As I have gotten older, I’ve become much more aware of my hands — and everyone else’s, for that matter. They’re one of the first things I notice in both men and women. When we meet someone, we shake hands.  Are your hands giving the first impression you want when meeting new people?

Hands reveal a lot about a person. Some are hands that have worked in the garden climbed rocks, paddled a kayak, there are even nervous hands and couch-potato hands.  What do your hands say about you?
Regardless of your activity level, all hands age — and not necessarily well. Our hands are one of the first places to show signs of aging and are among the hardest to camouflage.  After all, it just isn’t reasonable to wear gloves all the time to hide your hands!

Most of us don’t even think about our hands until they feel a little dry and then we probably only put a little lotion on them. And it’s that inattention that leads to the biggest and most noticeable signs of aging: wrinkles, brown spots and bulging veins.

So what’s the solution if you are not happy with how the skin on your hands looks?  Take a clue from the word “skin”.  We should treat the skin on our hands just as routinely as we do the skin on our faces.

Avoid dry and scaly skin by exfoliating your hands on a regular basis to keep them looking smooth. Exfoliating first allows a greater penetration of moisturizers into your skin. All of our skin needs moisture, so slather on that hand cream and do it multiple times each day, but particularly treat your hands, just as you do your face, to some extra attention at night.

“There is very little fat on the backs of the hands, so when even a small amount of collagen or elastin fibers begins to break down — which is part of the normal aging process and is partly from sun exposure — it’s going to have a noticeable impact on your hands,” says Gregory Buford, MD, a Denver plastic surgeon.

To combat the loss of collagen and elastin, use the same products on your hands that you use on your face. A retinoid cream can improve texture and jump start the growth of collagen which thickens skin. Products containing epidural growth factors speed  cellular growth and promote healing.

Want to take it a step farther? Many of the injectable dermal fillers used in facial rejuvenation are also used to make hands look younger.  This process can fill the concave cavities and camouflage prominent veins, providing a smoother look.   

Have some dark spots?  There are products that contain compounds that will fade them over time, but the best idea is to prevent those spots by protecting against sun damage.  If you use these products, be sure to use them only at night (they increase sun sensitivity) and follow the manufacturer’s directions closely.

You, like I probably were exposed to a lot of sun during your childhood and maybe continue to be even now.  Think about how much sun your hands get while you are driving your car! Sun can damage wreak havoc on your hands, just like it does on your face. When you put sunscreen on you face each morning, put some on your hands as well and remember, sunscreen has to be reapplied every two hours to be effective and again each time you wash your hands.

If you get gel manicures, be sure to put on sunscreen before being exposed to the UV lamp!  It’s the little things that add up over time.

Chemical peels can reduce the signs of aging on your hands.  Peels help to improve tone, texture and smooth the surface of the skin. Laser and IPL treatments can remove or reduce the appearance of dark spots.

You can go to various lengths to have younger looking hands, but the very best thing you can do is to prevent additional damage by protecting your hands from UV exposure, exfoliate and moisturize regularly, schedule a series of chemical peel treatments for your hands and if you still aren’t happy after trying those things, schedule a consultation to check out dermal fillers or laser treatments.  I’ll be happy to make a referral for any procedure that I don’t offer.

Remember, Healthy Skin is Beautiful Skin