Our hands are often first to show signs of ageing, as exposure to the sun, detergents and harsh weather take their toll. Washing our hands frequently can also lead to dry, cracked and sore hands.
Celebrity doctor Dr Aamer Khan, who is a leading expert in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, shares his expertise about how to achieve smooth, hydrated hands.
Dr Khan says: “The skin’s oil acts as a barrier for protection. As a result, using chemical based soaps that strip oil from the skin increases evaporation and dehydration – and the more we wash, the dryer our skin becomes. With the protective oil stripped from our hands, we can start to react to the chemicals that are present in soaps.”
Dr Khan warns that while washing our hands can cause sensitivity, we shouldn’t ditch the soap and water: “I would recommend using gentler soaps, containing emollients to combat the dryness.”
There are also ingredients we can look for, for optimum nourishment: “Use hand creams with hyaluronic acid or shea butter, as these are very hydrating. Make sure anything you put on your skin is pH balanced and avoid anything acidic or alkaline as this causes more inflammation. Creams developed for people with eczema are good if you are experiencing extremely dry skin. A great ingredient to look out for is niacin (vitamin b3), which improves the skin’s cellular metabolism and hydration.”
“Dry your hands and wait for 30 minutes before applying a hydrating hand cream, as you don’t want the cream to absorb into your pores, and don’t forget to put SPF on your hands to protect them from UVA and B Light. Give your hands a ‘facial’. Make sure you are moisturising and hydrating them regularly, and massage them to increase the blood supply.”
Dr Khan encourages us to pamper ourselves at home, making our hands a priority. “Start looking after your hands early, and look after them daily. Look after your hands in the same way you do your face, neck and décolletage. Extend your skincare routine to your hands, and ensure you are hydrating them regularly.”
“Use SPF on your hands every time you are outside - and even in the car as UV rays can penetrate glass. There is a temptation to apply sun cream on the body and then wash your hands because they are sticky, but this layer of protection is vital. It can reduce the signs of ageing that UV can cause – thinning of skin, dryness, sun spots and loss of subcutaneous fat, leading to hollowness.”
Dr Khan suggests hand ‘tweakments’ can prevent signs of ageing. He says: “You can slow down the ageing process through SPF protection and a healthy diet, but there are also treatments to improve the hydration in the hands. You could consider having treatment with HA dermal fillers into areas where fat has been lost. HA fillers also attract additional water to the hands, so will gradually improve via the body’s own processes too.”
“Other treatments I would recommend include mesotherapy, which hydrates using hyaluronic acid as a base, with added peptides and minerals if needed. I often combine this with platelet rich plasma (PRP). If you have age spots, IPL and lasers are also a good solution, while fat transfer is a more expensive option, it is good for extreme cases.”
“I also rejuvenate the skin using the collagen stimulating Ellansé filler, which is applied subdermally (into the layers of the skin) and helps to rejuvenate the appearance of hand, making the veins and bones look less prominent and improving the skin quality. Ellanse is great for volumising skin with the added benefit of hydration. It can also reduce sun spots due to a higher turnover of healthy new skin.”
“The neck and the hands are always a give-away when it comes to ageing”
Television presenter Anthea Turner, who was treated by River Aesthetics, reveals she was worried her hands were starting to age her. “My hands were definitely my biggest give away! I don’t fear ageing, but I’m definitely trying to join the long list of incredible women who give it a bloody good run for its money!”
“I became a tiny bit self-conscious of them, and so when I read about an Ellansé treatment, which stimulates collagen in the hands, I just had to try it.”
“I think my hands look much younger now. It’s funny isn’t it, the neck and the hands are always a give-away when it comes to ageing so these treatments are really clever at subtly bringing back a bit of youth in difficult areas. I’m happy with the natural bloom I have now. It’s subtle, but effective, and of course these treatments get better with time as they stimulate your own natural collagen.”
Meet the Expert
Dr Aamer Khan is a leading expert in cosmetic and non-surgical procedures. He is co-founder of The Harley Street Skin Clinic with his wife, Lesley Reynolds.