We are all destined to age and seeing that our hands do all the heavy lifting, they are usually the first part of the body to show the signs of visible aging. And let’s face it, all the sanitizing isn’t doing us any favors at the moment either.
Most of us invest in expensive products to keep those crow lines and forehead creases at bay, however, we seem to neglect our hands. By putting the same effort into the skin on our hands as we do with our faces, we don’t have to walk around with hands that look and feel like potato sacks! Here are a few tips you can try at home to get smoother, youthful-looking hands.
Get A Pair Of Gloves
Doing household chores like scrubbing or washing the dishes can take its toll on your hands. The hot water and detergents are extremely abrasive and can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving them dry and cracked. The chemicals in most detergents can also cause existing skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis to flare up. If you haven’t already invested in a durable pair of rubber, latex, or cotton-lined gloves, now’s the time to do it. The gloves will help keep your hands dry and protect them against hot water and chemicals. And if you are lucky enough to own a dishwasher, we suggest putting it to good use instead.
When dead skin cells start to build up on the surface, it can make your hands look dry, dull, and a little worse for wear. Using a gentle exfoliator will help polish the knuckles, cuticles, and palms, leaving them looking and feeling like silk. If you are in a pinch, you can make your very own exfoliating hand rub in seconds.
You will need:
- A teaspoon of brown sugar
- A tablespoon of coconut oil, or olive oil, or practically any hydrating skin oil you have around the house.
Mix the sugar and oil together and gently massage into your hands, between the fingers, and over the knuckles. Once you are done, rinse it off with water and voila! You have smooth skin to show off!
Treat Your Nails
Your nails are also prone to aging because they are also a part of the skin. Nails are made from a hardened protein bond known as keratin, which gets weaker with age. Taking a high-quality Biotin supplement can help strengthen the nails and prevent them from looking dry and brittle.
In addition to weak nails, in some cases, the nails may turn yellow, which can be due to aging. However, it is important to rule out any infection or underlying disorders. If one or more nails have turned white or yellow-brown, or have thickened and distorted in shape, you may have a nail fungus. If this is the case, using an antifungal nail fungus remedy like Fungix™ will help combat the fungus, condition the cuticle, and restore the natural structure of the nail.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Thanks to all the hand washing and sanitizing the moisture in the skin of our hands gets stripped away much faster than any other part of the body, which is why they certainly deserve a little more TLC. Using hydrating hand lotion that contains hydrating ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter, and olive oil will help plump up the skin and ensure that moisture gets locked in and stays put! In addition to these beneficial ingredients, you also want to look for a lotion that contains retinol to help boost collagen and reduce wrinkles caused by aging. Cream also absorbs better when the skin is slightly damp so be sure to keep some lotion nearby when washing your hands or after a shower.
Use SPF On Your Hands Too
Liver spots, or also known as age spots are large brown or black blotches that appear on the hands, chest, or face. Liver spots are usually a telltale sign of aging, however, they are not always directly linked to aging skin. In fact, they are primarily caused by frequent exposure to the sun’s harmful rays or tanning beds.
Dermatologists can help minimize the appearance of liver spots using laser therapies or hydroquinone, which acts as a bleach against the darker pigments. However, prevention is always the best cure, which is why it is wise to start applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or more to the parts of your body that require the most protection, like your hands.
Choose The Right Shades
Nail polish can completely transform the way your hands look, however, picking the right shade can make your hands look much younger. Certain darker colors and nail art are all the rage right now, but depending on your skin tone, it could make your hands look more aged.
Opting for a bright color will help draw the attention away from wrinkles, visible veins, and liver spots, however, it is best to wear these shades without any glitter. Square nails or super long acrylics could also make your hands look more mature, so keep this in mind next time you visit the salon. Short, shaped nails with a pop of orange-based reds or a nude that suits your skin’s undertones is a classy, yet stylish option that will give the illusion of younger-looking hands.
When removing the nail polish be sure to opt for a non-acetone polish remover to prevent the nails from drying out and becoming brittle.
Use An Unscented Hand Soap
If you have dry, cracked hands, your hand soap may be the culprit. Despite the labels and adverts, which claim to moisturize and nourish your hands while washing, the truth is, many of the ingredients found in soaps are not ideal for the skin. For example, fragrances. Many hand soaps have a wonderful smell, but since there are no regulations about disclosing the actual chemicals/ingredients that make up a fragrance, you don’t really know what you are using on your body. Both chemical and natural fragrances strip the skin of its natural oils when absorbed and can make their way to the bloodstream. Depending on your body, these fragrances can lead to allergies, neurotoxicity, or endocrine disruption. Fragrances are also notorious for containing phthalates, which are associated with many disorders including hormone disruption and low sperm count.
When opting for a hand soap look for a brand that does not contain fragrance or other harmful ingredients such as parabens, Methylisothiazolinone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, or Triclosan.
Keeping Your Hands Healthy
In addition to these helpful tips above, it is also important to be aware of the things you put in your body. Proper diet and nutrition go a long way in keeping the skin, mind, and body looking young and feeling healthy.
If the skin on your hands is still thick, dry, or has brown spots that don’t fade despite eating a healthy diet and moisturizing, you may want to consult with your dermatologist. A medical professional may also be able to help rule out any underlying disorders by evaluating your symptoms and prescribing medicated creams to help recondition your hands back to their former glory.