Even more than the little wrinkles around your eyes or the deeper ones etched into your forehead your hands are the biggest giveaway indicator of your age. Our poor hands are actually the workhorses of our body – whether they are washing dishes, scrubbing the bathroom, picking up bits and pieces or more simply typing away at the computer they are busy working all day, from the moment we get up until we go to sleep.
The amazing thing is most people do very little to take care of their hands. We are so busy slathering sunscreen over our faces and doing whatever we can to avoid our face and neck looking aged that we forget to protect the very thing that gives away our age the most – our precious hands.
Unfortunately over time simple exposure to the sun and elements causes much damage to our skin such as wrinkles, age spots (more commonly referred to as liver spots), veins and other irregularities.
So what can we do to prevent this damage from occurring? Or more importantly is there anything that can be done to repair the damage once it has been done? We need to remember that the hands are an important part of the body to rejuvenate, as one’s age is often judged by the appearance of the hands
Thankfully there is!
1. ALWAYS wear gloves when doing housework and gardening. This is because cleaning chemicals are ultra strong and will inflict much damage on your precious skin. I even recommend slathering your hands with hand lotion before putting on the gardening gloves as the heat will work to keep them hydrated.
2. ALWAYS use SPF 30 to protect you hands! Even when it isn’t summertime. This is of utmost important so next time when you are busy putting sunscreen on your body don’t forget to finish off with the most important part of your body – your hands (and by that I don’t just mean the palms of your hands).
3. The next important thing to note is that you need to REGULARLY REAPPLY sunscreen to your hand. UV protection is the most effective way to prevent new brown spot and mottling as well as to slow collagen loss. So make sure to generously reapply (a ten cent piece per hand) sunscreen to your hand EVERY thirty minutes when out in active sunlight or every two hours when exposed to incidental sunlight.
4. As we age the hands also become thinner – there are actually very few fat pads in our hands and they lose volume and hydration over time. Thankfully this volume can be restored by injecting the hands with derma fillers to create fullness and hydration. This helps rebuild the volume lost and costs between $600-$1200, depending on the amount of volume you require. The good thing is the results last 2 years
5. To help PREVENT thinning skin you should definitely is invest in a quality hand moisturiser. Some recommend natural products such as coconut or jojoba oil for strengthening skin. Also consider treating skin with vitamin A (retinol) which is known to improve the skin’s ability to tolerate injuries and avoid steroidal medical ointments which are known for weakening your skin
6. Age spots – also called liver spots – are strongly defined, round, brown or black, flat patches of skin. These occur when the top surface layer slowly expands with pigment, developing what looks like a large freckle. Except of course it’s anything but a freckle and there are often a few clustered together! Many people unfortunately have a hereditary predisposition to them and they are common on older people, especially those who have been exposed to lots of sunshine.
7. The simplest way to protect your hands from further damage and the worsening of existing age spots is simply through the use of sunscreen. Other than that liver spots can be treated using microdermabrasion, peels, even laser and IPL Photo-rejuvenation. This dramatically improves sun-damage, age spots, the symptoms of rosacea, broken veins, and capillaries. No harsh or invasive treatment is necessary and your skin will glow and look more youthful. These spots are actually quite easy to treat because they only affect the outermost layer of your skin – so if you don’t like the way they look these are actually one of the easier hand issues to remedy.
8. Never use your nails to scratch anything or do fancy repair work as they too are delicate and easily damaged. Indulge in regular manicures as torn cuticles and brittle nails make your hands look older than they really are and uncared for.
9. Also keep a healthy weight as if you are too thin you will have less fat pads in your hands and this has the tendency to make them look older than they really are.
10. Veins can also make for unsightly hands. Losing a great deal of weight once again can lead to revealing purplish veins and bulging tendons. Just remember while extreme amounts of exercise will definitely get you fit, it can also cause your veins to be more visible as well. Sometimes derma filler alone is enough if the cause is purely loss of volume.
Just a final note – do not fret if your hands are showing your true age. Even celebrities are not immune to this occurring – whilst many may have faces that look a lot younger than their years, the real test is when they whip out their hands. And trust me, in this area many unfortunately fail to hide the obvious – that the years are catching up with them too.