We’re often concerned about our wrinkles, but our hands can also show the tell-tale signs of aging. The skin of our hands are very thin, and are more likely to show the damage caused by years of washing dishes, gardening, or gripping a pen or a computer mouse. While our skin naturally renews itself, cell production slows down after we’re 30 years old—so as the collagen, elastin and even the fat breaks down, our veins start to protrude and the fine lines appear. Here are some tips on how to keep your hands youthful and beautiful.
1. Use a gentle soap
Washing our hands are key to stopping the spread of germs, but certain soaps (and even chemical household cleansers) can strip them off oils and dry them. The key is to use gentle cleansing products. For example, instead of a germicidal soap, choose a cream bar that is enriched with moisturizers. And if you’re going to scrub the bathroom floors or garden, protect them from exposure to chemicals by wearing rubber gloves.
2. Treat them to an olive oil scrub
You may notice that your hands feel rougher as you grow older. That’s because the skin is losing its elasticity. If you always work outdoors, and are exposed to sun, your hands may even feel like leather! Restore them to their silky smoothness with this homemade scrub. Just combine one fourth teaspoon of olive oil and sugar and rub into your skin. Olive oil is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which is a potent moisturizer. The sugar acts like an exfoliator, removing old skin cells to reveal younger, softer skin.
3. Wear sunscreen
By now we’re vigilant about putting sunscreen on our face and our body, but don’t forget our hands! We also need to reapply sunscreen on our hands more often, because we wash them and wipe them more frequently than any other part of our body.
Apply your favorite sunscreen on your hands or use a hand cream that contains SPF 25, so you combine sun protection with moisturizing benefits.
4. Protect your nails
Your nails also become dryer and more fragile as you age, thanks to your body’s lower oil production. Care for your cuticles by rubbing a healing ointment every morning and night. You can even use chapstick on your cuticles—so you can moisturize your lips, and your nails, on the go.
5. Reduce freckling and dark spots
You probably have a favorite face cream that promises to reduce dark spots and discoloration. Well you may notice that the problems aren’t limited to the face: your hands may develop what was once called ‘liver spots.’ But these have nothing to do with liver problems—these are hyperpigmentations caused by sun exposure, and can also be fixed with your face cream. So after dabbing your moisturizer or corrective cream on your face, rub in the excess into your hands.
6. Address dryness
If you have very, very dry hands, look for a hand cream or lotion that contains lactic acids, alpha hydroxyl acids or AHAs and hydrating urea. Apply after washing your hands or taking a bath so that the product locks in the water. (Read our tips on buying moisturizer.)
Photo from reflectionscenter.com