Cream of the Crop
Among the newest advances are creams containing growth factors, mostly derived from plants. "These are creams that appear to promote new collagen formation -- you're not going to get what you would with a [medical treatment], but it's not a bad idea to begin using these creams every night starting at around age 40," says Goldberg.
Science backs this up. One recent study, published in Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2007, reported 83% of women between ages 35 and 65 who tried creams containing growth factors found improvement in their hand wrinkles after just 60 days. Creams containing growth factors include:
- Regeniskin (50 mL/$29.95)
- SyCream by Syprex (2 oz/$39.50)
- Neocutis Bio-restorative Skin Cream (50 mL/$120)
- SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex (1 oz each of cream and serum/$185)
If you prefer to skip pricey creams, experts say to aim at least for daily use of a simple moisturizer. That alone will improve the appearance of your hands.
"Your hands really need more moisture than any other part of your body because they are exposed to the elements more, all year long, plus you are washing them frequently, which also tends to cause a loss of the skin's protective oil mantle," says Marmur.
While a moisturizer won't reverse sun damage or create new collagen, it can leave skin looking plumper and more youthful. Some of the ingredients in these products include shea butter, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and glycerin. Since all moisturizers work more effectively when applied to skin that is slightly damp, use them after a shower or bath or after washing your hands.
Moisturizing products containing a healthy dose of these key ingredients include:
- Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Hand Cream with gylcerin and alpha-hydroxy acids, offering moisturizing and exfoliation (2.7 oz/$5.49)
- Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Hand Cream with Vitamins E and A, delivering protection that lasts through multiple hand washings (3.5 oz/$8.69)
- Nivea Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream with macadamia nut oil and glycerin (3.5 oz/$5.99)
- Skin Milk Hand Lotion with SPF 15, milk proteins, and retinal palminate (4 oz/$4.99)
- Terralina Body Lotion with olive oil and shea butter (8 oz/$28)