you wear them on your hands for about 30 minutes before taking them off.
LSA Recommends: LuxaDerme’s Deep Moisturising Hand Hydration Gloves is a tried and tested favourite and Nivea’s Glycerin and Aloe Vera hand cream
How to avoid gym hands
After lifting heavy weights or doing a series of pull-ups, the inevitable calluses appear on our hands. Gym calluses are the skin’s natural reaction to heavyweights, forming a thick, rough cover over the area in contact with the bar. While the simplest of solutions is to wear a pair of weightlifting gloves to avoid these calluses, the key is also to keep moisture locked into your hands (obviously not during your workout). Interestingly, there is another set of people that do not recommend using weightlifting gloves and suggest that you should let your skin adapt to the bars and that regular moisturising should suffice.
If you do want to go one step further, invest in a callus razor, which are widely available. After soaking and softening your hands, gently scrape away the calluses with this razor. It is recommended once every fortnight if you lift weights regularly.
LSA Recommends: Seki Edge SS-805 Callus Remover
Nail care routine
There is nothing more unsightly than a set of poorly maintained nails. From a hygiene point of view, your nails should be cleaned thoroughly daily, making sure you use a nail file to remove extra dirt or debris from under your nails. Cutting and shaping your nails is the next step. Finally, if you haven’t incorporated the buffing step to your nail routine, now is the right time to do so. Good nail buffers are inexpensive and can lend a nice sheen, smooth finish to your nails.
Now and then, make sure that you check on your cuticles to ensure they are healthy, moisturised, and in shape. Do not cut your cuticles yourself as this could lead to an infection. Let a professional do it. Get a cuticle pusher and use this gently to push the skin back. Use a good quality cuticle oil every once in a while.
LSA Recommends: Soulflower Avocado Oil Coldpressed, is an organic, vegan product, which absorbs once massaged into your cuticles.
To paint or not to paint?
Let’s face it, gender roles and biases in grooming a thing of the past. And just like makeup has been normalised among men, so has nail paint. The number of men choosing to finish off their manicures with a coat of transparent nail paint is increasing. Even most Indian salons ask their clients if they’d like a transparent coat. “Especially for men in people-facing fields, like hospitality, services or media, a coat of transparent nail paint adds that nice clean, shiny touch to a man’s hands and makes the nail texture look smooth and the manicure last longer,” recommends Khushnuma Master, a certified makeup artist, who also conducts corporate grooming sessions for corporate clients.
This one is a no-brainer. Spend some time pampering your hands, the next time you are at the salon for your hair or beard. Going for a regular manicure is as important as, say, getting your beard shaped and trimmed. Not only will the manicurist be able to sort out your cuticles and buff your nails, but they will also use an exfoliating scrub to scrub away all the dead skin and give your hands an overall fresh appearance.
LSA Recommends: The White Door, in Bandra, offers specialised men’s manicures in a plush setting, with iPads for entertainment and gourmet coffee.
All images: Courtesy Getty