We tend to worry about the lines on our face, but crows feet and wrinkles aren’t the only signs of aging! Our hands can also reveal our, uhm, ‘maturity’—and because of exposure to soap and other cleansers, they can even make us look much older than we really are. Here are some secrets to younger looking hands.
Use a gentler soap
Whenever we wash our hands (or do the laundry or dishes) the cleansers remove the skin’s natural oils. This can cause redness and even chapping, and hasten the appearance of lines. Switch to a gentle hand soap that’s free of fragrances and scents. When you clean the house, wear gloves.
If you have very dry hands, look for a heavy-duty moisturizer. Creams and ointments are thicker than most lotions (key ingredients are glycerin or petrolatum). Stash them everywhere so you can put them on frequently throughout the day: by the sink, in your bathroom, by the sofa or bed, in your office drawer, etc. At night, seal in the moisturizer by putting on gloves and sleeping with them overnight.
Sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation (leading to age spots) and wrinkles. The skin on the hands are thinner, so it’s one of the first parts of the body to show sun damage. Prevent sun damage with a good sunblock. If you spend a long time in the sun (like when you garden) wear gloves or sit under an umbrella. To gradually fade sun spots, look for a skin lightening cream that contains hydroquinine or gentle lightening botanicals. For faster and more effective treatment, however, you will need to see a dermatologist for a prescription cream. Other clinics offer laser treatments.
Ask about prescription retinoids
Retinoids can help decrease wrinkles and the appearance of saggy-looking skin. You can get this from your dermatologist or look for milder (but less effective) creams that contain retinol or retinyl palmitate. Also invest in a gentle exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin and reveals younger, stronger new cells.