Lucky you—you've landed the partner of your dreams, and now there's a gorge engagement ring adorning your left hand. But about those hands... Courtesy of that dazzling diamond, they're in the spotlight 24/7. Time to take them to the next level with these expert tips and tricks. Think soft, smooth, and utterly rock-worthy.
1. Step away from the hand sanitizer (and get some rubber gloves!)
Certain lifestyle habits—like digging around in your purse for that teensy bottle of sanitizer 90 times a day—can wreak havoc on your hands. Sure, you're a germ-a-phobe, but that's no excuse for dousing your poor digits with high-test alcohol. "Too much sanitizer, not wearing gloves to clean dishes, and skipping sunscreen and hand cream can all contribute to rough skin," says Tracylee, Sally Hansen Nail Ambassador. Stick to gentle soaps, preferably sulfate-free.
2. Whip up a sweet scrub
Though YouTube is chockablock with videos for DIY sea-salt hand scrubs, Tracylee isn't a fan. "Salt is too rough—it actually pierces the skin," the celebrity nail guru says. "I much prefer a sugar scrub, which is gentler." Her recipe: Mix 1/2 cup refined sugar, 1/2 cup oil (coconut or vitamin E), and 1/2 fresh lemon. Apply, rub into hands to exfoliate flaky skin, rinse and pat dry. "I see a lot of clients rubbing their hands roughly on a towel to dry them," she notes. "Hands should be patted, not rubbed."
See more: The Best Celebrity Engagement Rings
3. Fade those pesky freckles
A smattering of freckles across your flower girl's sweet little nose? Adorable. Brown blotches on your grown-up, ring-bedecked hands? Not so much. To fade them, Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, recommends a daily application of a cream containing the bleaching ingredient hydroquinone—and patience. "It takes about six to eight weeks to see results," Jaliman says.
4. Slather on serious protection
Now that you've lightened up, don't risk any new freckles and spots. "Use SPF 30 on your hands every day," insists Dr. Jaliman. Yes, every day; even when you're trapped inside, chained to your computer with your wedding Excel spreadsheets—UV light can penetrate glass.
5. Get in a Routine:
The key to lasting softness, says Tracylee, is diligent upkeep at home. In addition to a high-powered skin-soother (we like Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Hand Creme), be sure to stock your home stash with a vitamin E-laced cuticle oil and nail strengthener to prevent chipping and splitting. A wardrobe of pretty, ring-flattering polishes (nudes, pinks, a few bold brights) will inspire you to hit the bottle on a regular basis.