Don’t Forget Aging Hands

I was at a party a few years back and I met this beautiful woman who I thought was my age or younger. I was probably about 37 at the time. Somehow during the conversation, it came out she was more than ten years older than me. I wanted to pepper her with questions. “What cream do you use?” “How much water do you drink?” “What’s the name of your plastic surgeon?” You know, the usual party banter. I refrained and just said something stupid like, “I hope I look as good as you when I’m THAT old!”

Later, I was sitting with a friend and I pointed out the woman to him.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” I asked.

“She is,” he replied.

“How old do you think she is?” I couldn’t wait to shock him with her age.

“48-49.” He didn’t even hesitate.

Annoyed because that must mean I also looked close to 50, I asked him how he could possibly think she was 49 years old when she looked so young.

“Her hands,” he answered. “You can always tell how old a woman is by looking at her hands.

DAMN! One more body part to worry about.

So, since I am as vain as the next girl, I now pay a little more attention to my hands. Anything that goes on my face goes on my hands — sunscreen, lotion, retinol, etc. The skin on your hands is thin and fragile and can start to look older than the rest of you. Age spots, wrinkles, dryness, redness and saggy skin will all reveal your age faster than you can imagine.

Take these steps to keep hands young and healthy:

1. Use soaps with built in moisturizers to avoid dryness.

2. Make a homemade scrub with equal parts olive oil and sugar and exfoliate the backs of your hands weekly. Do it while you are waiting for the water to boil.

3. Use a hand cream with SPF and glycerin during the day.

4. Take care of your nails by using oil on the nailbeds and cuticles and by maintaining a well balanced diet, with lots of fruits, vegetables and water.

5. At night, use an anti-wrinkle cream that also targets dark spots.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn

I sometimes look at my hands and see my mother’s. I don’t know if it is how they look or the way I gesture. When I recognize this resemblance to my mom, I can appreciate all the lines and spots and veins. These hands have held the hands of ones just born and ones leaving this world. They’ve been washed of blood and dirt and tears and paint and flour and guilt. With all they’ve been through, it is actually amazing they don’t look older. Even though I appreciate the wear and tear, I’m still using sunscreen;)

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