Additionally, if you are going through menopause, you may see more dramatic changes. “As our hormones diminish in menopause, the functions they perform to maintain the health and vitality of the skin diminish as well, characterized by a decrease in sweat, sebum, and the immune functions resulting in significant alterations in the skin surface including pH, lipid composition, and sebum secretion,” board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D., previously told us about menopause and skin. “These changes also provide potential alterations in the skin that may affect the skin microbiome.”
Now add in the fact that hands get more physical and environmental exposure than other parts of your body, and they can become quite the delicate spot. It’s no wonder experts and dermatologists are so insistent you protect them with a barrier supporting cream.
But, like all skin care, not all formulas are created equal. In order to help your skin as it ages, you should be mindful of the ingredients you are using—and look for ones that not only feed your skin lipids, but address the other areas of barrier function as well.
So, of course you’ll want to look for a cream with dense, rich oils and butters to keep your skin hydrated and conditioned. Shea butter and moringa seed oil are both sophisticated options that contain fatty acids and more to help bolster the barrier. But then look for additional ingredients like targeted antioxidants to help improve your skin’s free radical fighting abilities, lighten age spots, and reduce signs of premature aging. Vitamins C, E, niacinamide, and coenzyme Q10 are all potent and popular options that have significant research backing up their skin-healthy benefits. Finally, you’ll want to support your flora as you age, since the changes in the biome can make your skin more sensitive: pre- and postbiotic ingredients have been shown to help calm the skin, nurture the natural flora, and improve your skin’s defense system.
That may sound like a tall order for a hand cream—but we’ve seen some pretty sophisticated formulas enter the market. Don’t know where to start? Check out our all-time favorite hand creams here.