The Best Sunscreens To Use On Your Hands

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No skincare routine is complete without sunscreen. You might be using the most expensive skincare products and paying for fancy treatments, but it is almost pointless if you do not use sun protection. We all age, but sunscreen is vital if you are trying to protect yourself from signs of premature aging.

According to Healthline, some of the signs of premature aging are sun spots and hyperpigmentation, and you have overexposure to the sun's UV rays to blame for that. One of the best ways to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun is by using a sunscreen every day. Using sunscreen can reduce your risk of skin cancer and protect your skin from premature aging (via Skin Cancer Foundation). Everyone needs sunscreen irrespective of age and ethnicity, and you need to apply sunscreen to all exposed parts of your body, including your hands. 

Harvard-trained dermatologist Christina Weng told Byrdie, "Our hands are a telling marker of sun damage that often takes a backseat in anti-aging regimens. While there's a lot of focus on SPF for the face and neck, our hands also get a lot of sun through day-to-day activities such as driving and walking outside." Dr. Weng added that increased exposure to the sun and skipping sunscreen could lead to dark spots and "textural changes" on the back of our hands, where the skin is already thinner. It is also a common location for skin cancer.

Your hands can reveal your real age

Most of us take care of our face, but neglect our hands, and the skin on our hands is also prone to signs of aging. According to Healthline, our skin starts getting thinner as we age due to the loss of collagen. If you take a look at your hands and notice that they look "more veiny, thin, and prone to wrinkles," it may be due to premature aging.

Lifestyle choices like smoking, diet, lack of sleep, stress, and the sun's UV rays all contribute to aging. A study published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that you could tell a person's age by looking at their hands (via Science Daily). Participants were shown the unaltered images of the hands of women in various age groups. Based on how their hands looked, the participants were able to guess the age of the person. The characteristics of younger hands were "fullness and a lack of wrinkles and veins," and the most significant indicator of older-looking hands were "prominent hand veins," resulting from thinner skin. 

However, you can slow down the aging process of your hands by taking care of visible signs of aging like sun spots, loss of fullness, visible veins, and wrinkles by moisturizing your hands, getting in-office treatments, and wearing sunscreen, per the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). They recommend applying broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day before exposing your hands to the sun.

The best sunscreen for younger-looking hands

While most of us are pretty good at applying sunscreen on other parts of our bodies, the hands often get forgotten. Since it is also essential to show some love to your hands, here are the best sunscreens to do so.

New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Rita Linkner recommends Rodan+Fields Essentials Face + Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 because it is an "oil-free but glycerin-packed formulation that seamlessly rubs into the back of your hands." It protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, and it is both sweat and water-resistant (via Byrdie). The Strategist recommends Sun Bum Hand Cream SPF 15 because it smells like yummy coconuts, blends well without looking too chalky, and is water-resistant. Though it is water-resistant, they recommend reapplying it after washing your hands.

Cosmopolitan's pick is Supergoop Handscreen SPF 40, because, in addition to sun protection, it also has antioxidants like vitamin E and Argan oil to keep your hands "super soft and hydrated." It is free of sulfate, parabens, and fragrance. It is also available in a mini, making it convenient to carry around for reapplication. Elle loves Deborah Lippman Rich Girl Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Hand Cream because this luxurious-feeling cream is infused with "jojoba oil, avocado oil, and shea butter" to provide intense hydration with sun protection. While sun protection is essential to protect your hands, it is also best to limit sun exposure and reapply sunscreen every two hours and after washing your hands.