Your wrinkle free strategy for your face may be a well oiled machine. The routine for your hands, though, may need some work. “…if you don’t have a youth-preserving plan for the delicate, oft-abused skin and nails on your hands, it’ll be a dead giveaway of your age,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a Boston-based dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine.
So keeping this in mind, here are some tell tale signs of not so youthful skin and some ways that you can keep your hands looking young and supple.
Crepey Skin: Ever noticed that the backs of your hands look like the crumpled paper found in gift bags? One of the ways to help with this is to use a prescription retinoid cream to improve texture and jumpstart the growth of thickening collagen. Your dermatologist can explain how and when to use the cream so you don’t experience the common retinoid drawbacks like skin irritation.
Age Spots: Getting too much sun? This is usually the cause of age spots, and really has nothing to do with age. They most commonly show up in the 50 plus population, who have accumulated more sun exposure. You can smooth on some hand cream with SPF 30 before heading outside. Reapply after you wash your hands. To tackle existing spots, use an over the counter fade cream with 2% hydroquinone. Follow the directions carefully since the bleaching ingredient in this cream can have undesirable consequences if used improperly.
Scaly Skin: Dry and scaly skin shout out old! A quick routine to use before bed involves getting rid of the dead skin cells by scrubbing with an over the counter skin scrub. Afterwards, create an all night moisture mask by applying a glycerin and plant oil containing hand cream, and cover your hands with plastic wrap. Put on a pair of cotton gloves on top, and get to bed. Wake up to less scaly skin!
To add to your routine, here are several more methods that you can include as part of your routine for better looking hands;
Steam: try warming your hands over a pot of boiling water. (Careful not to get your hands too close to the pot. You don’t want to end up with scalded hands). After your hands feel warm, put on a coat of a good quality dry skin lotion. We can’t say enough about investing in a good quality lotion. It’ll make all the difference. Ask a dermatologist for a recommendation, or use Google to find reviews on several types.
Invest in a good soap: If you wash your hands often, you run the risk of your skin drying out. Some soaps are more drying than others. Try a soap that helps to heal your skin, and adds moisture to your skin.
Exfoliate: Put a little exfoliator on your hands when scrubbing your face. You don’t need to rub like crazy, but just let it set for a minute or so. Follow up with moisturizer.
Protection: Protect your hands from the sun, using sunscreen and just plain avoidance when you can. Put on gloves when exposing your hands to harsh cleaning chemicals or hot liquids.