HRT for your hands: Expert ways to menopause-proof your biggest age giveaway
- The trouble with hands is they get a raw deal: they’re exposed to all weathers
- But that doesn’t mean we have to hold up our (wrinkly) hands in surrender
- There’s lots of anti-ageing products and clinical treatments on the market
- How many times have we heard that when it comes to betraying our age, hands never lie?
No matter how clear and smooth we’ve managed to keep our faces, one look at a pair of ageing hands reveals wrinkly, scrawny skin, ugly brown age spots and bulging veins.
The trouble with hands is they get a raw deal: they’re exposed to all weathers and endlessly plunged in water and harsh household chemicals, yet how many of us treat them with the same care as our faces?
To make matters worse, the skin on the backs of our hands is very thin, so as we age, especially after the menopause, the loss of supportive fat can cause bones and veins to protrude. Skin loses its springiness, too.
‘After menopause your oestrogen levels fall significantly, which accelerates collagen loss, so the elasticity of your skin takes a nosedive,’ says dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto, of the Cadogan Clinic in London.
But that doesn’t mean we have to hold up our (wrinkly) hands in surrender. There’s a raft of sophisticated anti-ageing products and clinical treatments on the market. ‘I’ve seen far more people coming to me in the past year about their hands — they know it’s the one thing that gives their age away,’ says Dr Mahto.
Add a serum
So, you’ve incorporated serum into your facial skincare regime — that layer after cleansing and toning, but before moisturiser — but do you use it on the backs of your hands?
‘Serums are incredibly hydrating, and we should get into the habit of using them twice a day under hand cream,’ says skincare specialist Lee Garrett, director of The Garrett Clinic on Harley Street.
Or use a specialised cream/serum hybrid, such as Pause Hydra Crème from Phytomone, which also has the added benefit of incorporating Cosmetic HRT into their formulations
SPF is your friend
If only your 25-year-old self had realised it. Using sunscreen on your hands is the number one must-do, says Dr Mahto.
‘Ninety per cent of ageing is down to chronic sun exposure over the years. Your hands are your body’s most exposed site, yet so few people put sunscreen on the backs of their hands to avoid that crepey, wrinkly skin with age spots that you see so often in older women.’
It’s never too late to start. Use a hand cream containing SPF in the daytime (and re-apply every time you wash your hands).
But don’t leave it at that, says Dr Mahto. ‘If you will be outside for most of the day, apply sunscreen to the backs of the hands, even when it’s not sunny — 80 per cent of UV will penetrate cloud cover.’
Apply sunscreen before driving, too, as UVA passes through glass
Try a hand mask
Remember when beauty experts advised wearing cotton gloves over hand cream to bed? You can still do that if you don’t mind looking slightly ridiculous, but technology has moved on: products work faster now
Nails Inc launched its Shine Bright Anti-Ageing Glove Masks (£8, nailsinc.com) — plastic gloves containing collagen, retinol, and B and C vitamins to firm and hydrate hands. They work in only 15 minutes.
Or if you’re using an age prevention product on your face,simply apply this to the back of your hands every evening too.
Zap age spots
The small brown patches on our skin caused by exposure to the sun are the bane of many older women’s lives.
In one UK survey 36 per cent of women over 40 were bothered by them. They’re worse after the menopause as skin becomes more susceptible to sun damage, since we produce less of the protective pigment melanin.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on clinic treatments to remove age spots, try the Spotner pen applicator, which squeezes cream on them. It fades them using plant-based lighteners, and has an SPF 50 to stop them recurring.
Using Pause Hydra Crème can have a similar effect. As well as the Cosmetic HRT ingredients, you will also benefit from the skin brightening peptides which help fade age spots.
Plump it up
Dermal fillers are a popular clinic option, and can take ten years off your hand age. An ultra-fine needle injects a dermal filler — usually Radiesse or a hyaluronic acid-based filler — between the metacarpals, the bones that run from the base of your fingers to your wrists.
The gel plumps up the skin and smooths wrinkles. It’s painless and quick but not cheap: you usually need two treatments over six to eight weeks, which cost about £600 each. Effects can last up to 12 months. ‘Dermal fillers are an effective way of bringing back volume in hands,’ says Dr Mahto. ‘They won’t look as veiny or thin.’
Not for the faint-hearted, the so-called vampire facelift is now available for hands. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection is a cosmetic therapy where your blood is injected back into you.
It’s spun in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma, which is mixed with hyaluronic acid and injected into the backs of your hands. The idea is to trick the body into producing collagen as part of its healing process.
‘PRP won’t give your hands more volume but it gives a bright, dewy look to the skin as if it’s alive,’ says Lee Garrett, who usually offers PRP along with dermal fillers. It costs about £550 per session — three are needed four weeks apart.
Excerpts from Daily Mail Article by By Rachel Carlyle