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Helping Hands With Medical Esthetic Techniques

By: Elaine Linker
Posted: February 28, 2013, from the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Your clients’ hands tell a story. Although they are often taken for granted, the hands reveal significant details. Women and men spend so much time and money today trying to “de-age” their faces, but according to Howard Sobel, MD, “The hands can reveal true age quicker than any of the fillers can plump up sagging skin.” You need only to see all the pigmented spots on a woman’s hands that come from sun exposure to know that no matter how smooth the face, this person is way older then she claims to be.

In addition to environmental damage, hands lose fat and connective tissue, and start to look thin and transparent over time. Veins also become more prominent and the skin becomes thinner and drier; a dead give-away to a person’s age.

Like any other part of the body, prevention is the key. Wearing protective gloves when doing household chores is the mantra of any hand model, but what applies for the face and décolleté might be even more important for the hands: sunscreen. The face is actually slightly more protected with makeup and multifaceted face creams that contain sunscreen, whereas most people do not pay attention to their hands during their morning routine. Educate clients about their options for hand care, and provide the services and techniques that will transform their skin, giving them a more youthful appearance.

Dry hand helpers

The first line of defense is a good offense. There are many good hand creams on the market, but using an emollient sunscreen during the day provides double bang for your client’s buck. Encourage clients to apply moisturizing sunscreen to the hands as part of an everyday routine, right after applying sunscreen on the face. Sunscreen needs to be applied 30 minutes before exposure for maximum protection. Ideally, applying sunscreen right after a shower and before morning coffee will give it time to absorb. Remind clients to care for their hands by displaying and visibly promoting professional preventive treatment hand creams in your retail area.

Age spots and sun spots

Spots on the hands can appear as early as age 30, especially for those who live in a year-round sunny climate. Every skin care facility menu should have a hand treatment that appears in both the section for body treatments, as well as manicures and pedicures. This should include a 15-minute hand-lightening treatment, consisting of a light peel, skin-lightening hand mask and hand massage with a skin-lightening hand cream with SPF for day or one without for evening. The menu also should feature a five-minute add-on hand care service with a light peel, to be performed during a facial.