Joan Rivers, the dearly-departed comedienne, was unapologetic in her quest for the fountain of youth. She made us laugh out loud, yet at the same time, reminded us not to crinkle our faces too much when we did so. She left a deep footprint on this world, and she left me with many lingering lessons. As I’m getting older (and fighting the fight to not LOOK older), one of Joan’s quotes came to mind. She said: “Believe me, you can hide a lot of things, but the hands always give it away.” 

That said, let’s get our sh*t together, folks. We are aging by the second. And guess what? Our hands have a jumpstart. Ughh!


1. Establish a Regimen…. Now! Most of you (I hope) have joined me in establishing a skin-care regimen for our faces, which includes your neck and chest. Your hands, however, are often overlooked. Believe it or not, our hands are the first part of our bodies to show serious signs of aging. So all you 20-year-olds, stop whatever you are doing and listen up! Your hands are aging right now, even as you are reading this blog. Let’s get our sh*t together and come up with a game plan. Shall we?

2. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. When you apply sunscreen to your face, don’t skip the back of your hands. The sun ages your skin faster than anything. And guess which body part gets more sun exposure than any other? BINGO! The hands. Our hands are exposed to the sun, even when we don’t realize it. Like, while driving in our cars, our hands are safely planted at “10:00 and 2:00,” and they are also basking in those damaging rays. Keep sunscreen in your car, folks. They also make UV-protection driving gloves. (Although, I must admit, I don’t wear these. I know they’re a great idea, but – to be honest – I feel a bit foolish driving around southern California in 80-degree weather wearing driving gloves.) Women: another locale in which we don’t realize we get sun exposure is at the nail salon. Surprised? Well, many manicure facilities still use UV lamps to dry nails (especially gel manicures). So always apply sunscreen before exposing your hands to the UV lamps, or request that the manicurist use the new LED lamps.

3. Potions. Prescription Retin-A is still the reigning Queen (or King) of skincare. There is nothing else clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging. If you have not gotten your prescription strength Retin-A, you must be new to this blog. Let me catch you up to speed…Retin-A reduces signs of discoloration, evens skin tone, stimulates collagen production, and reduces the appearance of fine lines. However, it is not a one-strength-fits-all skincare. Just as aging issues differ for different ethnicities, the recommended strength of either prescription-strength Retin-A, or the lesser strength over-the-counter retinoid products, also needs to vary. If you have darker skin, and were told that retinoid-based products would harm your skin, I urge you to consult your dermatologist. Retinoids have been proven to work on ALL skin tones. RedBook Magazine recently published an article describing which products should be used for different skin-tones. Please consult a dermatologist before you begin.

With all of that said… AFTER you apply your particular strength Retin-A or over-the-counter retinoid product to your face, chest and neck each night, rub it on the backs of your hands. And if you apply layers of skincare each night (which you should), then apply those same layers of products onto your hands. I’ve never understood why women apply anti-aging products to their face and neck, and then WASH it off their hands. What? That is literally money (and product) down the drain. Don’t waste a drop. Rub it in!

4. Crisis Mode. Cold weather, heavy hand washing, sun exposure, hormonal imbalances… all of these factors can play havoc with and on your hands. (If you have chronically dry hands, I suggest you see a doctor who specializes in hormones as this can be a telltale sign that there may be a hormone or dietary imbalance.) If you just can’t seem to get on top of your dry, crinkly hands due to wear and tear, slather your hands with Retin-A (or a retinoid product), then apply a thick layer of Aquaphor. Next, put on a pair of sleep-gloves and let the potions work their magic.

Important Side Note: this is not the sexiest bed-time look, but when you wake from your slumber, your hands will look a few years younger. And if your man (or woman) is focusing on your sleep gloves, well…. maybe rethink your sleepwear for that night.  😉

5. Procedures. Hold your hands up and get a good look at them. Do you have prominent veins and ligaments showing through your crepe-y skin? If you are over the age of 30, you probably do. This is a reflection of the loss of volume, which happens as we age. And it SUCKS! Not to fret, folks, this too can be fixed. Just like you can remedy the loss of volume in your face with fat transfers and fillers, the same can be done for your hands. Fillers help plump up the skin and restore that youthful fullness, which we lose as we age. In addition, there are many laser treatments available these days, so it’s always best to consult your dermatologist about which procedures might be best for your particular needs. The IPL laser, for example, is excellent for removing age spots on fair-skinned types. Again… please consult your dermatologist or medi-spa for the best treatments for your skin-tone. That said, here is MY personal rule of thumb…

If the treatment is recommended for your face and neck, then it probably will work for your hands. Just like your morning and nightly skincare regimens should be applied to your face/neck/chest AND hands… so too should most of your procedures. If you have a monthly microdermabrasion or PRP facial, ask them to do your hands. The next time you have a chemical peel, do your hands. If you have sun damage and go in twice a year for IPL laser… hello?…. Laser your hands. And, if you read my blog regularly and have discovered the benefits of micro-needling, then – for God’s sake – don’t skip your hands!

So there you have it. Don’t let your hands give your age away. Thanks Joan!

Live Young,

Darnell 🙂

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