Valerie Monroe, O's beauty director
Q: I'm 46, but my hands look 66. Help!

A: There's a lot you can do, starting with preventing your problem from getting worse. The reason your hands look older than the rest of you is that you've probably neglected to protect them in the way you've (I hope) been protecting your face; consequently, they've weathered faster and lost soft tissue, says Kimberly Butterwick, MD, member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Try Retin-A, or products containing retinol, and antioxidants like vitamin C or CoffeeBerry—all are effective in helping to preserve skin health, as is sunscreen, which you should be using on your hands every day. Moisturizers made specifically for the hands are good, too; Butterwick recommends Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fast Absorbing Hand Cream, $5.50, and Olay Quench Rapid Repair Hand Lotion, $5 (we also like Curél Targeted Therapy Hand & Cuticle Cream, $5). If you're looking to repair damage already done: One to three laser treatments can get rid of hyperpigmentation (large freckles); fillers like Radiesse or Sculptra can be injected to plump up the backs of your hands; sclerotherapy and, sometimes, lasers can treat large, dilated blue veins, Butterwick says.

Bottom line: Start treating your hands the way you treat your face, which will benefit the texture of the skin and improve your hands' overall appearance.


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