You use your hands to apply your arsenal of anti-aging serums and creams to your under-eye areas, face, and neck every day and night, but do you use any of them on your hands? If you answered no, you might want to reconsider. Here's why: your hands can show signs of aging, too-in the form of wrinkles, age spots and crepiness-and maybe even faster than all of those aforementioned facial areas.
What's more: your hands are what might give away your real age. In a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers found that when people looked at pictures of women's hands, they were more likely to be able to correctly estimate their age. And not surprisingly, wrinkles, thin skin and spots were the biggest clues behind the ages of the so-called old hands versus the younger-looking ones.
In this article, we discuss why your oft-neglected hands age so quickly and what steps you can take to make your hands look younger.
The reason hands age so fast
Think about it: We use our hands for just about everything. They frequently come into contact with a lot of aggressors: water, soap, harsh cleaning solutions, etc., all of which can wear down the skin's lipid barrier- the outermost, protective layer.
When that happens, your skin is left with microscopic cracks that allow water to escape, leaving your hands looking and feeling dry and dull. It's also more vulnerable to irritants and allergens.
Plus, unless you're wearing gloves year round, your hands are constantly exposed to the elements. The biggest offender is, of course, sun and its UV radiation. We know that UV light breaks down the skin's collagen and elastin. Over time, hand skin is thinner, more wrinkled, and saggy. Think about lightly pinching the hand skin of a toddler. It would quickly snap back into place. Now do the same to yours. Not quite the same effect, huh? Of course, some of this happens with the natural aging process, but studies have shown that UV rays play a key role in accelerating the process-up to 80 percent of skin aging comes from UV exposure and damage.
5 Tips for Younger-Looking Hands
Try these simple but surprising tricks to help make your hands look younger
1. Wear gloves when washing dishes
We know, a pair of rubber gloves scream "1950s housewife," but protecting your hands from a sink full of soapy water is an old-school trick worth doing.
Prolonged exposure to water, especially water mixed with harsh dish soap, can strip skin of its essential lipids and compromise hand skin's barrier, causing skin to dry out.
And dehydrated hands not only look dull, but also wrinkled. Giving them a waterproof shield can help you get those dishes done while sparing your skin from moisture loss. The most comfortable type is rubber lined with soft cotton. We also recommend using warm or cold water and avoiding very hot water as this will dehydrate or lead to drier skin.
2. Exfoliate away dull, discolored skin
If exfoliating is part of your regular facial routine, next time you do it, swipe some on the tops of your hands, too. Just like the skin on your face, hand skin gets lackluster and develops dark spots that can make it appear way older than it actually is.
A scrub or an acid-based exfoliant (think glycolic acid) can help whisk away or dissolve dead skin cells, uncovering brighter, fresher, and more importantly, younger-looking skin.
3. Use hand sanitizer sparingly
Sorry germaphobes: The slippery stuff may ward off germs, but it's extremely drying for your skin. That's because the main ingredient is typically alcohol, which not only strips skin's surface of germs, but also its essential lipid barrier, causing skin to dry out (that's why skin feels tight after an application). If you can't resist, especially during cold and flu season, use less. And keep it on your palms, not the tops of your hands. Then follow with a coating of hand cream to counteract moisture loss.
4. Skip the UV gel manicure
We know, gel manicures are so convenient. Who really has the time to wait for polish to dry? But experts say repeated exposure to a UV lamp, which is used to cure and harden gel lacquer, may cause skin damage (wrinkles and age spots) on par with unprotected sun exposure, and even increase your risk for skin cancer. Yikes! Plus, the nail polish remover used to take off the gel polish is super strong acetone, a chemical that's extremely harsh and drying. If you're not willing to forgo your gel mani, at least ask your manicurist to apply SPF 30 to your hands before you go under the lamp, and when removing, only soak your tips in the acetone, not your surrounding skin.
5. Upgrade Your Basic Hand Cream
Show your hard-working hands the same respect you show your face by treating them to quality, anti-aging skincare, only made for your mitts. A basic moisturizer might give you instant gratification, but a well-formulated treatment packed with ingredients specifically for hand skin will lock in moisture longer and address the things that make your hands appear old: spots, thin, crepey skin and, of course, wrinkles.
The ideal treatment for younger-looking hands contains intense (but non-greasy) moisturizers, barrier strengthening ingredients and skin-plumping agents.
Enter Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Hand Therapy. It's made with Shea Butter, which deeply moisturizes and plies hand skin with essential fatty acids (necessary for healthy skin), as well as vitamins A, E, and F. Plus, Shea butter can visibly improve the look of wrinkles and dark spots. Phospholipids help shore up tiny gaps along the skin's barrier, giving your hands a better layer of protection against moisture loss and environmental aggressors. And finally, glycine, an amino acid naturally produced in the body helps skin retain its moisture levels. As a result, thin, crepey skin appears plumper, firmer and smoother.
Perricone's Hands-On Approach to Aging
Cold Plasma Plus+ Hand Therapy is one of the latest products to join the Cold Plasma Plus+ family. The line started off with a single facial product that took years of research and development to get just right. But due to its popularity and the fact that it really does deliver measurable anti-aging results, Dr. Perricone used the same cutting-edge Cold Plasma technology to tackle trouble spots including hands, neck, and chest, and fragile body skin. Like other products in the Cold Plasma Plus+ collection, Hand Therapy is packed with proven ingredients that deliver results. Across the board, all Cold Plasma Plus+ products include Perricone MD's proprietary liquid crystal delivery system that helps the ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin where they can be most effective.
So, what about those measurable results we mentioned? When participants used Hand Therapy at least twice daily for eight weeks, 100 percent saw better skin hydration and barrier function, 92 percent had tighter skin, and 80 percent had an improvement in crepiness. Ready to try it first hand? (Pun intended.) Check it out here.