We spend a lot of time and effort caring for the skin on our faces. But the first visible signs of skin aging often show up below the jawline—on our neck, chests, and, especially, our hands. The primary reason these areas age at an accelerated pace is that they’re more apt to get unprotected exposure from UV rays or other environmental aggressors.
Coupled with this damaging exposure is the fact that caring for those areas is often treated as an afterthought. We may rub on some leftover product from our facial skincare routine…when we think of it. While occasional slathering is better than doing nothing at all, haphazard or inconsistent product application is probably not effective enough to stave off signs of aging like dark spots, crepe texture, discoloration and wrinkles.
The good news is you needn’t take a lot of extra time or invest in an elaborate skincare lineup to keep hand, chest and neck skin healthy. But you do need to be more thoughtful about your daily habits and product selection because the active ingredients you use on your face may not always be appropriate for the thinner, more vulnerable skin on your hands. And you must commit to applying a treatment to these areas every night before bed. Here, some helpful hints for keeping skin below the face radiant and smooth.
We use our hands to do so much: cook, clean, garden, fold laundry (etc.) In short, they take a beating on a daily basis. So, try to make an effort to wear gloves whenever possible: rubber ones while washing dishes, gardening ones while weeding, cozy gloves or mittens when you’ll be outdoors (you get the idea). Just that simple act of protection will make a big difference in the skin’s moisture level—and help block age-accelerating UV rays. The same advice can be applied to the neck and chest—a scarf or pashmina thrown around any exposed upper body skin when you’re outdoors can help, as would a wide-brimmed hat whose large shadow provides some protection for the neck, chest and shoulders.
Put hand lotion everywhere
Treat hand lotion the way you did hand sanitizer in the height of the pandemic. Put a tube or bottle everywhere—your purse, your car, on your nightstand, beside every sink in your house—so you always have ready access and can easily reapply. It’s especially important to reapply after every hand washing during the fall and winter months when hands can get dry and cracked due to low humidity and colder temperatures. And rub some into any exposed areas (neck, elbows, forearms, ankles)—not just your hands.
Slather on SPF
As we mentioned above, the reason the neck, hands and chest are often among the first areas of the body to show visible aging is because they get frequent environmental exposure. So, while applying sunscreen head to toe every day should be part of your regimen—at the very least, put sun protection on any body parts that aren’t covered by clothes. Most dermatologists recommend using something with broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.
Choose potent, but gentle products
Hand skin is significantly thinner than almost anywhere else on the body—and it produces less collagen and elastin than other areas, so it typically starts to sag and wrinkle earlier. It’s therefore important to choose a product that encourages collagen and elastin production, that instantly plumps and smooths thin skin—and that does all of that in a gentle way because thin skin is more vulnerable to irritation. One solution: Neolastin’s new Nourish & Restore Anti-Aging Hand Treatment. Powered with the proprietary NUFLEX™ technology, this creamy formula helps plump and restore the skin, support collagen and elastin in the skin—and brightens skin, preventing dark spots. To maximize the treatment’s benefits and to improve absorption, the formula comes with gloves meant to be worn overnight. And while the product is intended for the hands, it’s also appropriate for other dry, tough-to-treat spots, like the elbows, the knees or the heels.
Give your neck and chest their own dose
The neck and chest are not quite as thin as the skin on the hands, so they can usually tolerate stronger actives—like those you would apply to your face. Thus, using your favorite face serum or cream, like Neolastin Face & Neck Regenerative Serum or Rejuvenate & Hydrate Moisturizing Cream, are both appropriate—and encouraged. Aim to make it a daily habit, and don’t just give them your facial skincare scraps; pump or scoop out enough product to generously cover your neck and chest.
Considering how often - and how many ways - we use our hands on a daily basis (cooking, cleaning, expressing ourselves), our hand skin is long overdue for a little self-care attention. Investing in a few protective methods, plus a quality hand treatment is the best way to reverse the signs of aging and revive skin back to its youthful, smooth, plump, hydrated appearance.