They're the biggest giveaway to your age, so keep them in check with our tips for youthful hands
It’s often said that our hands give away our true age, so it’s perhaps no suprise that increasing numbers of women are opting for surgery on their hands in the form of laser re-surfacing and dermal fillers to help halt the hand ageing process.
There’s no need to go under the knife though. With a few expert tips from a celebrity nail technician (and some clever products), your hands will stay looking younger for longer…
Sun spots are purely sun related so applying suncream every day will help prevent new ones occurring. Once you’ve made sure no more will be returning, the second step is using a cream such as Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector to lighten the appearance of the spots. The product says it helps to reduce the look of stubborn dark spots in just two weeks through its soy complex.
As we age the texture of our skin changes. Over time, sun damage, exposure to elements and a natural loss of collagen and elastic all contribute to changing the feel of your skin. However moisturising everyday with ingredients such as glycerin, vitamin E and argan oil will help rebuild collagen and improve the skin’s surface. Doing this after showering and washing your hands will help make your skin look more youthful.
Daily activities such as washing up, gardening and manual chores all have a significant impact on your hands. Reddening occurs as a result of blood vessels dilating and chemicals involved in inflammation come to heal the irritation - but over time this redness can become permanent. You can prevent this by wearing protective gloves when washing up and gardening, to stop harsh chemicals coming into contact with your skin. Also use non-irritating soap such as Dove can make a big difference and improve redness.
Nail plates thin with age, so to give your nails a little TLC to protect them from getting brittle. Give your nails a polish-free holiday once in a while, as wearing nail polish constantly can dry the nails out. Also filing your nails in one direction (rather than back and forth) can help make nails stronger. Make sure you use a moisturiser that is specific to nail and cuticle health, such as Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.
Cold winds and freezing temperatures can cause sore, broken skin. Soothe and protect your hands by investing in L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Creme, £8. This little tube is our winter handbag saviour - along with a good pair of gloves - and has won countless awards thanks to the rich but non-greasy formula which sinks in instantly.
Outdoors all day? A hand cream with a built-in SPF is a good idea - try No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Hand Cream SPF15, £10.50. Find the w&h team's other favourites here.
The ultimate hand hero! Creme de la Mer's The Hand Treatment, £70, is pricey but there's some serious science at work here. The skin brightening complex visibly diminishes that tell-tale sign of ageing - dark spots - by evening out pigmented skin tones and providing much needed moisture.
For a more purse-friendly option, pop a facial skin-softening anti-ageing serum under your hand cream, such as Clinique Repairwear Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, £40, which may help prevent further age spots.
We've been hooked on BB Creams for our face and hair for a while, and now cult American brand, ORLY, £18.99 have launched a new version for nails. This genius little bottle of tinted moisturiser not only conceals discolouration and ridges, but also hydrates and strengthens to protect the nail from future breakage. Clever stuff.
It's the hallmark of great nails, so don't wait for a manicure! Massage in a bit of oil or cream whenever you get the chance. Our favourite is Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil, £10.50. It's not new, but it's still one of the best!
'Nails are definitely longer right now', says top manicurist Marian Newman, 'and a more elegant oval - less squared off.' Keep them neat with weekly filing and buffing, which prevents splitting and snagging with Boots Glass Nail File, £8.
A good-quality protective base coat will prevent your nails from yellowing, and can extend the life of your polish by days. Nails Inc Air Street Oxygenating Base Coat, £12, lets nails breathe.
Vitamin C and calcium encourage stronger, longer nails, so bump up your vitamins for a gorgeous finish.