For handpans made of Raw steel, Nitrided steel or Stainless steel, you will have to lubricate regularly or your instrument may/will rust. The best lubricant I have found for this is FrogLube liquid. I HIGHLY recommend you get a bottle of this as it will last you a while and is great stuff – just about 6 drops on each side will do the trick, then gently massage the lube into the steel – NOT TOO HARD – make sure you have completely coated the instrument. I suggest you do this at minimum once a month! if you are playing often or every day you may want to do this 2 times a month or even once a week as salts and oils on our hands can accelerate rusting. ALSO if you live in a humid area or by the beach you may also want to regularly froglube your pan. If your pan is made of Raw steel you must be extra vigilant about lubricating your instrument.
If your pan is made of PC steel – you NEVER need to lubricate your instrument, so don’t do it.