The 7-Step Anti-Aging Hand-Care Routine You Need to Try
The hands are one of the first areas of the body to show signs of aging, yet it's all too easy to overlook them when applying skin care. If you’ve been upping your hand washing and sanitizing game as a result of COVID-19, though, your hands may be begging for some serious TLC. In addition to dryness and irritation, you may be experiencing creping skin or dark spots. Follow our seven-step guide below to learn how to give dry, aging hands the care they deserve.
STEP 1: Exfoliate One to Two Times a Week
Just like the skin on your face and body, the skin on your hands can benefit from a weekly or twice-weekly exfoliation. Exfoliation can help slough off dead surface skin cell buildup — which can appear more prominently on your hands — and make it easier for your skin to soak up hydrating hand-care products like serums, oils and, of course, hand cream. We recommend applying a scoop of the Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub to the tops of your hands and massaging it into dry skin. Then, rinse and follow up with a nourishing hand cream.
STEP 2: Use a Serum
At night, when you’re applying your anti-aging skin-care products to your face, try massaging some of those serums into the tops of your hands, too. This can not only salvage some of that excess product you may have accidentally squirted into your hands, but it can also help ensure that the skin on your hands is receiving a boost of nourishing skin benefits. Our favorite serums to massage into our hands? Anything formulated with antioxidants like the L’Oréal Paris Derm Intensives 10% Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is one of our favorite skin-care ingredients as it can help protect the surface of skin from free radical damage, while also working to brighten skin tone.
STEP 3: Correct
In addition to applying serum to the tops of your hands, you may want to consider using your dark spot-correcting serums here, too. Most dermatologists would agree that retinol is one of the best anti-aging ingredients in skin care. An active form of vitamin A, retinol works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as working to even out your skin tone. You can incorporate retinol into both your skin-care routine for your face and your hands. If you’ve never used retinol on your skin — including your hands — before, start with a lower concentration and frequency and slowly work your way up to help prevent irritation. Try beginning with SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 and eventually transitioning to higher concentrations such as SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 and Retinol 1.0. Apply retinol at night and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen during daytime hours because retinol can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
STEP 4: Nourish Your Cuticles
Show your cuticles some love with a cuticle oil like the Olive And June Cuticle Serum. You can also use an oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil or argan oil to give your cuticles a similar hydrating effect. Simply apply the oil to the tops of your cuticles and nail beds and gently massage it in.
STEP 5: Apply Hand Cream on the Regular
When it comes to youthful-looking skin, hydration is key. Keep the skin on your hands looking and feeling well-moisturized with a creamy hand cream or lotion. Unlike body lotions, hand creams are often thicker in texture and can work to target some of the rougher areas of skin. Keep a bottle of the anti-aging Lancôme Hand Absolue or the new La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream for Dry Hands & Damaged Hands near your sink and apply after washing your hands.
STEP 6: Deep Condition
When moisturizer isn’t enough, we like to take things one step further and treat our hands to some deep conditioning R&R. Once a week, massage a skin-care oil — such as tamanu oil or argan oil — onto freshly exfoliated and cleansed hands. Wrap them in plastic wrap and cover them with a pair of mittens or fuzzy socks to keep everything in place. Leave the wraps on for about an hour — or overnight, if you’d like — before removing for soft, smooth, supple-looking hands. If you prefer a hand mask, try the Dr. Jart+ Dermask Hand Hydrating Mask.
STEP 7: Protect With Sunscreen
You should always — we repeat: always — apply broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher to your hands in the morning and throughout the day as needed (i.e. after you rinse your hands). Broad-spectrum SPF can help protect the skin from experiencing the wrath of the sun’s damaging UV rays like sunburns, sun spots, premature signs of skin aging and even some cancers. We like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk for hands.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn