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    How can moisturizers improve the appearance of aging hands?

    Hand moisturization is difficult to accomplish because the hands are washed more frequently than any other body part, thus experiencing both chemical and physical trauma.  Also, hands tend to show age better than any other body because they are frequently in the sun and do not receive sunscreen.  Hands also suffer from subcutaneous fat loss early in the aging process.  Hand moisturization can smooth skin scale increasing light reflection, provide softness by placing an emollient layer on the skin surface, and minimize skin dehydration by utilizing a water impermeable occlusive oily layer.  This means that an anti-aging hand moisturizer must contain ingredients to fulfill these 3 goals.  The best hand moisturizers contain dimethicone for smoothing skin scale and placing an emollient layer on the skin surface along with glycerin to help the hand skin hold water along with petrolatum to retard water loss.  Other ingredients may also be included, but these 3 are the active ingredients that make a difference.

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    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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