Anti-ageing treatments for your hands to keep them looking young

According to a recent report, 75% of women believe their true age is given away by their mitts, and 80% admitted they would notice if another woman's hands looked older.

It's certainly a concern I hear a lot about from my clients at the Harley Street Skin Clinic. But why do our hands have the potential to be a dead giveaway when it comes to the number of years we've spent on Planet Earth?

The skin on our hands is one of our thinnest areas, and as we age, we lose muscle tissue in the same way that the face loses definition. The fat also wears down, resulting in skinny, sagging hands with wrinkles and prominent veins.

It doesn’t help that our hands are endlessly exposed to the environment and have fewer oil glands, leading to weathered, crepey skin. All that soaping and sanitising over the last couple of years has taken its toll on the nation’s hands, too. The constant use of oil-stripping soap and alcohol-based cleansers can make even the sturdiest hands irritated – and dry, scaly hands do not scream youth.

The good news is there have been some remarkable developments in turning back the clock on ageing hands, and most treatments you can do on your face can also be used on this area too.

Here is my pick of the best treatments, along with some at-home measures to help hands feel baby soft.


A hand lift without scalpels? Yes it’s possible. To kickstart a new supply of collagen and restore youthful plumpness, try an injectable called Ellanse. Traditional dermal fillers only address wrinkles and folds but Ellanse is a collagen stimulator made from poly-L-lactic acid and works beneath the surface to put the spring back into ageing hands.

What happens: The backs of the hands are numbed using an anaesthetic cream, then Ellanse is injected between the bone, tendons and veins. The results are immediate: volume is restored, bulging veins disappear and ageing hands look years younger. The effects will carry on improving over the following weeks as new collagen is formed. Results can last up to four years and the treatment can be used on all skin types. There might be a little swelling and bruising after treatment.

Cost: from £500


Less expensive than laser treatments and suitable for all skin types, a VI Derm peel will basically make your skin act younger again. It will also remove dull surface cells, and improve wrinkles and fine lines, as well as help fade any discolouration. It's quick, painless, and there are no needles involved.

What happens: The peel liquid is brushed over the backs of cleansed hands, using a strength to suit your skin type. This causes the top layer of skin to shed, triggering cells below to move up to the surface, in turn increasing collagen and hyaluronic acid production. One to three treatments, six weeks apart, is recommended.

Cost: from £275 per treatment


A course of intense pulsed light (IPL) using EXCELIGHT can lighten age spots and improve skin tone. It is a safe, quick treatment with little downtime.

What happens: IPL is aimed at the backs of the hands. These flashes of light are absorbed by red or brown pigments in the skin, which are then broken down by the body. IPL also stimulates cell regeneration and boosts collagen. You'll see results after one treatment but for best effects try a course of three to six, spaced at least ten days apart.

Cost: from £120 a session


* Always wear protective gloves when cleaning. Household products like bleach sprays and washing-up liquid can damage the skin’s natural pH balance and age your hands.

* If you have sensitive or inflamed skin, avoid common irritants and allergens like drying sodium laureth sulphate (SLS), often added to make soap foam. Use a gentle, unscented soap with hydrating ingredients, like glycerine, which pulls moisture into the skin, as well as ceramides, shea butter, and coconut oil. Soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and green tea can also decrease any inflammation and irritation. Try Soapsmith Brick Lane Rinse Free Hand Wash, £7 here, or Green People Quinoa and Calendula Hand Wash, £13.50 here.

*Always use a hand cream after washing as it will act as a barrier and help seal in hydration. Look for creams with vitamin E and ceramides to hydrate and replenish lost moisturise and prevent further cracking. Oatmeal is also good for soothing itchy skin, while emollients and hydrators such as glycerine dimethicone, and shea butter will also help.

*If your hands are still looking a touch peaky, use a tinted moisturiser or a self-tan.

*For a deep DIY moisturising treatment, zap some hand lotion in the microwave for five to ten seconds. Test temperature before massaging in. Wrap hands with clingfilm and cover with a warm towel for a few minutes. Or try an overnight hand mask – use an ointment like Vaseline or Aquaphor, and wear cloth gloves on top.

* Wear SPF 30 or higher on your hands every day, even during winter to prevent age spots and wrinkles.

* Give yourself a hand facial once a week. Products that you use on your face are just as good for your hands, so exfoliate and then use a plumping mask. For a specialist hand treatment, BeautyLab Tripeptide Hand Mask, £28 here, is truly amazing.

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Like most women, Cheryl, 48, had religiously looked after her complexion but never bothered about her hands – and now it was affecting her love life! She told me: “My boyfriend is considerably younger than me and I hate holding hands with him. It looks ridiculous with my ageing hands against his smooth ones. I doubt if he even notices but I feel very self-conscious."

Cheryl had age spots and very loose skin on the backs of her hands, the result of years of sunbathing, so we prescribed filler to replace volume and disguise the veiny appearance, followed by a course of peels, skincare and SPF50. As her skin was very loose, she also had a Fractora resurfacing treatment, in which microneedles create tiny controlled injuries to thicken the skin and make it look tighter. Cheryl was thrilled with the results – except there was one thing missing. "Now all I want is a ring!"

For more information on Lesley Reynolds and the treatments offered at Harley Street Skin Clinic, click here.

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