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While you're busy perfecting your a.m.-p.m. skin-care regimen, you're likely neglecting a very important part of the anti-aging equation.
As celeb dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer puts it, "from the dinner table up, skin has to match." Ageless celebs like Kate Hudson, Amy Adams and Angelina Jolie know that putting as much effort into hands as you do into your face is an essential aspect of looking vibrant and healthy. Since hands start aging between the ages of 20 and 25, you might want to give your digits a little TLC sooner rather than later.
"Hands require a lot of maintenance because the skin on your hands is thin to begin with, has lower blood flow than the face and are gravitationally dependent," warned Dr. Lancer. The fragility of hands coupled with the fact that you're constantly using them for everyday tasks means it's high time to start paying attention to the oft-neglected body part.
Sure, you may not be able to afford skin re-texturizing laser treatments and skin-plumping Juvederm injections like Dr. Lancer's celeb clientele, but the following everyday steps are ammunition enough to create a long-term difference in the years to come.
Notice the Signs of Aging: According to Dr. Lancer, the first sign of hand aging is a change in color. "Vibrant red and pink tones begin to fade to a more sallow, yellow color," clarified Dr. Lancer. "Next you will notice a decrease in temperature, an increase in dryness and the appearance of thin, crepe-like cigarette lines, especially around the knuckles," he elaborated. Lastly, as you age you will notice a reduction in plumpness, making hands look frail and skeletal.
Get in the Habit of Daily Hand Care: If you're in the under 30 range, maximize your preventative efforts by investing in quality products. For daily care, Dr. Lancer recommended a simple, three-step routine consisting of polish, cleanse and nourishing products. Scrub hands in the shower to remove dead skin and increase oxygen flow. Follow up with a glycolic acid-based wash that helps smooth the skin and moisturize with a vitamin-packed lotion that brings the skin back to life.
Know Your Ingredients: According to Dr. Lancer, the most beneficial vitamins to look for in your products include some form of retinol (vitamin A), which helps reprogram skin cell mechanisms, vitamin B (an anti-inflammatory), vitamin C (helps skin retain elasticity) and vitamin E (an antioxidant that helps vitamin A work better).
Don't Expect Miracles from the Cheap Stuff: So then you ask, are those cheap drugstore moisturizers really doing the trick? Even though hands feel super-soft after you slather them in thick drugstore creams, don't be fooled. "Putting on simple, inexpensive moisturizer is nothing but a masquerade," confirmed Dr Lancer. It's not that grease and lubricants like Vaseline won't alleviate dry, itching skin, but "ingredients like dimethicone and silicone found in cheap products seal the skin and create a velvety-smooth feel, but they're not doing anything therapeutic," explained Dr. Lancer.
Quick Fixes are Just Temporary Solutions: In addition to cheap products, "there are plenty of aesthetician quick-fix rehab treatments," like paraffin wax services that have a short-term, revitalizing effect. In reality though, all of those "quick fixes are like using a patch to fix a leaky tire," explained Dr. Lancer.