Our hands require special care. There are less oil glands on the skin of our hands compared to our face, yet we are constantly using our hands daily. From handling materials to constant washing, the amount of stress we put our hands through is phenomenal. It’s no wonder why many women have hands that look older than their actual age.
Here we unmask the 5 things that are making your hands look old—and how to reverse them.
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The funny thing about age spots is that they actually have nothing to do with age: Age spots are the result of sun exposure. Though sun-worshippers may get them earlier, they most commonly show up in the 50+ crowd, who’ve accumulated more sun exposure than their younger counterparts. Short of wearing gloves 24/7, you should be smoothing on a dime-sized dab of hand cream with SPF 30 before heading out the door each day—and reapplying after you wash your hands or every two hours if you’re exposed to even a little sunlight.
BBL therapy scores points because it can tackle a broad swath of flecks on fair skin, in three to five treatments, with little downtime. “It’s strictly for flat sunspots and works best on those that are smaller than a dime,” says Dr Kenneth Lee. After zapping, the spots darken and flake off over the course of several days, revealing unsullied skin beneath.
For larger, more concentrated splotches, pigment-seeking Picosecond ND:YAG laser, can safely treat a range of skin types, minimizing or all-out erasing marks in a single appointment. Results can be seen after a series of sessions and this laser can help tackle deeper and more stubborn spots such as age spots.
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If the backs of your hands are starting to get a crumpled look reminiscent of gift bag stuffing, use a prescription retinoid cream to improve texture and jumpstart the growth of thickening collagen, which are pricey, but more effective than OTC retinols.
For widespread crepiness, there’s the Fraxel DUAL, a resurfacing laser that creates microscopic wounds, instigating a repair process for stronger, smoother, more even-toned skin. The Dual has also been shown to eradicate precancerous lesions, “preventing their progression into full-blown squamous cell carcinomas,” notes Dr Kenneth Lee. Expect about a week of downtime, during which skin looks sunburned, then bronzed and crumbly.
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How veins look more prominent with age is because of the loss of collagen of the skin of the hands. As we age, we lose fat and collagen in our hands, and this thinning out of the skin leads to the veins becoming more obvious. This is a real issue with people who are slim. The bad news: The only way to get rid of veins for good is to invest in vein removal, which is exactly what it sounds like: the removal of the veins right at the surface of your skin (the deeper network of veins will do the work of taking blood to and from your hands). The good news is that there are dermal fillers that can work to plump up the skin of your hands. This will help give your hands a more youthful and full appearance, camouflaging these unsightly veins.
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The skin of our hands dry out much faster than the skin of our face. Daily washing with harsh detergents will do the skin no favours as well. Nothing about dry, scaly skin says “young and healthy.” Return them to smooth-and-plump status overnight with this quick pre-bed routine: First, slough off rough, dead skin with a gentle scrub and then create an all-night moisture mask by smoothing on a glycerin and plant oil-containing hand and covering hands with plastic wrap and putting cotton gloves on top (skip the plastic and you’ll just end up with really well moisturized gloves).