Tips for Keeping The Youthful LookingBeautyDo you look down at your hands and wonder, “Whose hands are these”? You aren’t alone.

We want to look as young as we feel, and we are willing to try any and every procedure to regain that youthful appearance — especially when it comes to our skin. We often keep our faces looking young with serums, peels, and invasive to extreme procedures, but we tend to neglect one of the most telling signs of our age — our hands. Before you know what TLC to start right away, our expert, Dr. John C. Browning, MBA, FAAD, FAAP, of Texas Dermatology and Laser Specialists, shares his tips on ways to turn your “older” hands younger with fairly minimal action.

Research shows that most people can accurately guess how old a woman is just by looking at her hands.

There are two main signs of aging: a lack of elasticity and skin spots. Skin spots are caused by sun damage or too much sun exposure. As we age, we produce less collagen that is the key to keeping our skin young and plump. Keeping our hands looking youthful is possible. It just takes commitment. During the summer, it is your hands that bear the brunt of all summer activities and receiving constant exposure to sun rays. “It’s very important to protect your hands from the sun,” says Dr. Browning, “Always wear gloves when working in the garden.”

Sunscreen

If you don’t already put sunscreen on, start today. Apply every day, several times, and especially if you are in the car. The sun’s UV rays can be just as damaging during the winter months as they are during hotter weather, so it’s important to minimize your skin’s sun exposure. SPF 15 should be the minimum amount of sun protection you apply daily.

Drink More Water

Drinking water helps keep hydration levels up. Without adequate water intake, your skin can appear dull, and wrinkles will become more prominent. Water also plumps up the skin and acts like collagen, which can cause wrinkles to get filled in.

Massage

Massaging your hands allows smooth circulation of blood and muscle soothing. This makes your hands get all the nutrients that they need. Massaging the fingers will also alleviate any discomfort. Include coconut oil, honey, olive oil, lemon juice or even cucumber, then massage gently for 10 minutes to protect and nourish your hands.

Moisturize

If you don’t already moisturize your skin, it may be the perfect time to start this routine. “When considering soaps and moisturizers, choose a gentle soap with a moisturizer in it,” says Dr. Browning. “It’s important to avoid sanitizers, and use a hand cream regularly, especially during colder months.” Buying retinoid creams and antioxidant lotions can help reduce brown spots and minor skin damage. Both products can be purchased over the counter. The antioxidants can aid in preserving the skin from further damage, and products with fading ingredients may help lighten spots. “Consider laser resurfacing or filler to help with aging hands,” advises Dr. Browning. “Our GentleMax laser can remove sun spots.”

By Kristin Mears