Musings on effortless beauty, from an apprentice of the science of skin.

Don’t Take Back Handed Compliments.

The oft forgotten region, the back of your hands, are the first to go. Most exposed and vulnerable to the destructive power of UV-A rays, it is not thought about until its much too late. And you don’t want to spend your golden years wearing motorcycle gloves covering them up (see Madonna). Nope, not a good look for any occasion. 

The brown spots often spotted on the hands of many a granny, also called age spots or solar lentigines in derm-speak, are avoidable.  They are the result of excessive sun exposure over a life time, and are accompanied by wrinkling, thinning, and roughening of the skin.  The skin produces these unsightly little islands of melanin as a protective measure against excessive UV exposure.  The wrinkling comes from UV-A rays and excessive enzyme activity destroying precious, plumping collagen.  The end result is spotted, wrinkled, leathery hands that betray your age, despite efforts to preserve your youth above the neck. 

Are you as horrified as I am? I hope so because the point is to scare you into remembering to slather that broad spectrum, UV-A, UV-B protective sunscreen you bought after last week’s lesson on sun protection onto the back of your hands. This especially applies to my ladies in sunny California, where y’all are getting a whole lotta inadvertent UV exposure through your car window as you’re cruising.  Once the damage is done, it is darn near impossible to undo.  There are ways that can help, involving a lot of pain, money, and lasers, but prevention is the sure path to success.  I want you divas looking beautiful head to toe for decades to come.  

(photo credit: French Vogue)