Our hands are usually one of the first areas on our body to show signs of aging and it’s no wonder, after all we do use them constantly. I am much more diligent when it comes to a skin care routine for my face. When I do pamper my hands it usually involves coating them in moisturizer then covering them with moisturizing gloves. This tried and true technique is great for chapped dry hands but what if there are bigger issues like pigmentation?
I will get this one out of the way now. Sunscreen is a must if you’re serious about making any real changes in the skin. Using anti aging products on the skin and then not wearing sunscreen for protection is like spending an hour burning calories at the gym and then scarfing down a greasy pizza when you get home.
Wearing sunscreen on the backs of your hands will help prevent further pigmentation and give the skin a better shot at healing. Using the same sunscreen that you use on your face will do the trick, the important thing is that you apply it, period.
Glycolic acid works as an exfoliant that helps to “unglue” dead skin cells on the epidermis. The smoothing and exfoliating wonders it does to the face will work the exact same way on the hands. Skin will look and feel smoother, products will penetrate better, and pigmentation will start to fade. To achieve maximum exfoliation you’ll want to use a minimum of 8% glycolic acid. Because AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) exfoliate and reveal newer skin it should be applied at night to avoid photo-sensitivity and, of course, spf during the day……if you want results.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Intense Pulsed Light has been around for years and has come a long way. In the past, IPL skin treatments were often quite uncomfortable for people (like an elastic band snapping on your face….fun!) Technical advancements however have allowed for treatments that offer better results with minimal to no discomfort. IPL machines can be set to target various skin issues i.e. blue light at X intensity to target acne, yellow light to promote collagen formation, and so on. Because IPL works well to target the the brown pigmented spots on the skin (melanin) people often have the same procedure of their hands.
There are many spas, med spas, and skin clinics in Toronto and the GTA that offer IPL treatments and specifiaclly IPL treatments for the hands.
Hydroquinone is a topical that inhibits the production of melanin. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding its safety. Follow this link for some more insight from Paula Begoun: http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/brown-spots/_/hydroquinone-for-skin-lightening
Oills, Oils, Oils
- Rosehip oil will help renew hands
- oils like avocado and jojoba are great moisturizers
- even good old olive oil will sooth dry, cracked hands and cuticles.