Let’s face it, aging is inevitable. There are certain areas of the body that age quicker than others, but for some strange reason, many of us tend to forget our hands as being a huge part of that equation. “The skin on the hands is very thin like the skin underneath our eyes. Therefore, it is very fragile,” says Dendy Engleman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon and associate at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. “Like our face, our hands are often exposed to the elements and you add cleaning, drying, and other activities on top of that.”
So it is obvious: Hands need a little love too. Yahoo Beauty consulted with some of the best skin care experts in the business to help us fully understand and break down how you can turn back the hands of time.
Yes, aging and gaining more wisdom is a celebration, but you probably don’t want your hands to give off the impression of an older age than you actually are. “When the hands appear out of step with the rest of the body, especially the face, it is time to address aging of the hands,” says Julius Few, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of the Few Institute in Chicago and New York City.
As much as we have made sun protection an all-star in our skin care routines, most of the time we only commit to safeguarding our faces from the sun’s harmful rays and forget to rub a sensible amount of sunscreen on our hands as well. “Sun damage is the No. 1 reason for hands to look prematurely older. Followed by dryness and irritation,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, the founder and director of Capital Laser and Skin Care and an assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center. “Many people overwash their hands or use too much hand sanitizer. Over time, this causes the skin on hands to become very dry, cracked, and irritated,” she says. Aside from excessive drying and overexposure to the sun, “loss of volume in the hands makes them look older and more wrinkled, with increased visibility of veins and tendons,” says Few.
Taking preventive measures is going to be your best bet when it comes to keeping the appearance of your hands young and (almost) ageless. First, make sure to have an excellent sunscreen product around at all times. “Use SPF 15 or higher to block harmful UV rays, which cause skin-plumping proteins like collagen and elastin to break down quickly and dark sports to appear,” says Engelman.
Second, it is time to ditch dryness once and for all. Any time you go to wash your hands, be ready to pull a potent hand cream out to moisturize no more than a minute later. Tanzi also says to “keep hands well-hydrated with a thick moisturizer every night before bed.”
Third, there are so many facial-plumping products on the market that work just as well to pump up the volume on the skin on your hands. Try products packed with ingredients such as Retin-A, caffeine, or green tea, which studies have shown help heighten elasticity. If you really want to take your anti-aging efforts to the next level, try fillers or a mild corrective surgery. Few explains that you can address loss of volume in the hands with filler injections that use Restylane or Juvederm in small doses to create a smooth natural appearance to the skin on the backs of the hands.
We also cannot forget about nails, as they are a part of your hands after all, right? If you really trying want to accentuate your glow, try delicately gliding a little highlighter down each finger to give off a radiance that’s young and fresh.
Eve Lom Time Retreat Hand Treatment ($50) is packed with age-reversing ingredients such as pure encapsulated retinol, botanical extracts, and vitamin E.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($21) diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles over a short period of time and makes skin super soft and smooth.
Karuna Age-Defying + Hand Mask ($9.50) leaves your hands with a feeling equivalent to that of facial sheet masks. Bonus? It’s a natural approach that will cause very minimal (if any) irritation and it is paraben-free.
Essie High Class Affair Nail Polish ($8.50). You can’t go wrong with a neutral hue that is soft and flattering on every skin tone.
Glossier Haloscope highlighter ($22) comes in two universally flattering shades, and the stick formula can easily glide down your fingers without getting too messy.