Are your hands aging you? Here’s how to keep them looking young
  • 03 Apr - 09 Apr, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

Whether gripping a steering wheel or scrubbing dishes, hands are the workhorses of the body. But while most women are on top of their game when it comes to taking care of their face, we often forget the body part that typically reveals our age first: our hands. Damaging UV rays, harsh soaps, and exposure to chemicals (when you clean your house or paint your nails) can make the skin on your hands age – fast! If you’re dealing with dry skin, sun spots, wrinkles, or damaged nails (and who isn’t?), it’s time to take action. Most of these problems can be solved at home and with products that you can buy at the drugstore, so you won’t have to spend a fortune on treatments. Below are five things that make your skin look older and their best at-home tricks.

Ragged cuticles

If you pick your cuticles when you’re nervous, trim them when doing a mani, or have never even thought about moisturising them, chances are you experience frequent hangnails.

What to do: It’s tempting to rip a hangnail off, but don’t. Instead, snip it with nail scissors. The results of ripping – a sore finger and an open wound that could end in a bacterial or fungal infection – aren’t worth it. If you don’t have scissors, coat the hangnail in Vaseline and cover it with a bandage until you do. Prevent hangnails by applying an oil like Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil or an ointment with petroleum jelly, nightly.

Fine lines

Hands are in constant use. With all that stretching comes a loss of firmness, which can result in wrinkling.

What to do: Switch to a hand cream with hyaluronic acid. It will temporarily increase skin volume from moisture, which fills in wrinkles. Try Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Hand Cream With Hyaluronic Acid.

Dry, cracked skin

Soap may make your hands squeaky-clean, but too much of it can compromise the proteins and lipids in the skin that prevent hands from dehydrating.

What to do: Skip antibacterial soaps, which have not been shown to work better than plain soap and water, and wash with a gentle cleanser that contains an occlusive like shea butter or petroleum jelly, lipid-replacing ceramides, or hyaluronic acid. Follow up with a moisturiser that has the same moisturising ingredients found in your hand cleanser, like CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream.

Brittle nails

Your nails become more prone to peeling and breaking as you age because your body produces less moisture.

What to do: Boost nail growth, since a fresher nail equals a stronger one. Experts also recommend taking three milligrams of biotin a day. It won’t increase the quality of the nail, but it will speed up growth. Besides keeping nails short to minimise damage, take a break from using drying polish removers. It’s important to keep the cuticle area moisturised so the nail matrix can continue to deliver blood and nutrients, resulting in a faster-growing nail that’s less brittle. One of our favourite solutions for brittle nails is Nail Tek II. Apply it twice a day – the proteins seal the brittle nail layers together.

Age spots

The skin on your hands is often exposed to UV rays. Spots happen.

What to do: To prevent future damage, smooth on a dime-size drop of lotion with SPF, or spritz hands with a quick-drying SPF spray, every day before heading outside. Treat existing spots with a lightening cream that has two per cent hydroquinone or natural brighteners like vitamin C. Try Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream.