From Day 1, our hands begin to age faster than any other part of our body. It’s little wonder. While we protect of our body with clothing and tend to pay an inordinate amount of time to the care of our facial skin, our hands are often left exposed and ignored. External factors like immersion in water, exposure to detergents, physical injury, UV rays and extreme temperatures, all play a role in how our fast our hands age. But internal factors can play an even more significant role than external factors when it comes to ageing hands.
Skin must be supple and flexible to accommodate the constant movement of muscles and tendons beneath the surface. As we age, the amount of collagen and elastin found in skin naturally diminishes. For the skin on our hands, that is really bad news.
Our hands start off with a disadvantage. The skin on the back of the hand is much thinner than most skin on our body. As a result, signs of ageing not only show up earlier on our hands but are much more pronounced. As fat loss occurs, the hands are no longer taut and smooth, and the skin looks crepey and wrinkled. Tendons, bones and veins, previously cushioned and hidden, begin to protrude. Spots from the sun form and intensify on hands that have received too much sun exposure.
There is no going back to the hands of our youth, but there are ways we can improve the appearance of our hands and minimize future damage.
Give Ageing Hands a Hand.
Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.
Dry skin emphasizes the signs of ageing and prevents the skin from healing. Skin should be moisturized constantly; particularly after washing and upon exposure to the elements. Ensure that the product that you choose has moisturizing ingredients like: glycerin, shea butter, hyaluronic acid or ceramides. It should also be free of artificial fragrance.
Remember to moisturize on the inside too. Drink plenty of water. Our skin thrives on it!
2. Apply Sunscreen Year-Round.
Sun exposure exacerbates the breakdown of collagen and elastin and thins the skin on the hands prematurely. Hands are often the most exposed area of the body and often the most neglected when it comes to sun protection. Choose a sunblock with a high SPF. Ensure that it is water resistant and re-apply frequently. Pay special attention to the back of the hands. The palms are seldom exposed, and sunblock is easily worn and washed off the palms anyway. To avoid the greasy feel of sunblock while applying, put a dime size quantity on the back of one hand and rub it on with the back of the other. The necessary area will be covered, and no sunblock is wasted where it isn’t wanted, or needed.
Gloves will not only protect your hands from the elements but could potentially prevent damage them injury. Keep a pair handy for outside work or play, and for driving. UVA rays can penetrate glass.
Apply an occlusive agent like petroleum jelly underneath a pair of gloves. Wear them to bed. Your hands will be much more soft and supple. Repeat as often as necessary for very dry hands.
Hands that are dry and rough can benefit from a light exfoliation. Simply rub on a light layer of exfoliant and remove with a warm damp cloth. Always apply moisturizer immediately after. Skin will benefit from the boost of product ingredients being more readily absorbed.
Don’t forget your hands when you are treating your face. Masks, like ‘Elite Med’s OXYGEL mask for hands’ contains ingredients that encourage the formation of collagen and even-out skin tone.
Your hands don’t have add years to your age! Remember what they have done for you and show a little appreciation. It will be pay off now and down the road.
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