If it seems that your hands are aging faster than the rest of you, you’re not mistaken. We use our hands for so many things, and yet caring for them is usually the last thing we think to do. When it comes to your hands, we advise paying them as much care as you do to your face. With a little extra attention, you can keep your hands looking healthy, youthful, and blemish-free for years to come. Read on to learn what causes the skin on your hands to age faster, and what you can do to prevent and correct the signs of aging.
The skin on the back of your hands is especially prone to premature aging. Here are the most common contributors to why your hands could start looking older, sooner:
Use: We use our hands a lot, and natural wear and tear can have an impact on their youthfulness as a result. In addition to the natural wear and tear your hands experience over the decades, other factors can change the look of your hands as you age:
The sun: As we all know, UV rays are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to skin damage and premature aging. Sun exposure can result in sunspots, also called liver spots, on your face and body, and especially on your hands.
Exposure: Because we need our hands to do things as we go about our lives, they’re often left unprotected from the elements. Exposure to wind, water, extreme temperatures, and other factors can have an impact on the look of your hands.
Age: This one seems like a no-brainer, but the process of aging does show up more visibly in our hands than elsewhere. As we age our soft tissues, like collagen and fat, reduce in volume. Consequently, the veins and bones of your hands become more prominent. Your hands are one of the most visible places where this happens.
When it comes to preventing and correcting the signs of aging on your hands, it’s important to start early and be consistent, as with any skin care routine. Here are 5 ways to treat the signs of aging in your hands:
As we get older, our skin finds it harder to lock in moisture. This contributes to wrinkles, dry, flaky patches, and a loss in elasticity, which will affect the look and texture of your hands. To prevent dryness, moisturize regularly—for instance, in the morning and evening and after you wash your hands. A thick moisturizer that contains glycerin, shea butter, and other occlusives, keep the moisture locked into the skin for longer. As an extra step, some people wear soft cotton gloves over moisturized hands at night. Moisturizing regularly is one of the best things you can do to plump up and smooth the skin of your hands, and your nails will thank you, too.
Since you use your hands a lot, it’s essential to protect them not just from use, but also from the sun and elements. As mentioned above, sun exposure is particularly hard on hands. Even in winter, make sure to apply sunscreen with a UV+ rating of at least 30, and reapply every four hours. This will go a long way to preventing sun spots, wrinkles, and other signs of aging caused by the sun. Furthermore, make sure to protect your hands during activities like gardening, washing the dishes, and working out at the gym. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the physical wear and tear these activities can entail, and you’ll surely notice a difference in how your hands look.
Your hands can benefit from the same topical creams, lotions, and serums that you use to care for your face. Retinol is one of the most effective ways to combat the signs of aging. Since it promotes cell renewal, a topical treatment containing retinal, or tretinoin-A, can improve the look of sunspots, discoloration, sagging, wrinkles, and uneven texture.
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, and we lose fatty tissue as well. In our hands, volume loss shows up as very prominent veins and ligaments, but can be easily repaired with injectable fillers, which replace lost subcutaneous fat. Keep in mind that injectables have a short lifespan and only last for about six months. Additionally, there’s usually some pain and bruising involved. These days there are many different types of fillers available, so it’s best to consult your dermatologist about what procedures might be best for you.
The same advances in medical aesthetics that deliver anti-aging results to the face and body can benefit your hands as well. Photofacials are powered by Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology to safely and effectively fade common signs of premature aging, including sun spots, discoloration, and visible veins. For the loss of elasticity that can occur in hands especially, skin-tightening treatments are the best option. The treatments use heat to naturally boost collagen production in the skin, restoring a rejuvenated, youthful appearance. Both treatments are non-invasive, with no downtime, and can deliver visible results in just one 15-30 minute session. If preventing and reversing the signs of aging in your hands is important to you, reach out to an aesthetics provider near you by using the search field provided below.