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Cosmetic doctor and co-founder of Victor and Garth, Dr Lauren Hamilton, spoke to Express.co.uk about simple tips to reduce the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, on the hands and neck. There are ways people can look after these body parts before they start to age too.
Dr Hamilton said: “A lot of people spend a lot of time and money focusing on the skin on their faces, tending to neglect their neck, as well as the backs of the hands.
“Many people religiously apply SPF for example without blending it down to their necks and chests, which is problematic as this area is frequently exposed to the sun and external environmental stressors that can damage the skin.
“It’s also an area that many people neglect to cleanse properly or keep adequately hydrated with the correct products.
“While some may frequently apply a body moisturiser, ideally the neck should be treated with skincare actives or this area will be prone to ageing.
“With this in mind, we always advise that you should treat your neck with the same care that you treat your face.”
The skin on both the neck and hands is “incredibly thin and delicate”, according to Dr Hamilton, and so it is “vulnerable to effects of sun exposure and signs of premature ageing if neglected”.
“The neck produces less oil than the skin on our faces as it contains less sebaceous glands, plus the cells that naturally protect the skin from UV rays, melanocytes are also less frequent in this area and so it’s far more susceptible to over exposure from the sun’s harmful rays,” the expert added.
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She continued: “Signs of a neglected neck area or hands include sun spots and areas of pigmentation, fine lines, and dry patches. Also due to posture and looking down at our phones and computers we often have tech neck so have lines and wrinkles from looking down.
“Pigmentation on the neck is also common due to perfume and its alcohol content, which can make the skin sun sensitive so people get the patches on the side of the neck. You need to treat both areas with the same products that you use on your face.”
The best products for the neck include antioxidant ingredients such as Vitamin C.
“It will leave your skin glowing and brighter, as, just like retinoids, it will improve the appearance of your skin tone.
“Do be aware though that the skin on your neck and chest area can be more sensitive so strong products such as retinols and exfoliating serums such as AHAs so use with caution and build up use slowly,” Dr Hamilton added.
“Also, you should try to use a product that contains ceramides as these will help to repair your skin’s barrier by locking in moisture.”
The expert also noted that “it’s important to remember that skin health starts from the inside – if you’re not eating well, and not sleeping well, then expensive creams or timely routines are a waste”.
“Especially as we age – our skin doesn’t turn over as quickly as in our 20s and so a bad diet, too much alcohol, or a bad sleep routine can show easily on the skin.”
Also to consider when it comes to hands is how one uses soaps and sanitisers. “We’re approaching them all wrong,” Dr Hamilton said.
“We’re blasting away bacteria with chemicals, then trying to replace the moisture after. When really, we should be considering our hand care as we cleanse. So, if you’re going to wash your hands with soap and water, you don’t need to also reach for a pump of alcohol gel.
“You may think hot water will kill bacteria, but it will cause more irritation – it’s better to use tepid water.
“If you’re out and about and find that hand sanitiser is the easiest way to keep hands clean, don’t bother with sanitisers that contain a low alcohol content, as these won’t be effective in killing bacteria or viruses.”
Dr Hamilton added: “Hand products containing ingredients such as niacinamide can help tackle uneven skin tone and dullness, as well as repairing any damage to the skin barrier.”
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