Cleanser, exfoliant, serum, moisturizer with sunscreen, wrinkle cream… You’ve mastered your anti-aging routine for the face. But if you fail to devote equal care and attention to your hands, they will definitely divulge your age.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to turn back the hands of time on your aging hands and nails. Following are six simple ways to make them appear more youthful—without having to undergo any invasive and/or expensive dermatological procedures.
1. Use protection
Age spots, also known as sun spots, are caused by excess sun exposure rather than advanced age. But they still make hands and nails look “seasoned.” To prevent these bothersome blotches—or stop them in their tracks—apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to your hands and wrists every time you head outside. You can also ward off sun spots by wearing thin gloves while driving. To reduce the appearance of existing age spots, try an over-the-counter fade cream, such as Derma E Skin Lighten Crème.
Dry skin can also make hands and nails appear older than their years. To keep yours from becoming parched, wear protective gloves while gardening, washing dishes and handling household chemicals.
2. Exfoliate and moisturize
As we just mentioned, dry, scaly hands can age you. To restore yours to their former glory, exfoliate them with a gentle scrub followed by an emollient moisturizer, such as Derma E Age-Defying Antioxidant Hand Crème. Cover your hydrated hands with plastic wrap and cotton gloves and allow the moisture to sink into your skin overnight. For especially dry, cracked skin, try a more intense ointment, like Mountaineer’s Granny Vicars' Hand Salve Mending Ointment.
3. Apply a retinoid cream
If the skin on your hands looks crumpled and crepey (a tell-tale sign of aging!), apply an over-the-counter retinoid cream to improve its texture and promote collagen growth.
4. Combat nail discoloration
Many factors can cause fingernails to become yellow or brown in color, including fungal infection, certain medications and habitually wearing dark polish. Contact your doctor if your nails have turned an unflattering shade and you suspect a fungal infection (characterized by long-term discoloration and/or pain). He or she may recommend an over-the-counter treatment such as Forces Of Nature Nail Fungus Control.
If you do not have an infection, simply run a lemon wedge over your nails or soak them in denture cleaner for approximately 20 minutes to remove stains and brighten their appearance.
5. Strengthen nails
Brittle nails can make your hands appear less than youthful. Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is an important nutrient that helps improve the strength of hair and nails. Take it daily to reduce nail fragility.
Another way to prevent your nails from becoming flimsy? Wear protective gloves when washing dishes (excess water exposure can weaken the nails) and handling household cleaners.
6. Get a modern manicure
Nail shapes and shades are always evolving. Keeping up with current trends is a wonderful way to help ensure your hands appear young and healthy. Look at fashion magazines for inspiration, or ask a (younger) family member or manicurist what’s currently in style and go for it! Just remember, when in doubt, stick to classic shades, like nude, pink and red.