If you care at all about skincare and ageing, then chances are you’re up on your anti-ageing ingredients. Maybe even working on your face like a Michelangelo masterpiece. But how many of us stop to think about our hands? How often have you wondered how to keep your fingers looking youthful?
Probably not much, right? Until it’s too late and you’re wondering where the years went. Or until now.
Think about it for a second; we use our hands for just about everything, all day every day. And yet how often do you stop to give them the care and attention they need?
It’s long been said that the true signs of ageing can always be seen on the hands. And yes, it sounds a little overboard, perhaps, to have a skincare routine for your hands the way you do with your face. But if the hands are the first place we see the signs of ageing, then it makes sense to take care of them as well as possible.
Whether you’re hoping to prevent your hands from ageing or reduce the signs you’re already noticing, this blog’s for you. Trust us, there are a few simple things you can do to get your hands looking glorious – and forever young.
Your Hands & Sun Care
The sun is one of the biggest contributors to the signs of ageing you’ll see in your hands. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, since that’s the case across the whole body! Over the years, exposure to the sun can cause pigmentation, thin or leathery skin, and brown spots. And this applies to your hands just as it does everywhere.
We’re sure you can guess what can be done about this, but we’re going to say it anyway.
Sunscreen is your best friend. Not only because it protects you from skin cancer and the horrors of sunburn. No, this time because it shields the skin of your hands from the sun’s unstoppable ageing effects.
Unfortunately, most of us tend to apply our SPF and then (you’ve guessed it) we wash our hands. How many people do you think then go and reapply? Not many, we’re willing to bet.
We know it’s not intentional, but over time, this will have more of an effect than you might realise. So though you might have considered an expensive anti-ageing hand cream, an SPF might actually do more of the heavy lifting.
What are the other causes of ageing hands?
Sun exposure is an all-day, every-day problem. One that is responsible for a good chunk of the problem when it comes to ageing hands. However, we can’t lump all of the blame in Helios’ corner.
In fact, the weather in general accounts for much of the damage to the skin of our hands.
Our hands and face are the two parts of our bodies that are exposed most often. Which means they’re enduring not only sun exposure, but exposure to wind, rain, constant hand washing and general day-to-day use.
On a good day, it’s not uncommon for many of us to do a variety of skin-stressing tasks. Things like:
- washing our hands
- washing the dishes
- cleaning the kitchen or bathroom
- or even using chemicals in the garden
And we don’t tend to stop and think about applying hydrating hand cream after each. Until we get into the habit of doing this, we can expect the signs of ageing to continue to accumulate, because your “moisturising” Carex will only do so much.
There are other contributing factors, of course.
Sometimes the ageing of our hands can be accelerated by:
- the use of certain medications
- medical conditions
Thin or thinning skin is far more likely to show signs of ageing before healthy, thicker, and more hydrated skin.
And, of course, there’s age itself. It’s inevitable that someone in their 40s or 50s will have more aged looking hands than someone in their 20s. It’s a fact of life, and why we need to know the essential skincare rules for our age.
As we get older, we produce less elastin and collagen; two of the most important things for healthy, youthful-looking skin. When this happens, our hands begin to look and feel more fragile.
So what can I do about it?
In short, pay attention to how you feed your body, take control today and start a good hand care skin routine.
We’re all aware of how many anti-ageing miracle serums are out there for the face. And we’re more than happy to add any number of products to our skincare routine. Especially under the promise of making the most of our skin.
But now take a moment to think about your hands and ask yourself:
- Do you have a hand cream that’s specifically for anti-ageing?
- Do you have a moisturiser that’s designated for your hands only?
Sure, when the winter hits and our hands are dry and cracking, we might amp up our hand care. But what about the rest of the year?
If we want to prevent the signs of ageing from showing on our hands, doesn’t it make sense to develop a routine specifically for hands? If you’re still with us, we’re assuming you’re in agreement that yes, it absolutely does. (Especially since our hands arguably weather far more than our faces, most of the time).
The skin of our hands has unique needs (a skin type, if you will). There are fewer sebaceous glands on our hands, which means there’s naturally less hydration present in the skin there. Without sebum for lubrication and waterproofing, our hands are more prone to dryness.
Starting an anti-ageing routine for your hands as soon as possible is a great plan – no matter how young you are. The better you treat them, the longer they’ll look youthful. And since hydration and moisture is the main issue to tackle, it’s simpler than you might think.
Keep it straightforward, and ensure you use an SPF that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. And remember to reapply this as you would anywhere else on your body.
Some sunscreens are greasier than others. Those that are less greasy are likely to be easier for you to keep reapplying without getting it everywhere. Keep this in mind when purchasing your products.
There’s also no reason you can’t use the antioxidant products you’d apply to your face on your hands, too. Applying a little at night can work well, as can using a specific night cream for your hands that works a little harder than a day cream.
Protein-rich formulas (especially those containing hyaluronic acid), help to plump up the skin of your hands. And that helps your hand skin retain its youthfulness.
Some hand creams also contain emblica, which is a great natural skin lightener; this will help fade any visible age spots.
Just like with your face, use products that help skin retain moisture, and form a protective layer over your hands. This is particularly important if you work in a role where you spend time handling paper, washing your hands more than usual, or anything that might dry out your hands.
Since your hands are drier than many other parts of your skin, they can benefit from exfoliation. A mild exfoliant, like a sugar scrub once a week, can help you to slough away dead skin cells and dirt. This will help your SPF and moisturiser to sink into your skin and do their job.
Ever noticed how many people used to wear driving gloves in old films and movies? Well, they might have been on to something.
Sure, we understand why wearing gloves in the height of summer might seem a little silly. But protecting your hands from prolonged exposure to the sun can be a great idea when your hands are up on the steering wheel (or even on your bike). Especially if you’re committed to keeping your digits as youthful as possible.