These Products Can Help Your Hands Age Gracefully, According to a Skin Expert
When it comes to skincare, we all tend to focus on the neckline and above, but we can't forget about the real worker bees: our hands.
Your hands do a lot for you, so it only makes sense to create a routine for them. There's a slew of anti-aging hand creams on the market these days, so we spoke with Maria Semykoz, the co-founder of whatsinmyjar.com – a skincare community platform focused on providing easy-to-understand analyses of product formulas – to learn how to best care for our hands. Semykoz's expertise in data analytics is supported by dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki to help consumers answer questions like: "What active ingredients am I paying for?" and "Can a skincare product deliver on its promise?"
Here are the main things you should consider when caring for your hands:
"In a moisturizer, look for glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or urea," Semykoz says. "Glycerin is actually a great ingredient - it's just not seen as very sexy, but it is as effective as hyaluronic acid."
Such ingredients help attract water to the upper layer of the skin. You also want your moisturizer to have emollients and occlusives like shea butter, mineral oil, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, or squalene in them, Semykoz adds.
You may find moisturizers with ceramides, colloidal oatmeal extract, or niacinamide in them, which are great additions to any formula but not essential.
If you're looking to really lock in moisture, you can use any moisturizer as an overnight hand mask, Semykoz says. Just apply a thicker layer of moisturizer at night. To make the effect even stronger, you can wear a pair of cotton gloves on top of the moisturizer.
Mama wasn't kidding when she told you to wear SPF. Sun protection is just as crucial for hands as it is to your face and the rest of your body. Be sure to check that a sunscreen offers broad spectrum sun protection against UVB and UVA rays, Semykoz says. UVA rays are aging rays that can lead to age spots and hyperpigmentation – they don't burn like UVB rays.
You can use any normal sunscreen on your hands if you don't want to purchase a separate product.
Sanitize, and Repeat.
"Washing hands regularly and thoroughly is crucial, but every time we wash our hands we challenge our natural skin barrier," Semykoz says. Choosing a gentle hand wash that's fragrance-free and soap-free can help prevent your hands from drying out.
When a soap's pH is too high, it interferes with the acid mantle on our skin, which leads to dryness and increases the potential for irritation, Semykoz explains.
"It is actually easier to find gentle washes in the body or baby wash category than in hand washes," she says. "You can absolutely use them to wash your hands, they are as effective in removing dirt and microbes."
If you're out and about, choose a fragrance-free hand sanitizer that's alcohol-based or includes Benzalkonium Chloride.
There you have it, a hand routine that's as simple as your ABCs. If you don't already have go-to moisturizers and SPFs in your makeup cabinet, Semykoz recommended the following products. As with any skincare routine, you don't have to purchase expensive products to have great results – but hey, treat yourself where you want, we don't judge.
Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream with Oat
BUY IT: $7.79; amazon.com
For those especially cold fall and winter days, protect your hands with a layer of intense moisture repair before heading out the door.
Eucerin Urea Repair Plus 5% Urea Hand Cream
BUY IT: $14.99; amazon.com
Urea and ceramide combine for a soothing formula that will leave your hands feeling soft and replenished.
Avene Cicalfate Hand - Restorative Hand Cream
BUY IT: $25; amazon.com
This creamy non-greasy formula promises to leave your hands nourished for up to five washes.
Palmers Cocoa Butter Intensive Relief Hand Cream
BUY IT: $15.74; amazon.com
Enjoy the natural scent of cocoa butter while treating your hands to a strong relief cream.
Vaseline Extreme Dry Skin Rescue Hand and Body Lotion
BUY IT: $9.91; amazon.com
Trusted for ages by mamas everywhere, Vaseline's glycerin formula delivers moisture while restoring your skin's natural barrier.
Eucerin Daily Hydration Hand Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
BUY IT: $15.49; amazon.com
There are plenty of moisturizers on the market that also offer SPF protection. This Eucerin broad spectrum formula protects your hands from UVB and UVA rays.
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil SPF 45 Body Butter
BUY IT: $42; sephora.com
Looking to really pamper yourself? This ultra-light formula will feel oh-so-soothing on your hands. It's also reef-safe and cruelty free so you can feel good about having this as a go-to product in your beauty cabinet.
Baby Dove Sensitive Skin Care Baby Wash
BUY IT: $7.89; amazon.com
Be sure that your hands are getting the care they need from a hand wash as well. Baby wash formulas are especially sensitive for the skin's natural barrier and are just as effective as other hand soaps.
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash
BUY IT: $8.79; amazon.com
Avoid the itchy feeling that your hands can get after too many washes by using Aveeno's soap-free and fragrance-free body wash formula.
Buttah Skin Egyptian CocoShea Body Wash
BUY IT: $27.99; amazon.com
You can use this wash in the bath, shower, or at the sink as a hand wash. Its all-in-one formula is nourishing and leaves your skin with the subtle scent of musk, vanilla, and rose.
Suave Hand Sanitizer
BUY IT: $3.69; target.com
When opting for your next hand sanitizer, choose a fragrance-free formula that doesn't have the potential to irritate your skin.
Babyganics Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer 3 Pack
BUY IT: $20.71; amazon.com
Some people prefer a hand sanitizer formula with Benzalkonium Chloride, which can be gentler on especially sensitive skin.