Shannon R., SELF magazine
Your face isn't the only place that shows signs of aging! While often neglected in the battle to fight aging, your hands are just as susceptible to fine lines, cracking and age spots. Here are a few key ingredients to help keep your hands (and face!) looking younger.
What are the best ingredients to help fight aging?
Retinoids - Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are generally considered the most effective anti-aging ingredients. Retinoids have been shown in research to reduce wrinkles, skin roughness and overall skin aging. While retinoids work great on the face, they also work on your hands by improving the texture of the skin. Look for products that use either retinol or retinyl palmitate. Just a note of caution, retinoids are irritating and you can expect some flaking and redness when using these products. If you have sensitive skin or concerns, you should speak with your dermatologist before using retinoids.
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
Alpha Hydroxy Acids - AHAs function as exfoliants to remove dead skin cells. As you age, dead skin doesn't slough off as quickly, resulting in skin that can look dull and dry (this is true for your entire body!). Exfoliating can help skin look more radiant as well as improve its texture. Just be sure to only exfoliate a few times a week, as over-exfoliation can lead to skin irritation. AHAs may also be listed as glycolic acid or lactic acid on the label.
Skin Lighteners - Hydroquinone and Kojic Acid are both effective skin-lightening ingredients. If you have age spots (sometimes called sun spots) then you may want to try a cream containing skin-lightening ingredients. Hydroquinone is the most effective way to lighten skin but it does have some controversy surrounding its safety. Kojic Acid is not quite as effective (though it does work) but also has less safety concerns.
Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs
Do you need separate products for your body?
The good news is no! In most cases, if you have an anti-aging product or dark spot removal cream that you like for your face, then go ahead and use it on your hands, too. No need to buy a separate product! However, the skin on your hands is often drier than the skin on your face, so you may feel like you need a heavier cream for your hands. You can buy anti-aging products specifically for the hands and body or go ahead and use your anti-aging facial product and then top with your favorite heavy-duty moisturizer.
One word of caution, I wouldn't recommend using body-specific products for your face. Often body products are heavier and they aren't always non-comedogenic so they could clog pores.
What else can I do for younger-looking skin?
Sunscreen - Sun exposure is the leading culprit of age spots, freckles and wrinkles and your face isn't the only place that needs daily protection. Your hands receive sun exposure on a daily basis, so don't forget to use a sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher!) to keep skin healthy.
Related: How to Lose 2 Pounds a Week
Moisturize - Dry, cracked skin can add years to your age! Moisturizers can temporarily "plump" the skin to help minimize the appearance of superficial lines. Of course, skin will also look and feel smoother and softer. Since moisturizers only provide a temporary benefit you will need to repeat this process daily (or more frequently if your skin is really parched).
While signs of aging are most visible and troubling on the face, your hands take a pretty good beating on a daily basis and can show signs of aging. Ingredients like retinoids, AHAs and skin lighteners are the most effective at treating fine lines, wrinkles and age spots and work equally well on your face and on your hands. Go ahead and make your anti-aging products work double duty!
Shannon R., SELF magazine