8 steps to younger-looking hands
Your face may be as smooth and glowing in your forties as it was in your twenties if you’re blessed with good genes, but chances are your hands will still give away your real age. Here’s how to protect your hard-working extremities…
1 Use sun cream on your hands year round
It’s ultra violet rays that cause our hands to age prematurely and get that leathery look, so by applying sun cream to hands in the autumn and winter as well as the spring and summer (you do do this, don’t you?) you’ll help protect exposed skin from sun damage.
2 Keep moisture levels topped up
Get in the habit of moisturising your hands throughout the day. Not only are our hands exposed to the elements, they’re in and out of water regularly and denied the SPFs and other protective properties contained in the moisturiser or make-up we wear on our face (see point 8). Freshly moisturised skin looks younger and springier so it’s worth keeping a mini tube of hand cream in your handbag and on your desk at work.
3 Exfoliate and rejuvenate
To speed up the turnover of skin and slough away dead skin cells, you should try to exfoliate your hands two or three times a week. This process will leave your hands feeling smoother and silkier.
4 Disguise bony hands
As we get older changes in our hormones can leave our hands looking bony and sinewy. If you want to disguise the flaws for a special occasion, do as the stars do and use make-up. A pressed mineral powder is your best option for ensuring an even and natural cover.
5 Nourish nails from within
Nails are the last part of our body to receive nutrients so if you have a poor diet they will be particularly undernourished. For healthier looking nails you need to ensure that you eat foods containing biotin (nuts, fish and eggs), zinc (poultry, seafood, eggs and nuts) and selenium (Brazil nuts, fish, poultry, red meat and wheat).
6 Banish bumps and splits
There are two types of nail ridges – vertical ones and horizontal ones. Vertical ridges are harmless and are a result of ageing but horizontal lines could highlight an underlying illness so see your GP. If you’re embarrassed by the ridges in your nails, buff them down once a week and use a ridge-filling nail polish and base coat to make them less noticeable.
7 Update your manicure
The short, square ‘squoval’ nail shape is the most suited to all age groups and looks great in both day and night shades.
8 Treat your hands as you do your face
We all put so much time and effort into looking after our face and trying to prevent signs of ageing. We should be putting this amount of time and effort into caring for our hands too. The cheapest and easiest way of doing this is to use the same products on your hands as you do on your face.