Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Younger Looking Hands August 15, 2011

If you really want to tell someone’s age don’t look at their face – look at their hands.  So often people forget to care for their hands and simply concentrate all their anti-aging efforts on their faces.

Over a year ago I wrote a blog post called Give Your Hands Some TLC, but I thought I would revisit the subject of caring for your hands with a few new tips and product recommendations.

Just as there is a solution for every skin issue that you have with your facial skin there is also a solution for the skin issues on your hands as well.  First off, you can use the anti-aging products you use on your face on your hands too.  Retinols, either prescription or OTC, will help smooth your hands and stimulate collagen production so that your hands will eventually look younger.

If you spend a lot of time outside either working, playing sports, or driving consider wearing gloves.  During the summer you can wear fingerless gloves like these gloves from Coolibar.

If your hands have lost a lot of their volume consider injections like Radiesse or Restylane to restore volume and help build collagen.  This procedure can also help hide prominent veins.  Or consider laser treatments which can get rid of sun damage, age spots, crepiness, and help build collagen as well.  Just as you can have a chemical peel performed on your face in order to treat hyperpigmentation and fine lines the same thing can be done on your hands.  As always with chemical peels – a series of peels usually yields the best results.

If you aren’t ready for treatments that only a doctor can provide like the injections or the laser treatments be sure to keep your hands well moisturized and to use spf on your hands.  Moisturizer temporarily plumps the skin leading to a smoother appearance.  You could even apply a moisturizing hand mask like this mask from OPI.  Using spf daily, and reapplying before you go outside, helps prevent sun spots and collagen loss over time.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

 

Have I Finally Found My Cure for Chapped Hands? January 10, 2011

For the past few winters I have suffered greatly from fissures* on my thumbs.  The fissures are painful, and no matter what I have tried in ordering to heal them they never seem to go away.  Last winter I thought I had found the perfect cure for my ailment when I purchased a liquid bandage product that was supposed to cover and protect my wound while acting as an antiseptic as well.  It simply did not work (and it smelled terrible).  So this year as the temperature dropped and my now annual problem returned I became almost desperate for a solution.

I finally hit upon an effective solution by accident.  I received via email Paula Begoun’s review of DERMAdoctor’s Handy Manum Medicated Skin Repair Serum with 1% Hydrocortisone which explained that although the product contained great skin repair ingredients, specifically hydrocortisone which is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can heal dry, itchy, and cracked skin, you don’t need to buy a $22 lotion in order to get the promised results.  You can just use the Cortaid or another hydrocortisone product that you have at home.  Well the lightbulb finally went off above my head.  I gathered my OTC 1% hydrocortisone lotion and for good measure my Neosporin as well because I figured a little antibiotic cream never hurt anyone.  I began applying both the Cortaid and Neosporin a few times a day to my fissures and the other chapped areas on my hands and followed that with hand lotion (I really think you can use whatever hand lotion brand you prefer).  Within a few days I finally felt and saw a difference!  One thing I did notice though, I have to keep up with the application of all three products if I want my skin to not crack or chap again.   But overall I have finally found relief from this frustrating skin condition, and I can’t emphasize enough how much this solution has helped me.   (I even created a little portable container with Neosporin and Cortaid in it to take with me in my purse so that I can always reapply when needed.)

Also – if you don’t want to use two products in order to treat your chapped hands and also don’t want to spend a ton of money on a hand lotion like the one mentioned above, I just saw that my local Target is carrying a Cortizone hand cream that contains 1% hydrocortisone.  This lotion costs about $7.  (There are actually two different versions of the cream to choose from)

*Fissures are a crack in the skin that penetrates down to the dermis which means it is deep and thus painful.  Chapped lips are another type of fissures.

Further readingPrevent and Soothe Chapped Winter Hands WebMD

 

Give Your Hands Some TLC February 15, 2010

I think many of us don’t think about our hands enough.  When it comes to skincare almost everyone concentrates on caring for their face and neglects their hands.  Your face may be wrinkle and line free (and acne free as well), but in the end your hands are covered with sun spots and full of wrinkles.  It is time to treat your hands with as much respect as you would your face.

Basically, whatever products you use on your face you can use on your hands.  Whatever treatments you would do on your face – laser, chemical peels – you can also do on your hands.  And the number of products aimed at treating hands has grown exponentially in the last few years so there are plenty of products to choose from.

First and foremost, use sunscreen on your hands so that you protect your hands from age spots and collagen deterioration.  If your hands are on the dry side use a hand cream with spf.  A few to consider are Neutrogena hand cream, Peter Thomas Roth hand cream,  or Studio Gear hand cream.  Or if your hands don’t need extra moisture then just use sunscreen on your hands every day and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day.  Buy a few hand creams and/or sunscreens and leave one in the car, one by your kitchen sink, one in your bathroom, and one in your purse.

Don’t forget to exfoliate in order to remove dead skin so that your moisturizer and other treatments can work better.  You can safely use any type of scrub on your hands in order to exfoliate.  Additionally, you can even consider an esthetician or doctor administered microdermabrasion treatment on your hands in order to exfoliate and stimulate collagen production.

If you have sun spots on your hands consider using products with brightening agents (like vitamin C) or hydroquinone in them.  (For a in-depth discussion on treating hyperpigmentation see my blog post Help for Hyperpigmentation)  If you want more immediate results get a chemical peel on your hands.  Not only will the chemical peel help to remove hyperpigmentation and smooth your skin considerably it will also stimulate collagen production in the area of the peel.  You can even get laser treatments on your hands in order to remove the age spots.  For both the chemical peels and the laser treatments you might need a series of treatments in order to get the results you desire, but generally you will see a difference faster than when just using a brightening or lightening serum.

Just as you would use Retin-A, Renova, or a OTC retinol product on your face to fight wrinkles and lines and build collagen you can do the same on your hands.  The prescription retinol products can even reduce crepiness and make veins less obvious.  Or consider injections in your hands.  Restylane, Radiesse, or Sculptra can all be injected into the hands to add volume and make veins less visible. 

In the meantime, while you consider your treatment options or wait for the product you applied to work you can use make-up on your hands.

Lets give our hands a little extra thought and TLC today.  You’ll thank yourself in the future.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

 

FYI – Ellen Sirot, who calls herself the world’s “most successful hand model” has a line of hand creams.  I’ve never tried them and interestingly enough the creams do not contain spf.  You might enjoy looking at her website.

 

 
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