The beauty world is no stranger to anti-aging rhetoric: with everything from retinol serums to professional treatments, there’s a huge selection of products and services that can help reverse and prevent some of the negative signs of aging. But there’s one commonly overlooked area of our bodies that you might be neglecting: your hands.
With everything they’re responsible for, it should come as no surprise that our hands can be quick to show signs of wear and tear — after a while, you might notice things like excessively dry hands, wrinkling, brittle nails or age spots. But while your face and neck most likely have a custom care routine, what should you do to prevent and treat wrinkles on your hands? Let’s start by discussing the main causes.
What causes wrinkly hands?
In short, wrinkles develop as a result of collagen loss. Collagen makes up 70-80% of your skin: as it's the most plentiful protein, collagen benefits for skin include keeping your skin firm and plump, as well as warding off fine lines and wrinkles. But as you age, this depleting source of collagen means that fine lines and wrinkles slowly become more apparent. And since UV rays can increase the rate that collagen is broken down in your body, this is bad news for your hands, which are most likely almost always exposed to the sun when you’re outdoors.
Tips to prevent wrinkly hands
Aging may be inevitable, but the negative signs of it don’t have to be. Since it’s always easier to prevent a problem than try to solve it, here are three easy ways you can help slow the signs of fine lines and wrinkly hands.
1. Wear sunscreen
A daily broad spectrum SPF isn’t just necessary for your face, it’s also essential to protect your hands as well. As mentioned before, the exposure to UV rays speeds up the breakdown of collagen in your skin, leaving you with more fine lines and wrinkles. Try applying an SPF between 30 and 50 to your hands every day, and reapply as necessary after washing them or any time they get dirty.
2. Wear gloves
Your hands can suffer damage beyond the sun: activities like gardening, cleaning with chemicals, or even exposure to city pollutants all work to speed up the signs of aging on your delicate skin. Try to wear rubber gloves while cleaning or gardening, and invest in a chic pair of everyday gloves to wear when you’re out and about to protect your hands.
3. Avoid smoking
While there are a myriad of reasons you shouldn’t smoke, one of the most instantly noticeable negative effects is that it can cause premature fine lines and wrinkles all over your body: the chemicals in smoke cause damage to the collagen in your skin, causing wrinkles, sagginess and crepey-looking skin, and this can extend to your hands as well.
Tips to treat wrinkly hands
If you’re already seeing signs of age on your hands, don’t worry! Here are our five top tips to help reverse fine lines and wrinkles in your hands, leaving you with more supple, younger-looking skin.
Many times the build up of dry, dead skin cells can leave us with dull, unhealthy looking skin. Treat your hands to an exfoliating cleanser a few times a week — this will help remove dead skin cells, leaving you with a smooth canvas to better absorb any moisturizing skin care products you apply. Be sure to read our blog post on how to exfoliate to get the most out of your entire daily skincare routine.
Nothing makes wrinkles and fine lines more apparent than dull, dry skin. Make sure your hands are getting the nourishment they need by keeping them moisturized and happy: invest in a rich hand balm lotion to carry with you and apply all day as needed. And if you’re noticing that your hands are constantly dry, try applying a few drops of a hydrating face oil to work moisture deeper into the skin.
Many of the same anti-aging skincare products that you use on your face and neck can also be used to treat wrinkly hands. A natural retinol serum is a great product to help treat and reverse the signs of aging: this targeted serum helps to directly target and treat fine lines and wrinkles. Apply it to your hands during your nighttime skincare routine, and wake up to younger-looking skin.
4. Spa treatments
One of my favorite ways to upgrade my usual manicure is to indulge in a wax treatment for my hands. Paraffin wax is a natural emollient, meaning it helps to lock moisture and hydration into your skin, leaving you with softer, younger-looking skin. And if you don’t want to splurge on too many manicures, consider investing in an at-home paraffin wax kit to treat yourself whenever your hands (and feet) look like they need it.
5. Professional treatments
If you have deep-set wrinkles on your hands, you might want to opt for a professional treatment from your dermatologist. The first option is fat transfers: using fat from other parts of your body, a doctor will inject it into your hands as a filler to help plump up and mask any fine lines or wrinkles. Or you could try a laser treatment or chemical peel to boost collagen production at the cellular level, which also helps to reverse the signs of aging.
As is the case with almost every beauty and self-care routine, sometimes the best treatment is a multi-targeted approach. Help prevent wrinkly hands by wearing sunscreen and protective layers when you’re outdoors, and consider anti-aging skincare products and daily moisturizing to target any existing issues. And if you have any other tips or tricks that have worked for you, be sure to let us know in the comments!