As we enter our second year of the COVID pandemic and hand washing and sterilization has become a necessary norm in our daily interactions it is important to give our hands some much needed TLC.
If we consider all the work our hands do for us on a daily basis, it is no wonder that they age faster than the rest of our bodies.
With ageing the skin on the hands becomes much thinner as the fat layer is reduced. This leads to a reduction in volume and elasticity of the skin resulting in wrinkles and translucency.
This also increases the appearance of tendons and veins.
Hands are also exposed more than any other part of our body to the environment and therefore exposed much more to free radical damage from the environment and pollution, speeding up the ageing process.
With most of us already having well established good skin care routines for the face we all tend to neglect hand care, adding to the ageing of these extremities.
Six Daily Tips
Hand Washing and Hygiene
Do not use hot water when washing your hands. You will notice that this removes the natural moisture barrier on the skin and this could result in further dehydration and speed up the ageing process.
This in conjunction with the use of an over 70% alcohol based sanitizer can prove to be even more drying and damaging to the skin.
Be on the lookout for a PH balanced hand wash to prevent the hands from drying out while washing and to avoid any irritations.
Exfoliate your hands 2-3 times a week with a good exfoliator to assist with removing dead skin and to improve your skin tone. Exfoliation will also assist with getting the newer skin cells to the surface so the skin will appear younger and plumper.
Keeping your hands well moisturized is key to keeping them in good shape. You should moisturize your hands every time you sanitize them to prevent the outer layers of the skin losing natural oils. All this washing and sanitizing can also dry your cuticles and nails out so it is important to use a good quality cuticle cream into your nail plate and beds on a regular basis. This is best done after a shower when the cuticles and the nail plates are warm and can receive the additional moisture, you can then gently push them back at the same time.
Use a daily sunscreen on the hands (SPF 50) and reapply continually throughout the day. Where gloves for prolonged out door exposure and also when working with harsh detergents.
An evening application of a retinol cream on the back of the hands can assist greatly in the firming and plumping up of the epidermis and maintaining the skins condition. During the day use an antioxidant like pure Vitamin C to prevent and protect the skin from free radical damage.
In clinic it is always a good idea to have periodic treatments on the hands and arms that cause temporary wounding to the skin to maintain and keep them in good condition. Chemical peels, TCA peels, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing are all good treatments to consider.
However always remember to protect the skin afterwards with a good quality SPF. Preferably winter is a better time to do these treatments in order to prevent additional heat buildup and sun exposure on the epidermis.
If your hands have lost their plumpness one could also consider visiting an aesthetic doctor for filler treatments to assist in returning the hands to their youthful plumpness.
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