You’ve probably heard that your hands are the first part of your body to show your age. That’s because the skin on your hands tends to be fragile and thin – and exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays almost constantly. These factors make your hands susceptible to the wrinkles, age spots, and sun damage that you try so hard to avoid on your face. Keeping your hands looking young isn’t hard; it just requires a few adjustments to your routine – and it’s well worth the effort. There’s more of a focus on hands now than ever before.
That might be because of the popularity of nail-art selfies or our penchant for posting pictures of everything from our food to our kids to ourselves online. Whatever the reason, hands are in the spotlight in a big way, so it pays to keep yours looking their best. Unfortunately, hands receive more than their fair share of abuse. They’re constantly exposed to the elements, varying climates, harsh soaps, and sunlight, all of which wreak havoc on this delicate area.
Your anti-aging routine likely involves using serums and moisturizers on your face, neck, and décolletage, but it’s easy to overlook your hands. This is what’s responsible for the noticeable age difference between so many people’s faces and hands. Your hands have it even worse during the winter when extreme temperatures can drain them of moisture. A few preventive measures coupled with effective modern therapies can help treat and even reverse environmental damage.
Wrinkles are a dead giveaway that you aren’t a kid anymore. If you are already noticing your share of fine lines on your hands, try micro-needling (at home or in-office) to stimulate the growth of fresh, new skin. Sessions are short and effective, promoting the regeneration of collagen, which is key for new growth.
Also, ask your aesthetician about adding platelet-rich plasma, rich in proteins that encourage and support cell growth. Brown spots: Because of year-round sun exposure, hands are particularly vulnerable to brown spots and pigmentation. To lighten dark spots and brighten the skin on your hands, consider LED light therapy, a process believed to neutralize free radicals. Used in conjunction with glycolic and lactic acid peels, the results can be dramatic.
Enlarged veins are one of the most common issues people report that they don’t like about their hands. This issue is mainly caused by thin skin that loses elasticity as you age, causing the veins in your hands to become darker and more prominent. These veins can be camouflaged with filler injections that plump up the skin and give the hands a smoother look. Alternatively, you can consult with a vascular specialist about removing the veins altogether. If you need a quick fix for a photo, slather your hands with moisturizing hand cream and hold them high in the air for a few minutes to drain the blood and make the veins appear less noticeable.
The above therapies are effective at reducing the signs of aging that affect your hands. However, you shouldn’t wait until you notice problems to start solving them. Even if your hands still look youthful, smooth, and soft, it’s not too early to start taking better care of them to keep them looking their best. Here are some tips to make your hands look younger – or keep them that way longer.
Change the way you wash your hands. witch from a stripping soap to a milder formula and moisturize immediately after washing. Some soaps have moisturizers built-in such as coconut oil, but you should still use your regular moisturizer as well. You can also keep a travel-size hand cream in your bag so that you can keep up with your new habit on the go. Wear gloves when gardening and cleaning.
Whenever you handle cleaning agents, dirt, or mud, protect your hands with gloves to keep them soft and moisturized. If you are allergic to latex, you can find several alternatives when it comes to gloves including vinyl, neoprene, and nit rile. You can usually find these gloves in the cleaning aisle of your regular grocery store. If you are a habitual nail biter, try keeping your cuticles moisturized and soft and your nails manicured to help avoid the temptation. (Bonus: moisturizers don’t tend to taste great, either.) If you have a dry patch but no moisturizer on hand, try lip balm – it works in a pinch.
Exfoliating your hands helps remove dead skin, germs, and dirt while adding moisture and improving circulation. A buildup of dead skin cells will keep even the best moisturizer from penetrating the skin, so try exfoliating once a week to keep your hands in their best possible shape.
Your regular facial exfoliator should work just fine, or you can treat yourself to one formulated just for hands – it’s up to you. Use sunscreen. It would be remiss to advise keeping your hands looking young without mentioning sunscreen. Many people are so careful to use it on their faces but overlook their hands. However, the sun causes the same damage to your hands as it does your face: wrinkles and dark spots that make you look older than your years.
Get a good sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day as you wash your hands or sweat. Try essential oils. Many people swear by essential oils and their many health benefits. Lemon, lavender, and frankincense essential oils can all help lighten age spots and promote the overall health and elasticity of your skin. A caveat: Essential oils tend to be highly concentrated and too potent to apply directly to the skin, so look into carrier oils or lotions for safe use.
Don’t let your hands give away your age! By taking a few steps now, you can prevent or slow damage and keep your hands looking beautifully soft and smooth.