Hands, often ignored in beauty regimens, exact their revenge as we get older. Wrinkles, age spots, and veins reveal the truth every time we show our hands.
Here’s how to have younger-looking hands.
• Some new hand treatments offer two-part therapy: An exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and a moisturizer to soften. We tried StriVectin’s Two-Step Revitalizing System for the Hands ($55 at strivectin.com), which includes a “self-heating” exfoliant and a concentrated cream, as well as Crabtree & Evelyn’s La Source 60-Second Fix ($25 at crabtree-evelyn.com), and an under-$5 homemade grapefruit scrub. We didn’t find the pricier treatments more effective, but we do recommend periodically exfoliating hands with some sort of scrub—it gives hands a short-term lift.
• Keeping hands hydrated goes a long way in keeping them young. Try to wear rubber gloves when hands are working in a lot of water and warm gloves outside in winter. We’re also fans of Bliss Glamour Gloves ($48 at blissworld.com), which “force-feed” moisture into dry hands. Twenty minutes later, our hands emerged baby soft.
• Dry cuticles? We’ve tried many cuticle oils and creams, but for an inexpensive, effective fix, rub Vaseline into cuticles before bed.
• If you’re using a prescription retinol product on your face, you can dab some on your hands too. Retinol may be too drying to use more than every few days. A nonprescription alternative: a hand cream that contains vitamin C.
• Hand creams with bleaching or lightening agents, such as Lancôme’s Absolue Hand ($42; lancome-usa.com), can fade age spots. Treatment is slow: It can take two months to a year for spots to disappear. You can help prevent future damage and spots if you use sunscreen on your hands.
• Cryosurgery, freezing skin with liquid nitrogen, can remove large spots and growths on the hands.
• Dermatologist Tina Alster uses a Plasma Skin Regeneration laser to remove wrinkles and brown spots on hands. PSR lasers also heat tissue below the skin surface to stimulate collagen production. (For more on plasma lasers, see page 92.)
• Hands, like faces, lose volume with age. Some physicians inject fat into the backs of hands to restore youthful contour and hide prominent veins. But beauty may have a price. Plastic surgeon Barry Cohen says such injections might impede a hand’s movement.