What's the best anti aging hand treatment?

Image of one hand extended upward holding a piece of green ivy against a beige background. Photo by Adrien King on Unsplash

Hands are often the first area on your body to show signs of aging with crepey, thinning skin. And after months of frequent hand washing and sanitizing, dry, chapped skin can make your hands look old and wrinkled. Here’s what to do to get your hands in good shape and reverse signs of aging.

The most important part of skincare is sun protecting your skin. If your main concern is anti aging for hands then scroll down as we’ve got lots of tips for reversing sun damage and keeping your hands from looking crepey and wrinkled. 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t start by covering a few basics since frequent hand washing which exacerbates dry, chapped skin is the best defense from COVID-19. Frequent hand washing as well as wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing of 6ft or more is what will keep you and your community safe. So let’s start here.

HAND WASHING

First let’s do a quick review of best practices for solid hand washing. Using plenty of soap, work a good lather between your hands and clean the whole hand — under your nails, between your fingers and up to the wrists for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, using hand sanitizer is the next best thing until you can get to soap and water.

The soap you wash your hands with has a big impact on the health of the skin on your hands, and how your hands look and feel. Look for soap formulas that don’t strip the skin’s moisture barrier which leave your skin feeling dry and tight.

Antibacterial soap is notorious for drying effects on skin. 

Avoid soap formulas that contain added fragrance or dyes as these ingredients irritate skin.

If sanitizer is your only option, it must contain a minimum of 60% alcohol content to be an effective defense against COVID-19.

Dry hands lightly with a clean towel but leave them slightly damp. 

MOISTURIZING

Practically speaking, we don’t always have the choice of selecting the soap or sanitizer - you’ve got to use what’s available. So leave hands a bit damp and then follow up your hand washing with a good moisturizer. Ideally while your hands are slightly damp, apply your favorite hand cream or lotion. 

If you’ve used hand sanitizer, wait for it to dry completely and then apply moisturizer immediately after your sanitizer has dried.

Formulas that contain hyaluronic acid and other emollients like aloe, honey and alpha-hydroxy acids in combination with ingredients that form a protective barrier like shea butter, jojoba or coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax are effective for replenishing skin’s moisture barrier and reversing the appearance of crepey, aging hands. Choose fragrance and dye-free moisturizers as these are less irritating for your skin.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin that maintains its moisture can better protect you from germs.

EXFOLIATE

Why this is important - exfoliating is part of the skin rejuvenation cycle. Your skin naturally sloughs off dead and damaged skin cells to reveal fresh skin that needs to be nurtured and protected. Exfoliating allows your moisturizer to penetrate your skin better. 

You can help this process by adding an exfoliation step to your skincare routine.  An easy way to incorporate this in to your routine is to keep a favorite body scrub in the shower and massage the scrub on the back of your hands. Or, when you exfoliate your face rub a little of the mask onto your hands - just be sure to wash it off. 

Popular exfoliating ingredients for:
Mask - papaya enzymes which gently digest dead skin cells (ewww, but very effective)

Scrub -  salt or sugar + essential oil like grapefruit (invigorates skin and smells fab)

SUN PROTECTING
It’s the best anti aging treatment for your hands.

The most important part of skincare is protecting your skin from sun exposure because constant exposure to sun’s rays contributes to long term changes to skin’s collagen.

This includes fine lines, deeper wrinkles, leathering or thickening of skin, and particularly on your hands and forearms -- skin that bruises easily which indicates skin has thinned in this area. 

Melanoma develops on areas with frequent sun exposure such as the back of hands.

Signs of sun damaged skin to the back of your hands can appear at any age and include dry, flaky, itchy or wrinkled skin, skin that easily bruises on the back of the hands and forearms, thickening skin texture, or little bumps or patches of scaly skin that has a pink, red, yellow or brownish tint. 

When brown spots appear on our skin’s surface this is the result of multiple sunburns and UV sun exposure that we accumulate over a lifetime.

Don’t let your sun guard down!

We tend to associate and remember to protect from sun damaged skin when doing outdoor activities and sports. Keep in mind UVA radiation from the sun can penetrate through glass windows including cars and your home windows.

And in this era of social distancing, we are spending more time inside cars.

According to skincancer.org,
There are two types of UV radiation from the sun that cause damage that can lead to skin cancer: UVB rays, which mainly cause sunburn, and UVA rays, which mainly cause tanning and premature aging.

More than 50% of UVA radiation can penetrate side car windows, and double paned home and office building windows up to 3 feet inside.

So it's wise to remember to protect your skin in the every day settings of your life, not just when you go to the beach, on vacation or when doing sports and outdoor activities like hiking, running and biking.

There are two ways to sun protect your hands.

Woman with black hair and hands crossed behind her head. She is wearing UV Sun Gauntlets, UPF 50 full length sun protection arm sleeves in Coigach District Plum - a Scottish plaid pattern in colors pink, red and plum.
1. Using sunscreen

We often overlook our hands when applying sunscreen to our face as part of the morning routine. Create the habit of adding a layer of mineral sunscreen to your hands every day.

Mineral sunscreen creates a physical barrier on top of your skin which does not interact with your body nor does it harm our waterways and ocean life. Mineral sunscreen protects by blocking UV rays from your skin.

Chemical sunscreen is absorbed into the skin. It works by absorbing the sun’s radiation and disperses it. It is said that trace amounts of these chemicals may accumulate in your body and the long term effects to your health may be damaging. Additionally, chemical sunscreen eventually finds its way into our waterways which do damage to the ecosystem.

Look for a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or in combination with titanium dioxide, both naturally occurring minerals.

Broad spectrum means the sunscreen will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

All sunscreens need to be thoroughly reapplied every two hours in order to provide the rated sun protection benefits as indicated on the packaging.

2. Wearing sun gloves

With frequent hand washing a necessity, this requires constant re-application of mineral sunscreen in order to keep anti aging the skin on your hands. It is possible to create this habit of re-applying every two hours or every time you wash your hands.

Dermatologists agree the gold standard for sun protecting your skin from damage is to wear sun protection clothing.

Wearing sun gloves and arm sleeves are an effective method for protecting skin from sun exposure and keeping crepey wrinkles at bay. It’s also quite cost effective and simple to use when you consider the messiness of a tube of sunscreen. If you’re wearing HELIADES sun gloves you’ll be practicing anti aging for your hands as you protect your skin from sun exposure all while you do your part for the good of your community.

The best gloves don’t get in the way of the functionality of your hands. 

Look for gloves that allow your hands to remain functional - features to look for:
Fingerless gloves or ones with tech-friendly access for your finger tips.  
Make sure they’re easy to put on and remove. 
Look for gloves that can easily slide onto your wrists so you can quickly access your hands to wash them.
Avoid velcro type fasteners that can get caught and snag the fabric on your clothing.

Look for gloves that are easy to keep clean with simple hand washes and dry quickly.

More gold standard features include protecting your investment by understanding what's in your fabric, and a basic understanding of the various glove styles to meet your needs.

Look for fabric certified UPF 50+ — this means over 98% of UV rays are blocked when properly wearing the gloves.
Look for fabric that’s made with fewer chemicals  and is permanently sun protective for the lifetime of the glove because taking care of your skin is an investment you’re worth.

Gloves made with fabric certified with fewer chemicals is better for the environment in two ways. 1) it keeps textile chemicals out of the supply chain and our waterways, and 2) any effort to decrease the usage of chemical sunscreen keeps sunscreen out of our waterways which significantly impact ocean life.

3. Glove styles
Sun gloves come in different lengths.
Hand only. Traditional finger and fingerless gloves protect only the hand and extend to or beyond the wrist.
Full length. Also called arm sleeves, this style protects the hand as well as shields skin on the forearm.
Many arm sleeves considered full length extend all the way up the arm to mid or high bicep.

Forearm only. Popular with runners, this style is also called an arm sleeve, but only covers the forearm, omitting hand and upper arm sun coverage.

HELIADES sun gloves come in two lengths: hand glove length which covers the back of the hands extending beyond the wrist, and arm sleeve length which covers the back of hands extending up the forearm to mid to high bicep.

Color choice - Once you've decided the length you prefer, it's time to pick solids and prints.

There’s a lot to choose from as many gloves are available in colors like white, black, blue and beige.

HELIADES sun gloves come in solid colors like black, blue, green and red. We are first to offer sun protective gloves in a variety of colorful prints to accessorize and coordinate with your daily wardrobe. 

They’re called UV Sun Gauntlets because they are stylish, functional armor that faithfully protect your skin every time you wear them.

Want to effectively keep your hands from aging? Get into the routine of hand wash, moisturize and sun protect.

And remember the simple act of keeping your hands healthy while following the gold standards of sun protection clothing is good for you, your community and the environment. W for the win.

Our UPF 50+ sun protection gloves come in two lengths, a variety of colors and prints, and are available in limited quantities. Each is hand made in the SF/Bay Area.

To see them go here or questions? Send us a message.

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