When it comes to anti-aging skincare, pesky under-eye circles, nagging crow’s feet, and forehead lines get all the attention. But most people don’t realize that your hands are the first place to show signs of aging. Before you look down and panic, let us point out some simple ways to turn back the hands of time (sorry, couldn’t help ourselves!).
1. Mask telltale signs of aging. Since excessively parched hands are a dead giveaway for aging, keep ’em soft. “The best way to keep nail beds and cuticles healthy and youthful is by moisturizing them regularly,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai school of medicine in New York City. Try Le Mini Macaron Vanilla Almond Hand Mask ($5), which hydrates dry hands with a sweet combo of vanilla and almond extracts or Lush’s Golden Handshake (above, $5), a hot mask that uses avocado and argan oil to nourish every nook and cranny.
2. Get serious about sunscreen. Your hands, one of the most commonly overlooked spots when applying SPF, can suffer the harmful effects of sun exposure too. “Ultraviolet light contains rays that can stimulate pigment, leaving sunspots, AKA liver spots, AKA age spots,” explains Fusco. Pile on a broad spectrum SPF 30+ like NeoStrata Sheer Hydration SPF 35 ($48) regularly and reapply every two hours to keep hands bright and free of discoloration.
3. Incorporate retinol. The stuff that works wonders for blemishes and lines on your face does the trick on your hands as well. “Retinol is the best anti-aging ingredient because it helps to fade brown spots, stimulate collagen, and tighten skin,” shares Fusco. Use Verso’s Hand Serum ($55) morning and/or night to minimize sagging, pigmentation, and dryness.
4. Be smart about nail dryers. “When getting nails done with a process that requires putting the nails under an ultraviolet light, apply sunscreen to the back of the hands to protect them,” says Fusco. Spritz a lightweight formula, like IPKN’s City Proof Sun Mist SPF 30 ($19), over the lotion they apply during a manicure before drying.
5. Nix bad habits, start good ones. Some of those seemingly innocent chores could be accelerating the aging process. “Skip washing dishes without gloves to protect your hands from detergent and constant water exposure,” advises Fusco. On the flip side, for gorgeous hand #selfies, get into the habit of holding your palms upright for a few seconds before each shot. “The blood drains downward so that the veins aren’t as full when the photo is being snapped,” she reveals. (Photo via Getty)
6. Consider dermal fillers. If large veins are your gripe, it may be time to see a derm. “By injecting a filler like Radiesse, or fat, you can instantly plump hands and camouflage the appearance of prominent veins,” says Fusco. Ask your doctor if the FDA-approved treatment, which can last a year or more, is right for you.
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