A Handy Way to Look Years Younger
Defy, Don't Deny: The Antiaging Revolution
The good news is your hands can hold your birthday secrets and you can look as young as you feel. It all begins, say experts, with dedicated use of a sunblock with SPF15 or higher. Choose a product that is also a good moisturizer and you're even more ahead of the game.
"Then you have to make a commitment to use it every day, every time you go out in the sun, in winter, in summer, all the time, " says Narins. Doing so, she says will help halt at least some of the damage that comes when the ultraviolet rays of the sun gobble up collagen -- the molecules that help give skin a plump, youthful appearance.
Next up: Whatever you're using on your face, save a little for the backs of your hands and apply liberally.
"Day cream, night cream, antiaging serums -- whatever you're putting on your face, neck, and décolleté, put it on the backs of your hands as well," says Katz.
But if you're thinking of trying to fade those age spots using an over-the-counter bleaching or whitening cream, you may be wasting your time and money. Both experts say it's not likely to do any good.
Indeed, Katz tells WebMD, "You need professional treatments for these brown spots; you can't get rid of them on your own."
And while some experts suggest the new home microdermabrasion kits can help keep hands looking young, Narins says they won't do much except polish the skin and leave it looking smoother for a few days.
"That goes for the professional treatments as well; microdermabrasion doesn't really do much for the hands," she tells WebMD.
Katz agrees and adds that we should also stay away from any treatment -- at home or in a doctor's office -- that causes skin irritation.
"The skin on the hands is much more delicate than on the face, so it heals much more slowly. You want to stay away from any product that could do damage," says Katz.
Though for many folks the same antiaging products that work on their face are all their hands need to remain youthful, for some, it's just not enough. Moreover, by the time some of us recognize just how "old" our hands look, so much damage has been done that topical creams and lotions simply aren't potent enough to do the job.
When this is the case, experts say there are a number of professional treatments that can help. While they can be a bit pricey, results are said to be excellent, and some are very long lasting.
For the woman -- or man -- who has taken steps to keep their face and body looking youthful, Narins says the hand treatments can be an important finishing touch.