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September 29, 2018 1 Comment

Last Update: September 29, 2018


Turning twenty-five for me was a sentinel event. At the time, a commercial running on TV showed a woman’s youthful hand transforming into a cactus while the commentator’s voice was heard saying, “Do your hands look like they are over 25 years old?” Today at 67, I wish my hands looked liked they did when I was 25! So for almost 4 decades I have been on a crusade to find the best hand cream for aging hands.

What causes skin aging?

The skin on our hands ages faster than on any other part of the body. Dry skin and age spots are all signs we typically associate with aging skin and generally appear first on the hands because we wash them constantly and some people use hand sanitizers like crazy. Hands are exposed to detergents and chemicals all the time.”

Research has shown there are many factors which impact skin aging and even more so for the hands. These factors are usually divided into 3 categories:

  • Biological Aging

Usually determined by our genetic makeup, with declining hormones and other natural changes in our bodies, our skin (including that of our hands) gradually begins to lose its ability to function as it did at younger ages.

  • Environmental Aging

Daily exposure to the sun’s UV rays, pollution, smoke, variant climate changes such as harsh weather and drying winds damages collagen (the connective tissue in the skin), melanocytes, and the moisture barrier that protects underlying skin structures. These changes result in sagging, uneven skin tone, dark spots and a rough, dry skin texture.

  • Mechanical Aging

As a result of our daily activities of living and motions repeated over and over such as frowning or squinting may result in wrinkle formation. For the hands, repeated scrubbing or washing with hot water, unprotected use of caustic or drying chemicals, and even an unbalanced diet can cause stress to skin structures.

What happened to my hands?

Generally around the mid-20’s we begin to notice our hands becoming drier than before. Use of ineffective lotions and petrochemical-laced creams further leads to a breakdown in the skin’s natural epidermal lipids (fat loving cells that protect the moisture barrier).

By ages 30 and 40, collagen and elastin levels in the skin start to break down and the skin becomes thinner. Healthy, young skin which once sealed moisture into the skin through skin cells sealed together with lipids (ceramides, lipids and fatty acids) begins to look and feel drier. This combined with lifestyle cycles (babies, housekeeping, career) increases activities detrimental to the skin on the hands.

By ages 50 and 60, weakened blood vessels in the skin result in a decrease in nutrients and oxygen supply in the lower levels of the skin. Skin on the hands becomes even thinner and will continue to thin. Veins, age spots, bruising, slower wound healing and roughness begin to present problems with cracks along cuticles and fissures at pressure points on the fingers.

Can I Prevent Skin Aging?

One of the least recognized causes of avoidable skin aging on the hands is caused by incidental sun exposure even if you are not in the sun for extended periods of time. A daytime sunscreen is advised.

How to Turn Back the Clock 

Healthy, youthful skin – especially the skin on our hands – gives us a sense of confidence and beauty. Even if you did not properly care for your skin in years past, there are many new naturally derived ingredients and exceptional botanicals that help repair sun damage and reverse some effects of both biological and mechanical aging. There is good news! Now we have products that allow us more control than we realize over the rate at which our skin ages. Maintaining youthful-looking hands starts with good skin care. Using products specifically formulated for the hands is the first step to healthy, beautiful hands.

Finding the Best Hand Cream for Aging Hands

Most moisturizers for aging hands will have a thick consistency and be cream-based. The product should be well-formulated using quality ingredients most identical to the epidermal lipids (the ones in the Stratum Corneum):ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids and include antioxidants. Additionally, products containing Goat’s Milk may be beneficial in terms of added fatty acids and a mild exfoliating factor which removes old skin so that new skin surfaces more quickly. Hand creams for men with dry hands are also available in non-greasy formulas.

Moisturizing tips

Renewing the youthfulness of your hands not only depends on what moisturizer you choose, but when and how you apply the moisturizer. Here are some tips:

  • Use a moisturizing hand scrub to remove dead skin cells and encourage blood flow for oxygenation of skin cells.
  • Apply moisturizer when your hands are still a little damp after washing, shower or bath.
  • If you have sensitive skin, use moisturizers with soothing ingredients that are free of acids, fragrances, and dyes.
  • Buy from a reputable brand or certified maker you trust.
  • Avoid using extra hot water for cleaning.
  • Wear gloves for extended periods when they may be wet – such as dishwashing or cleaning.
  • Wear gloves to protect hands while using household cleansing products.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
  • Moisturize as often as necessary to maintain hydration. Some products are effective for more than one hand washing.
Hands Down Best Cream!

When looking for a commercially-prepared hand cream, avoid those containing Mineral Oil, Petrolatum and other petrochemicals. If Aqua (water) is the first ingredient, put it down and walk away. A high quality hand cream for aging hands should contain a predominance of natural butters and oils such as Shea, Cocoa Butter, Safflower, Sunflower and Grapeseed Oils. Fragrance is a matter of choice, but if your skin is sensitive it is best to select one with natural Essential Oil fragrance or forego it completely.

The best hand creams are not necessarily found in the large department stores or in the pharmacy aisle. Oliomanna makes Intensive Hand Creams and Goat Milk Hand Creams which contain only natural butters and oils - no water!  

Even though we’re rough on our hands, there’s plenty you can do to keep them looking young.

1 Response

Jay Patterson
Jay Patterson

December 09, 2018

The OleoMinerals with Magnesium and Shea Butter made all the difference for my bride of 30 plus years arthritis bumps on her hands. Please let me know how to order more and thanks. Jay

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