Skin on hands and neck ‘ages rapidly’ – how to reduce signs of ageing

The skin on the back of the hands and neck is thin compared to other parts of the body, Dr Bhavjit Kaur, an aesthetic medical practitioner, told This is why the skin can sag and look older or more wrinkly around these areas.

This is why it is important to protect the hands and neck, according to Dr Kaur. He said: “Very few people apply creams to the neck, and sunscreen is not usually applied to they neck and hands even though they are exposed to the sun.

“The sun causes 80 percent of ageing – it causes hyperpigmentation, loss of collagen, and broken veins.”

To improve the skin and reduce the signs of ageing, as well as using sun cream, Dr Kaur recommended consuming antioxidants such as Vitamin C, hydrating the skin with a good moisturiser, and avoiding harsh soaps and cleaning products in order to protect the hands.

As for the neck, Dr Kaur said that “proper posture is essential to avoid neck lines”. Cosmetic procedures are also available, such as the muscle relaxation injection, a high intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU), and radio frequency with or without microneedling.

Alexandra Haq, founder of AM Aesthetics, also explained why the hands and neck are more affected by ageing than other parts of the body.

She said: “The skin in these areas has less protective tissue and fatty tissue making these areas more prone to damage from the sun and other external factors.

“Prevention can be accomplished to some degree via sunscreen and moisturisation,” the expert added. “A diet rich in antioxidants and a balanced lifestyle also can contribute to how we age.

“In addition to this, injectable bio simulators such as polynucleotides can rejuvenate the skin and underlying tissue by stimulating collagen and reducing free radical damage.”

Dr Sophie Shotter, an award-winning aesthetic doctor, added: “The skin on the hands is structurally different from the rest of the body. It is also unique in that the palm has completely different skin to the backs of the hands.

“Our hands are very prone to environmental damage – they’re very exposed to sunlight and therefore suffer from UV damage, and are also especially prone to dryness, changes in texture and even dermatitis from hand washing.

“The palms of the hand have a thick and robust outer horny layer. They also have a generous fatty layer.

“This area is hair free, has no oil-producing glands, but lots of sweat glands. It is very short of Natural Moisturising Factor. This lack of oil and moisturising factors can make this area very prone to dryness and irritation.”

Dr Shotter went on to offer her top tips on how to protect the hands and reduce the appearance of ageing. She said: “Wash your hands, but don’t over wash. We should be washing our hands thoroughly but use a soap that doesn’t strip the skin’s oils unnecessarily.

“Moisturise – have a hand cream rich in ceramides and emollients that you keep on your desk or in your handbag and use it regularly throughout the day, including after each hand wash.

“Use sunscreen. Make sure you apply a generous layer of sunscreen to the hands, and reapply as you would to the face throughout the day.

“If you struggle with dryness of the hands, apply a rich moisturiser to your hands as you get into bed and wear a pair of cotton or bamboo gloves over this for the night.”

Additionally, it could be worth wearing gloves when doing housework to protect your hands from “unnecessary stresses”.

As for the neck, Dr Shotter explained this body part is “complex”. “The strong muscle in the neck which supports our tissues weakens as we age, therefore not supporting the neck tissues,” she said.

“The neck skin is also structurally quite different to facial skin, lacking in sebaceous glands which help keep skin youthful. Therefore it tends to age quicker and becomes crepey.

“We also tend to neglect the neck with products and sunscreen compared with our face, putting the neck at a distinct disadvantage. The combination of these things means that the neck becomes saggy and lax, often with a fatty nature as the fat pad under the chin loses its tissue support.

“The skin on the neck contains far less sebaceous glands than the facial skin, making it more sensitive to irritation and meaning it ages more rapidly.”

To prevent and reduce signs of ageing on the neck, Dr Shotter advised: “As with anything, combination treatments offer best results. I will always recommend a dedicated neck cream to use at home – there are some good multi-tasking face products that you can also use on the neck.”

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