Few body parts go about revealing your age quite like your hands, and while one glance at them can make you fondly reflect on all the hard work, family-raising, and adventuring you have done in your life, they can also be a source of regret or pain.
Don’t miss this quick guide to understanding how and why your hands age and what you can do to turn back the clock.
Why Do Hands Change as You Get Older?
In addition to the natural wear and tear your hands experience over the decades, other factors can change the look of your hands as you age:
- Sun exposure can result in sun spots, also called “liver spots,” on your hands and arms.
- Your skin finds it harder to lock in moisture when you get older which can contribute to wrinkles, dry, flaky patches, and a loss in elasticity.
- As your soft tissue volume reduces with age, including collagen and fat in your hands, your veins and bones naturally become more prominent. Your hands are one of the most visible places where this happens.
- Your nail bed doesn’t hold your nail plate as strongly as it once did which can lead to an increase in nail brittleness and breakage.
Other changes in your hands that you may experience over 60 include decreased grip strength, tremors, joint inflammation, and pain (typically associated with arthritis).
Dark bruising may also more readily occur on your hands as you age, even from a small impact, because your skin is thinner or if you take blood-thinning medications like aspirin.
Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve both your hand function and appearance!
What Can Make My Hands Stronger?
Want to make sure you don’t have any problem opening jars, texting, driving, or tossing the ball with your grandkids as you get older? Then work at making your hands and forearms stronger now.
You can use simple tools like stress balls, grip strengtheners, even tennis balls to squeeze to the tone and strength you need in your hands and arms. Hobbies like knitting, sewing, crocheting, playing musical instruments, and cooking can also help you maintain strength and dexterity in your hands.
If you experience any pain in your hands and wrists as a result of using them, check with your doctor to make sure there isn’t a more serious underlying cause.
Sometimes your hands can simply get sore from overuse. Chronic pain and discomfort that could affect your independence, however, should be addressed sooner rather than later.
What Can Make My Hands Look Younger?
Turn back the clock and prevent future damage to your hands with these helpful ideas:
The American Academy of Dermatology Association shares that applying sunscreen to your hands every day can help prevent excessive wrinkling later on.
Your hands get more sun than you realize, especially when you are driving. Get into the habit of applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you head out of the house and save yourself from unsightly sun spots later in life.
In addition to staying adequately hydrated yourself, make sure your skin gets all the moisture it needs to retain its youthful elasticity and prevent dryness or wrinkling. Applying lotions before bed with retinol or glycolic acid in them may help address wrinkles you currently have on your hands too.
Protect Your Hands
Cleaning, gardening, working outside… your hands come into contact with not just the sun but harsh chemicals that can strip your skin of its natural oils.
Make sure to wear gloves, preferably with a breathable cotton lining, to protect the skin on your hands from damage that could take long time to repair.
Eat for Your Skin and Nails
Consume a balanced diet rich with nutrients that support healthy skin and nails as you age, like Omega-3s, B vitamins (including B7 – biotin), vitamin C, antioxidants, and protein.
If you have existing sun spots, super prominent veins, or mild joint deformity, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about conventional treatments like chemical peels, laser treatments, and filler injections.
These could both improve the look of your hands as well as make you feel more confident and functional.
What changes have you noticed in your hands after age 50? What steps do you take to prevent sun spots and wrinkles on your hands? Please share below!