Your guide to youthful-looking hands
Your hands are one of the first parts of your body to show signs of aging. This can become even more evident if you neglect to care for them.
Hands age relatively fast because they are constantly exposed to sunlight. This makes them more vulnerable to sun damage. And because the skin on the back of your hands is thinner than the skin on your face, wrinkles, and age spots can form easily.
But don’t worry. There’s a lot you can do both at home and elsewhere to make your hands look younger.
5 steps to beautiful hands
1. Use hand cream
Because hands become dry and crack easily, apply a cream to them throughout the day.
Look for hand creams that contain no petrolatum, mineral oil, or paraffin: These ingredients actually repel moisture. The best hand cream contains keratin, which can greatly improve the skin’s moisture content. Also look for coenzyme Q10, which can help repair sun-damaged skin. For extra moisturizing properties, check out hand creams that contain shea and cocoa butter.
2. Practice regular nail care
Properly cared-for nails help to make your hands look younger and more appealing. Soak your hands once a week in soapy water for a few minutes before filling them and applying nail polish. “Style experts recommend steering away from fads like glitter, overly long nails, or square shapes,” HuffPost reports. Choose instead a nail color that compliments your skin tone, and you’re on your way to better-looking hands.
3. Wash in lukewarm water
Let’s face it: Hands age rapidly mainly due to sun and water exposure. Washing your hands in excessively hot or cold water can dry them out and weather them. If you want to preserve your hands, you’ll want to wash them in room temperature water, and follow up with some hand cream afterward.
4. Use sunscreen or wear gloves outside
Make sure to apply an SPF lotion to your hands every day to protect against further sun damage. And if you’re doing gardening or washing the dishes, make sure to wear gloves, which will prevent your hands from becoming weathered. If you don’t have gloves, you can apply oil to your hands before doing any work that involves water to prevent them from becoming too dry.
5. Exfoliate regularly
If you want to aid in cell renewal, you should exfoliate your hands twice a week. This will help to get rid of any dead skin cells. Exfoliating also improves circulation and keeps your hands looking more beautiful and younger. Be sure to follow up with some hand cream to lock in moisture.
In good (professional) hands
If your hands need a little extra help looking younger, several clinical procedures will turn back the clock. Here are the most effective.
If your hands have a veiny appearance due to lost fat under the top layer of the skin, plumping treatments can not only take away any ropy appearance; it would also smooth wrinkles. The most common fillers used to hand plumping include your own fat and Restylane. Results last up to 9 months, and there’s no downtime involved.
Several different types of laser treatments can address a wide variety of problems on your hands, including age spots, wrinkles, and loose skin. Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments in particular aid in collagen production, taking years off the appearance of your hands.
“Chemical peels are a stronger route to cell renewal and offer a quick skin perk-up,” Good Housekeeping reports. They’re also great for fading brown spots and age pigmentation. But some people find them too harsh. And if your skin is very thin or fragile, you risk scarring. Typically you’ll require a few sessions of chemical peels, and redness and irritation usually subsides within a few days.
If you have bulging blood vessels on your hands, then laser ablation can shrink them. This treatment is pretty much painless and without downtime, but it can take up to a few weeks to see results. But laser ablation can only be done on veins that are tiny and superficial. For larger veins, consider plumping treatments instead.
Prescription Retin-A Cream
“If the backs of your hands are starting to get a crumpled look reminiscent of gift bag stuffing, use a prescription retinoid cream to improve texture and jump-start the growth of thickening collagen,” Prevention recommends. Retin-A takes a few weeks to a month to work, and your skin will become more sensitive to sun light, so it’s important to wear sunscreen. You also might experience peeling and dryness, so you’ll want to moisturize your skin a lot.
Beauty in the palm of your hand
We all know that your hands can reveal your true age. After all, they endure a lot — soaking, sun exposure, just plain use. But they don’t necessarily have to look their age. Some simple steps practiced regularly will put comely hands well within your reach.