Yes, Your Hands Really Need A Skincare Routine

Illustrated by Olivia Santner
If skincare had a hierarchy, for most of us our faces would be number one, front and centre, getting all the top-shelf products and extra TLC. Second place would go to the décolletage, followed by any exposed bits of body in the summer. But hands? Maybe a bit of leftover serum, if they’re lucky.
In reality this attitude might be a little counterintuitive, at least from a cosmetic point of view. We put our hands through way more than we do our faces – more washes per day, and more roughly; the same amount of sun and pollution; extra irritants from cooking, cleaning and general debris – yet we rarely take the time to pamper them. But you’re right. Is that really going to make a difference? Aren’t hands hardier?

"Hands have been neglected in terms of skincare for a very long time," said Dr Barbara Kubicka, a cosmetic doctor and owner of ClinicBe. "The ageing of hands happens very quickly, especially with sun exposure and intense hygiene practices like washing hands with very hot water and using sanitising, alcohol-based products. These things are all very harsh to the skin and therefore skin on the hands needs to be looked after with moisturising creams." The skin on our hands is no thicker than on the rest of the body, said Dr Kubicka. Personally I think this is a design flaw, given how much we have to do with our hands, but I’m not really sure who I’d take up this issue with.

However, Dr Kubicka said that caring for your hands doesn’t mean buying a whole new set of products. "For my patients, I recommend using the same products on the back of the hands as on the face, especially at night," she said. Nighttime is a good idea because you’re not going to wash your hands for about eight hours so the product can really absorb. Dr Kubicka said you should apply (and reapply) SPF to your hands as you do your face, and that "introducing a hand mask once a week is also a very good hand care solution for that extra element of care and treatment."
Personally I love Lanolips Coconutter Hand Cream, £8.99, before bed. Before I apply that, I spray some Beauty Pie Über Youth Pro-Biome Mist-On Serum, £19.69, over my hands. It’s technically for your neck but I find the spray easy to apply to my hands. I also love Chantecaille Retinol Hand Cream, £64, and I’ve been known to keep a vitamin C on my bedside table to pop on before bed, too. During the day, I usually just put my facial SPF on my hands too, but I also love the Ultrasun and Medik8 hand creams for my handbag.

"I usually give my patients a couple of our face products such as Be Renewed Retinol Serum, £58, and our moisturiser, Be Hydrated, £58," suggested Dr Kubicka. "They can be mixed and applied nightly for a moisturising treatment that will smoothen the hands." Dr Kubicka also said that she developed an in-clinic treatment called Peel & Reveal to help brighten and rejuvenate the hands and other oft-neglected body parts. "It’s really great for sun spots, which often crop up with age, as well as helping dry skin," she added.
Generally speaking, when it comes to hands it’s the same rules as the rest of skincare: use retinol, vitamin C and SPF, plus some hydration. All of these things combined should help keep any concerns – from fine lines to sun spots – at bay, but it’s up to you whether you go for targeted treatments or freestyle with your facial products.

Or you know, you could just wear gloves 24/7.
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