In the Disney movie Tangled, Mother Gothel uses Rapunzel’s magic to heal herself and remain perpetually young. One of the most telling scenes is when Mother Gothel looks at her hands—which are beginning to show that she is aging. Her hands even show brown aging spots! We have to give credit to Disney; this is scientifically accurate, as the hands show the signs of aging before any other parts of the body.
Why do the hands show signs of age before other areas on the body?
How many times a day do you wash your hands? According to the American Cleaning Institute, 62 percent of women wash their hands more than 10 times per day. That presents many opportunities for damage to the delicate skin on your hands.
Because we use our hands for so many activities, they are often exposed to the elements. How often do we go outdoors without gloves? Or maybe you wear multiple layers and long sleeves to protect the rest of your skin from the cold, but only one layer of gloves on your hands. Harsh temperatures can wreak havoc on the skin, including the hands. Cold, windy, or arid weather can leave your hands dry, red, and cracked or cause eczema to flare up, and the sun can cause damage in any type of weather—even when it’s cloudy.
Where do you typically apply sunscreen when going outside? The face, shoulders, arms, legs, and maybe your neck and ears—if you remember? Do you slather the backs of your hands with sunscreen, too, or do your hands just get what’s left after you rub it into your arms? Giving your hands the same sunscreen coverage that you apply to your face will help them stay looking younger longer.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating, according to the instructions on the bottle, and notes that most people apply only 25–50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. If you do not reapply sunscreen as directed, your skin becomes vulnerable to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
Driving is an activity that most of us engage in nearly every day. Our hands take a beating from ultraviolet rays while they are up on the steering wheel. This is yet another reason sunscreen is needed every day, even in winter. Vehicle windows do not protect from UV rays.
What can you do to keep your hands looking young?
While you may not know a princess with magical healing hair to restore your hands and skin to their previous appearance, you can restore some of the damage—with a little help from some excellent products and treatments.
Forever Young BroadBand Light treatment can help with the appearance of skin on the hands as well as other parts of the body. This light treatment is a sophisticated technology that optimally delivers infrared and visible light, penetrating the outer and deeper skin layers to stimulate new collagen production and reduce the appearance of age spots and broken blood vessels. Over time, the result is improved skin firmness, elasticity, and a more youthful appearance.