When we think about looking young, we often focus on the face. But hand appearance is important, too. Dry, cracked hands sporting creases and discolorations can age you as much as those despised laugh lines and crow’s feet around your mouth and eyes.
As it turns out, your hands are exposed to the sun, wind, and cold about as much as your face. But your hands also encounter a number of additional challenges that make maintaining their youthful appearance a real skin care feat. Consider how often you wash your hands or expose them to cleaning products, detergents, and other chemicals. Hands also bear the brunt of gardening, crafting, cooking, and other housekeeping chores.
All things considered, it’s no wonder that as we age, our hands develop dry skin, wrinkles, prominent veins, and age spots.
There are many invasive—as well as expensive—treatment options that can rejuvenate your dry, cracked hands. For instance, chemical peels remove the top layers of skin revealing the smoother skin underneath. Laser resurfacing can reduce uneven skin color, age spots, blemishes, and scars. Fat grafting plumps up the skin by injecting your own fat or other fillers, thus reducing wrinkles and the appearance of veins. And skin excision is like a face-lift for the hands as excess skin is surgically removed to get rid of wrinkles.
While these “prescription” solutions do indeed work, they are pretty drastic. You can save yourself a lot of doctor visits and money with these very effective skin care alternatives that pamper your hands—and protect them against aging:
- Max out with moisturizer. Apply a good moisturizer to your hands several times daily. You really cannot over-moisturize.
- Prep for bed. Before going to bed, wash your hands and soak them for a few minutes in warm water. Then cover them with your favorite, thick moisturizer. To help seal in the moisture and protect your sheets, pull on a thin pair of cotton gloves or wear socks over your hands. It may look funny but it really works.
- Seek sun protection. Make sure that when you apply sunscreen (which should be all year long), you cover your hands with it.
- Cover them up. Use rubber gloves for housecleaning and warm gloves for cold weather protection.
- Go over-the-counter. Check your pharmacy for skin-lightening products to reduce the appearance of age spots on your hands.