Michael asks: 'I have very dry hands, do you have any tips on how to manage this to help my sleight of hand magic tricks?'
Problems with dry hands are a frequent question we get asked at the Magic Shop. It is a problem that many people have to deal with, and it really can be a hindrance to you when learning sleight of hand routines and other magic tricks.
Drink plenty of water.
In order to stay healthy, your skin needs a decent amount of water to be internally ingested each day. 2 Litres or more of water is the recommended daily amount. If you drink at least this amount, then this is the first step to helping your skin be as supple as possible and preventing dry hands that make sleight of hand harder to perform. Even if you don't suffer from dry hands, having a bottle of water in your close up magic case is a very wise move.
Let’s face it, it is the year 2013, and metrosexuality has been embraced. It is no longer taboo for a man to crack out the moisturiser from his man bag and give his hands a good moisturising rub! If you wash your hands with lukewarm water, (not hot water this breaks down natural oils the hands produce), the damp skin will absorb the moisturiser much better.
Protect your hands
Protecting your skin is key if you suffer form dry hands. Dryness can sometimes be linked to sensitive skin and exposure to irritating substances can cause your skin to react badly. If you are handling anything that could be considered as an irritant, then be sure to wear gloves. Washing up the dishes to topping up oil in your car, from using bleaches and harsh cleaners to applying rubber cement to a gimmick always be sure to protect your skin. A simple box of latex gloves will last you a very long time and help keep the skin on your hands in tip top condition. As you master sleight of hand, your hands become professional tools. Protect your hands as a musician would protect their instrument.
Use a moisturising soap
When washing your hands don’t use a regular soap bar or soap that doesn’t have a moisturiser combined with it. Make sure you have a moisturising bar or bottle of soap in every place at both home and work that you regularly wash your hands. It may be a bit more expensive but can you put a price on soft skin?!?
Extremely dry hands
If your hands are extremely dry, you can rub a thin layer of Vaseline (or petroleum jelly) on your hands at night. If you then wear cotton socks (or cotton gloves) on your hands, they will provide a barrier and retain the moisturising benefit of the Vaseline. This routine should be repeated each night. If you do this, and keep hydrated you will be sure to see an improvement in your skin condition and your sleight of hand.
Moisturisers for dry hands to check out:
Moisturising Products specifically for magicians:
As a magician, your hands are your greatest asset. Taking a little time to look after them is a wise investment. Regular use of a hand cream will help combat dry hands and improve your sleight of hand.