Your hands speak to reveal your age. Unfortunately, sun spots and bulging veins will scream 60 when you’re only 40. What makes hands look older than their age? For starters, more use and abuse from your face, and less pampering. From alleviating dryness to discoloration, these solutions will keep your hands looking forever beautiful.

Problem: Thin, wrinkled skin
“Sunlight breaks down the collagen that keeps skin supple and firm,” says New Orleans dermatologist Mary Lupo. The fat pad is already a little thinner, and the hand begins to look like a skeleton.

Many ingredients, including retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, and peptides, stimulate collagen production and thicken the skin. But you don’t need a special hand cream. “If you’re using products with these ingredients on your face, put them on your hands,” advises Kimberly Butterwick, MD, a dermatologist in La Jolla, CA. For best results, use an Rx retinoid such as Renova or Avage. Also helpful: a weekly at-home exfoliation to dissolve dead skin cells for a smoother complexion, and monthly do-it-yourself microdermabrasion to gently polish the skin’s surface. Although neither is as effective as professional treatments, they “can improve the thickness of the skin,” Lupo says. (Learn how to get firmer, smoother skin without surgery in Dr. Neil Sadick’s book, The New Natural.)

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Question: Stripes
“Vessels that would normally not be visible beneath the granular skin are lost to collagen and fat,” says NYC phlebologist Lee Shulman, MD.

Collagen-building moisturizers (see “Thin, Wrinkly Skin” above) help plump up the skin, so veins are less visible. To reduce the color difference between the skin and the purple veins, apply an opaque concealer or use a concealer on its own. Other repairs: jewelry, manicure. A recent study found that people thought women looked younger when they wore hand polish and rings. Keep nails short – the white tip should be about ⅛ inch long. “Shorter nail shapes soften the appearance of joints and veins,” says Jean Arnold, founder of nail care company Creative Nail Design.

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