What about my HANDS?
The treatments that work—and those that don’t.
There are fixes for just about every inch of skin on your body: From creams to lasers to injectable fillers and even plastic surgery.
But there is one area that stubbornly resists a lot of those treatments to improve appearance: our hands. Because your hands are exposed all the time, they are noticed as often as your face. What can we do if we are unhappy with the skin on our hands? I’ll start with the easiest fixes for common skin-on-hands issues, and move to the more difficult.
Dry, scaly skin on hands: This is the most common problem and colder weather makes it worse. A daily application of moisturizer is not enough--you need to slather on really good moisturizers several times a day.
Even better: once a day, use Gycolic Hyaluronic 30% Serum or the Triple Treat 25% Body Lotion as a moisturizer once a day (both products have super-moisturizing and softening skin-beneficial acids), and a thick, creamy moisturizer such as Pure Virgin Shea Butter at least 2-3 times a day; You should notice a big difference in just a few days.
A great tip: it is best to apply the moisturizer immediately after drying off your hands—this will seal in the moisture that still remains in the skin.
Protect your hands to prevent drying! That means using gloves to wash dishes or while doing household chores. Be sure to use warm gloves during winter when outdoors to prevent the cold from drying out your skin.
Those products also work great on other problem areas, such as dry elbows and knees!
For a great quick fix, try this favorite treatment of mine:
Wash your hands with warm water (never hot water, which dries out the skin!), and while they are still a little moist and plump from the infusion of water, apply a thick moisturizer like the Shea Butter, or slather on some Emu Oil.
Then, while the hands are thickly coated with the moisturizer, pull on a pair of thin latex or rubber“doctor” gloves—you can usually find them sold in boxes or packaged inexpensively at drugstores and some supermarkets (they are also useful for any chore that requires hand protection or for handling raw foods in the kitchen!).
Leave the gloves on for five to twenty minutes and simply wipe off excess moisturizer when you are done. This intensive treatment will leave your hands feeling soft and looking smooth for hours while giving your hands a deep, penetrating moisture surge.
Dark spots on hands: Discolored spots are usually caused by aging, but is most often the culprit of years of sun exposure, just like the discoloration on your face. You can also use the same treatments for spots on the hands as you do on the face, following the same directions included with every product.
For lighter spots, apply Fade Bright Lightening and you’ll start seeing a difference in three to six weeks or less.
For darker age/sun spots, using Retinol directly on the spots will help, and spot-treating the spots with a TCA peel once a month will speed things up (get a FREE CONSULTATION with Platinum Skincare for the exact right products for hands, face and body).
Watch a TCA 30% peel on the hands right here:
If you find the treated areas getting irritated—which is normal during the course of treatment—stop using the treatments and only moisturize for a day or so until the area calms down. Going forward, always apply sunscreen (like the Cotz brand) on your hands, everyday--just like you should be doing for your face!
Wrinkled or crepe-y skin on hands: Well, I saved the bad news for last: at this time, there isn’t much you can do to fix wrinkled “old lady” hands. There is no treatment or cosmetic surgery—not even lasers—that will return your hands to a smooth, youthful look. Dr. Pickart does have a wonderful cream called Crepey Skin Escape that has skin remodeling copper peptide GHK in it that is quite helpful though. So think about adding that into your regimen before you opt for fillers and such.
Some injectable-filler companies claim that their same products used on the face to smooth wrinkles will work on the back of the hands, too, but I’ve seen the results of these fillers in the hands: not only are the fillers very expensive, they don’t last very long and the results are very minimal improvement and largely disappointing all around.
In other words—great for the face, not great for the hands. HOWEVER, you can improve the appearance of your hands by keeping them moisturized and spot-free (see above).
DO NOT fall for the slick TV commercials advertising a cure for crepe-y skin! They do not work; they are simply over-priced moisturizers. (Most skincare products that claim miracle skincare cures are completely bogus. Buyer beware!)
Nails: Keeping your nails well-groomed is important for healthy-looking hands; having chipped polish and dry, cracked cuticles adds to an aged appearance. You might think no one notices such things, but they do. If you don’t want to call attention to your hands, avoid brightly colored polish and go for a clean, natural look such as a French manicure or a very light, transparent pink tone. Emu Oil is one of my favorite cuticle moisturizers and it instantly improves the appearance of your nails. You can also use olive, almond or grapeseed oil on your cuticles and hands.
Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.