The issue: Dryness
Between washing our hands 800 times a day or glopping on hand sanitizer, it’s no wonder hands can reach Mojave Desert-like conditions; and when hands are super dry, wrinkling looks worse. “The skin on the hands doesn’t have many oil glands so it doesn’t self-lubricate well,” says Kauvar. “Hands are also constantly exposed to chemicals from soaps and cleaning products, which adds to the dehydration.”
Prevent it: Take a cue from top hand model Ellen Sirot: Stay away from harsh soaps and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Instead, wash with a gentle sulfate-free cleanser (try Beecology Grapefruit & Lemongrass Foaming Hand Soap) and use only alcohol-free hand sanitizers. “Harsh soaps and dehydrating anti-bacterials literally strip away skin’s natural protective oils,” says Sirot.
Fix it: Rehydrate hands with an SPF-infused moisturizer after every washing and while hands are still damp. “Look for a nutrient-rich formula with skin-friendly fatty acids and antioxidants,” says Sirot. Try Sirot’s own Hand Perfection Rejuvenating Night Cream before you hit the sack.
The issue: Visible veins/Loss of volume
In a fascinating study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers compared regular images of hands with those that had been digitally retouched. The single most influential factor that made the retouched images look younger was the deletion of veins. If only we could Photoshop away actual, real-life veins. “With age we lose that layer of fat over our veins, so they become more apparent,” says Lupo. “Hands just don’t look as plump and full as they used to.”
Prevent it: Yes, that sunscreen recommendation again; UV is a known collagen depleter. Other than that, a few lifestyle changes can make a difference. “Veins get more pronounced after aerobic activity or from eating salty foods and indulging in caffeinated drinks,” says Sirot.
Fix it: Doctors are using injectable fillers to plump up skeletal-looking hands. While hyaluronic acid-based fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm can be used, many dermatologists suggest Radiesse, a calcium hydroxylapatite-based filler. “It’s long-lasting and cost-effective,” says Lupo. Or ask your dermatologist about sclerotherapy, an in-office treatment where a solution is injected into veins (usually saline) to dissolve them. And for a quick fix, says Sirot, “You can always use the hand model trick of raising your hands up in the air for a minute and then slowly bringing them down. We call this draining, and it will definitely—temporarily—de-vein your hands.”
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