A 7-Step Anti-Aging Hand Care Routine For Youthful-Looking Hands
Think your anti-aging skin care routine should stop at your face, neck, and chest? Think again. Your hands are one of the first places you may notice the signs of skin aging, so you’ll want to focus your anti-aging efforts on your hardworking mitts as well. From exfoliation to moisturizing on the regular, we share a 7-step anti-aging hand care routine for youthful-looking hands, ahead.
For the most part, your hands may look like they’re in the clear now, but without proper care—read: an anti-aging hand care routine—they could be one of the first areas your body that shows premature signs of skin aging. Just like the skin on your face, neck, and chest, the skin on your hands can develop wrinkles, dark spots, loss of volume, and even dullness over time… and, needless to say, you want to avoid that problem for as long as possible. If creating a skin care routine that focuses on your hands sounds a bit daunting to you, don’t worry, we’ve got you—and your paws—covered. Keep reading to find out what steps you should take for youthful-looking hands.
STEP ONE: EXFOLIATE 1-2 TIMES A WEEK
Just like the skin on your face and body, the skin on your hands can benefit big from a weekly or bi-weekly exfoliation. Exfoliation can help slough off dead 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 body scrub to the tops of your hands and massaging it into dry skin—using similar motions as you would when washing your hands. Then, rinse and follow up with a nourishing hand cream. If you’re unsure of how exfoliating your body can help the appearance of your skin, check out our list of body exfoliation benefits here.
Need a rec for the perfect scrub to use on your hands? Try Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub. This rich body scrub is formulated with gentle apricot seed particles that can help slough away dead skin cells, while aloe vera and chamomile help soothe and nourish the skin. Your hands will be perfectly primed for your moisturizer.
Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub, $36 MSRP
STEP TWO: USE A SERUM
At night, when you are applying your anti-aging skin care products to your complexion, try massaging some of those anti-aging 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 are receiving a boost of nourishing skin benefits, too. Our favorite serums to massage into our hands? Anything formulated with antioxidants like vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of our favorite skin care ingredients as it can help protect the surface of your skin from free radical damage, while also working to brighten your skin tone. Interested in learning more about the benefits of vitamin C for your skin? We’ve layed out everything you need to know about topical vitamin C, here!
Did you know that a powerful and affordable vitamin C serum is stocked on the shelves of your local drugstore? The Vichy LiftActiv Brightening Skin Vitamin C Corrector can is formulated with vitamin E, pine polyphenols, and hydration powerhouse hyaluronic acid, and can help brighten the appearance of skin while also working to even skin tone. As an added bonus, it is paraben-, fragrance-, and silicone-free.
Vichy LiftActiv Brightening Skin Vitamin C Corrector, $28.50 MSRP
STEP THREE: CORRECT
In addition to applying serum to the tops of your hands, you may want to consider using your dark spot correcting serums on your hands, too. Our hands are one of the first places that show age, so it can be likely that a few have crept up on you throughout the years. Just like you would apply a spot treatment to the dark spots on your complexion, use a spot treatment to the dark spots on the tops of your hands, 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 as well as 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. We recommend 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, especially since retinol can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
STEP FOUR: NOURISH YOUR CUTICLES
Show your cuticles some love with a cuticle oil. Don’t have cuticle oil on hand? No problem. You can use a skin care oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, and so on 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 FIVE: 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 that the hands may be experiencing. Keep a bottle of hand cream near your sink and apply after washing your hands…and while you’re at it, throw a travel-sized bottle in your handbag and desk drawer to ensure that you are never without moisture.
When hunting for a moisturizer to care for dry, active hands—Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is unmatched. Formulated for even the driest of hands, it boasts all-day care and protection to hands. This unique formula allows skin to actually absorb water from the air, creating a “glow-like” barrier to protect your skin from moisture loss.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $16 MSRP
STEP SIX: 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 for fuzzy socks to keep everything in place. Leave them on for about an hour—or overnight, if you’d like—before removing and revealing soft, smooth, supple-looking hands.
Don’t know which oil to begin with? We recommend Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate formulated with tamanu and sunflower oils. This concentrate helps protect the skin against daily aggressors—a crucial factor to defend your skin against aging. The formula—with tamanu oil, sunflower oil, and ginger root—can help revitalize the surface of your skin. To leave your hands remaining youthful, apply this serum every day.
Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, $73 MSRP
STEP SEVEN: PROTECT WITH SUNSCREEN
Last, but certainly not least, 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 cancer. So, apply, and reapply, and then apply some more.
We love the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60. You can use this fast-absorbing sunscreen on either your face or your body. It has a creamy, velvety texture ideal for nourishing dry hands. The broad-spectrum protection will help combat damage from harmful UV rays. Even during the colder months where it seems like sunscreen would be the last thing we need, it is actually vital to the well-being of your skin. The Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk is perfect for year-round, all-day protection. It is also suitable for all skin types—including sensitive.
Want more hand care tips? We tapped an actual hand model to get her to spill her secrets and share all the details here!