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My, what lovely hands you have…

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then are the hands the windows to…. your true age? It is often said that to figure out a woman’s true age one must look past the well-dressed face to the naked reality of the hands. Why is that? Well, for those of us who put the effort in, we use good products on our face, get treatments to keep our faces youthful, wear sunscreen and especially wear make up to hide whatever it is we feel the need to cover up. It is often a negligent act where the hands are concerned.

From a lack of sunscreen applied daily to constantly washing our hands and not moisturizing them enough, the hands tend to age more quickly than the rest of us. Our hands will start to feel the onset of aging with brown sunspots, also known as age spots, visible volume loss, vessels protruding and crepey or dry skin. While we know that most of the rules that we apply to our face can also be applied to our hands, we often just forget to do it. So, if we want to fool them with youthful, gorgeous hands, what do we do?

Let’s start with the basics. Every day when applying sunscreen to your face, don’t forget the hands as well, they are exposed to the sun almost as often as the face. If brown spots are already visible, there are a few options. If they are raised, then it may be a visit to the dermatologist to have liquid nitrogen applied to the spots. They may raise, may even blister a little and eventually flake off. If the spots are flat, then a trip to the medical esthetician is in order. Using BBL (broadband light) which is like a laser, we can remove the brown spots by heating up the pigment, causing it to lift, flake off, and leave a more neutral colour on the skin. Chemical peels will also help to achieve the same goal. It may take a few more treatments, but chemical peels will also help with the crepey skin, leaving the hands more hydrated looking.

When the hands start to lose volume, the easiest way, and the fastest way to achieve a fuller look is to add filler. Fillers (e.g. Juvederm, Restylane) usually are made of hyaluronic acid, a molecule that holds a thousand times its weight in water. The dermatologist will add the volume appropriately to each hand and within minutes the desired effects will be visible. The hands will lose that ropey, veiny look and appear more youthful instantly.

Utilizing good home care is beneficial as much for the hands as it is for the face. There are definitely not as many products to choose from when it comes to the proper grooming of the hands, but some medical grade products do actually help to achieve an anti-aging look. ZO Health carries two products that work especially well. One is applied nightly and contains retinol, an ingredients known as the gold standard in anti-aging topicals. The second product acts as an exfoliant and can be applied 1-2 times per week, like a treatment. These products in combination with a good moisturizer and great sunscreen will help to reverse aging skin or prevent the skin from aging as quickly in the first place.

Anti-aging is not reserved for the face. The neck, décolleté, and the hands carry as much weight in the deciding factor to determine age as our faces. Be sure to carry over your skin care from your face to all areas regularly exposed, and you will be fooling them for years to come!

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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