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Hands Don’t Lie

By Amalah

Dear Amy,
I have seen the Curel light and love that it moisturizes without being sticky. But I have another more specific lotion question. I’m one of those people who started using anti-aging moisturizer by 20 because I figured that it couldn’t hurt and could only help. My face is still in good shape, but I’ve begun to get paranoid about my hands. They say (you know, those people, probably advertising writers) that the hands can be the first to show signs of aging. I’ve looked a bit and haven’t found much in the way of anti-aging hand cream.
Can you suggest anything? I feel like it’s a waste to use my face cream because I’m a scientist and wash my hands constantly. Still I’d feel better knowing that I am doing everything I can to prevent hand-aging.

Oh my God, Those People! They are always finding new ways to mess with our heads. I also seem to hear that “I’m 35, but my hands look MUCH OLDER” lady every time I look at my hands. (So points to the advertisers who came up with that commercial, but then major points deducted because I don’t have a clue as to what product was actually being advertised.)
Anyway, there are a bazillion and one anti-aging creams formulated just for hands. Strivectin, the stretch-mark and wrinkle people, now have a cream and a “NanoExfoliant” (shwaa?) especially formulated for hands. Lancome has its Absolue Hand, which supposedly works wonders on those little brown sun spots women get as they age.
But these are probably a little hardcore for a lot of us. Sure, they can’t hurt, but paying almost $50 for them? Basic preventive care for your hands doesn’t have to cost that much. A nice rich hand cream applied twice a day and sunscreen in the morning will most definitely reduce your chances of getting premature prune hands.
I’m really bad about remembering suncreen, even though I know. I KNOW! It’s pretty much the best way to prevent almost every skin-related problem in the book. (By the way, I’m currently testing out face sunscreens for an upcoming Price Tag Cage Match, so if you’ve got one you love or have always wondered about, let me know!)
burts.jpgFor basic hand care, I love the Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Kit — it’s got pretty much everything you need, minus an SPF product. The Shea Butter Repair Creme is also part of their anti-aging line. Burt’s stuff is all natural, so there’s no fancy NanoExfoliant Collagen ReJuvenators or whatever the hell, but I like it. Since you wash your hands a lot, I’d keep a small tube of the Curel handy for a mid-day moisturizing, since dry hands are not going to be pretty hands.
As for the sunscreen, you can go fancy. Like Fresh Sun Shield SPF 30 — which promises all sorts of results through the awesome power of…algae. Or Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream SPF 30, which you could use on your face as well. As long as you don’t wash your hands too soon after applying it, you should only have to use it once a day.
Or you can go cheap, if you don’t really care about all those exotic extra ingredients and just go for the SPF. Aveeno, Coppertone, whatever. Either use something you’ve already got lying around or play with the testers at the store to find something you like. The biggest factor is just USING IT. The specific brand is much less important.
The World’s Biggest SPF Hypocrite, But She Promises To Be Better

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Pam

    March 2, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I love this question and answer. I am a freak about putting lotion on my hands after *every* time they come in contact with water. It’s a quirk. I have been using Lubriderm for the last 10 or so years, but recently have been noticing some signs of aging on my hands. Thanks for your suggestions, I’ll have to give them a try.
    As for the sunscreen question – I have rosacea and was told by my dermatologist to use at least and SPF30 every day on my face. It took me a while to find an SPF30 that didn’t make my face feel all greesy and gross. But I did, and I’d like to suggest it if I may be so bold! It’s the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. I do use it every day and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing sunscreen, which can be goopy and heavy.

  • Suzy Q

    March 2, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    I remember pretty hands. Sigh. I woke up one day and they were gone. I guess that’s what I get from living in the subtropics and drinking and partying my 20s and 30s away without benefit of SPF. Or common sense. Now, I just try to moisturize as often as possible, usually with Curel. If I were rolling in the dough, I would totally buy that Lancome crap because, oh, it calls to me.
    With regard to the facial SPF, though? Might I recommend Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer SPF 30? (Yes, I had to fetch the bottle from the bathroom because that title? Is way too long.) It’s nice and light and doesn’t smell like a coconut plantation (hate) and is not too expensive. I think around $12-14 maybe? It lasts a long time, too. I’ve got your run-of-the-mill T-zone face, with the krazee dry/oily areas and I find this works for both.

  • hanskey

    March 2, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I don’t use Mary Kay myself, but my aunt who sells it has the most beautiful hands, and she’s in her 60s. They have this Satin Hands treatment that really does make your hands feel great, I’ve used it while at her house.

  • rai

    March 5, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Bosica Daily Hand Revival Therapy. We LOVES this, we do. (Purchased on my very first trip to Sephora! As there is a local one now!) It has SPF 15, doesn’t feel like sun block, doesn’t smell like sun block, and moisturizes my hands amazingly. I have major dry-hand issues, and this is my favorite so far. I love it like burning.

  • Courtney G.

    March 5, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    For the Price Tag Cage Match, might I suggest LaRoche-Posay Anthelios SX SPF 15 and/or Biotherm Aquasource Nonstop SPF 15. The entire Biotherm line is lovely, but not always easy to find – in Canada it is sold at most drugstores, but is available here at some of the larger Sephoras. I have to confess that I am totally addicted to Biotherm – in particular their regular moisturizing gel (also have stupid issues with SPF) and facial cleansing gel. Oh, and their toner. And, well, many of their other products.

  • Lorraine

    March 6, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Delush just reviewed two Freeman Bare Hands products, which sound like they smell awesome, actually work, and are supah-drugstore cheap — $3.99 each!