The Best Hand Creams to Use as You Age
Your hands often show the first signs of aging. Keep them soft and youthful with these nourishing lotions.
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You might have your multistep facial skincare regimen down pat, but it's possible that you're neglecting your hands, but you don't want to forget about them. After all, your hands are the first part of your body to show the telltale signs of aging. "Our hands and faces are the least-protected areas from sun exposure," says Dr. Jessica Kant, dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. "Gloves aren't in style these days, but if you really care, wear them anyway, and apply daily moisturizer with SPF every day, even during the winter. By far, the most damage to hands is done by sunlight."
It's not just sun exposure that leads to dry, spotted hands, though: They take a beating on a daily basis from simple activities such as washing them thoroughly, doing dishes, and exposing them to chemical-filled cleaning products—and the list continues. "Excessive hand washing can break down the skin faster, along with frequent use of alcohol-containing sanitizers," says Dr. Sapna Palep, a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology. "Using hot water breaks down the skin. Jobs that involve immersing hands in water for extended periods of time, extended periods of UV radiation, or use of harsh chemicals can break down collagen and elastin more quickly."
The best way to mitigate damage (aside from slathering on SPF) is to use hand lotion religiously: in the mornings, in the evenings, and after exposing them to water. Dr. Palep recommends looking for hand creams with ceramides, which add a protective layer and help replace moisture, along with hyaluronic acid to plump the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are also helpful, as they're natural skin lighteners that eliminate age spots; soothing extracts or essential oils will add extra hydration. Retinoids can also help boost cell turnover, balance pigment production, and brighten skin: "I drive home the use of retinoids," Dr. Palep says. "I believe it's the single best thing you can use on the hands to keep the skin young." Here, we've rounded up the best anti-aging hand creams to try now.
Sunscreen isn't just for your face—your hands are often exposed, especially while driving, so protecting them with sunscreen is super important. This one contains SPF 40, and also brings meadowfoam and argan oil into the mix for deep hydration.
Shop Now: Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40, $38, dermstore.com.
Dr. Barbara Sturm
The best part about this anti-aging cream from German skincare house Dr. Barbara Sturm? You can use it just about anywhere—from your hands to your toes. The formula is packed with Indian oil, shea butter, and the company's famous purslane extract, all of which help turn back the clock.
Shop Now: Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream, $95, sephora.com.
This cream instantly makes hands appear smoother and younger, and the formula doesn't feel goopy or heavy. It's lightweight, so those good-for-you ingredients, like aloe vera, mallow, and witch hazel, seep right into the skin. Plus, vitamin E and broccoli oil contain antioxidants to protect your hands from future damage.
Shop Now: Susanne Kaufmann Hand Lotion, $30, net-a-porter.com.
Retinol is a do-it-all anti-aging ingredient: It evens skin tone, firms, brightens, and promotes cell turnover. This formula is rich with it—and contains a plethora of other moisturizing and soothing ingredients so your hands won't feel dry. (The only downside to retinol is that in its pure form, it can make skin drier.)
Shop Now: Chantecaille Retinol Hand Cream, $78, neimanmarcus.com.
Speeding up collagen production means that the skin on your hands will look plumper, more hydrated, even-toned, and fresher more quickly. This contains vegan collagen to do just that.
Shop Now: Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen Hand Cream, $38, sephora.com.
This isn't just good for a drugstore option—it's really good, period. It doesn't feel sticky or greasy, and we love that it quickly absorbs into the skin, fills in dry cracks, and just smoothes everything over so that your skin instantly feels and looks younger.
Shop Now: O'Keefe's Working Hands Lotion, $7.59, cvs.com.
Whether you're 25 or 65, chances are your hands can benefit from a hand cream targeted to firm and target that crepe-y texture that comes with dryness. This one uses a special complex to erase sagging, and also contains squalene to hydrate.
Shop Now: Crepe Erase Anti-Aging Hand Repair Treatment, $22, ulta.com.
Rodin Olio Lusso
Rodin Olio Lusso's cream not only makes your hands feel and look younger with a blend of oils like jasmine and neroli, but it also smells like you're walking into a fresh garden every time you put it on.
Shop Now: Rodin Olio Lusso Jasmine & Neroli Crema, $47, rodinoliolusso.com.
Need something to fade dark spots? Look no further than Biologique Recherche's hand lotion. It not only contains active ingredients to reverse damage and lighten hyperpigmentation, but also moisturizes in the process.
Shop Now: Biologique Recherche Emulsion Mains PIGM 400, $70, shoprescuespa.com.