The aging process changes the body in many ways. Tight skin starts to sag, weight gain seems to happen overnight, and muscles don’t work as they used to. The hands are particularly affected by age–they form wrinkles and spots, and age-related arthritis can strike as early as the 50s. Here’s how to take care of your hands as you age if you’d like to keep them looking – and feeling – young.
Moisturizing is one of the best things you can do for your hands. Creams and lotions help hydrate your skin and restore that fresh, youthful look. Go to your local health food store or pharmacy, choose a lotion that looks good to you, and start moisturizing. You have thousands of products to choose from, each with its own unique set of ingredients. A good pick would be something with hyaluronic acid, olive oil, or shea butter for moisture and retinoids, vitamin C and/or E for their antioxidant and anti-aging properties… and there should be sunscreen in it too!
Protect your hands
Moisturizer may help heal your hands, but it’s important to protect them as well. If you constantly work with your hands, as in yard work or house projects, make sure to wear gloves. In addition, don’t forget about sunscreen. If you spend a lot of time outside, know that the sun’s rays can speed up aging on your hands just as much as your face and neck. Grab a bottle of sunscreen and use it on exposed areas of your body, especially the backs of the hands.
If your skin is constantly dry, you may need to exfoliate. This simply means getting rid of dead skin cells wherever they may be–including on your hands. You can pick up a store-bought exfoliator, or you can make one yourself.
Yes, if you have a few common household items, you can repair your skin without shelling out 50 bucks on a bottle of exfoliator. All you need is sugar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mix these ingredients in a bowl. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is best, since the pulp helps create a sort of gel. After stirring the mixture, massage it into your hands. When you’re done, wash your hands and admire their new youthful look. When washing, a washcloth or loofah sponge are also great exfoliators.
Have you ever noticed how smokers seem to age faster than non-smokers? This isn’t just your mind playing tricks on you. Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that restrict the skin’s ability to use oxygen. If you want your hands to look their best, don’t smoke, or quit if you’re already a smoker.
If you’ve tried all of the above methods to rejuvenate your hands and you’re still not happy, you could consider getting dermal fillers. These are injected under the skin of the hands to restore fullness and create a youthful texture. The downside of fillers is that they only last 6 months to a year and are pricey — $700 to $1400 per treatment. Dermal fillers are effective and considered safe. If you’d like to give them a try, contact a dermatologist.
Don’t wait til your hands show signs of aging to start taking care of them. Treat your hands well at any age for the best results in the future.