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Why are you looking at my hands?
By Linda Chaé

handsDid you know that your hands are more likely to tell your age than you face?

Well, it’s true, unfortunately. For a number of reasons, the skin on your hands often begins to show signs of damage years before your face. The skin on the back of the hands is thinner and has less fatty cushion (plumpness) than the face, so it’s more susceptible to damage and dehydration. If you think about your mother or your grandmother, the veins on the backs of their hands probably looked more prominent with bulged tendons and numerous brown spots. Because today’s plastic surgeons cannot change the way hands are showing age, you can give your hands the careful attention they deserve with age defying results.

Here are five reasons your hands maybe suffering by looking older than you feel.

1. Exposure to sun, wind, and temperature extremes causes extrinsic aging – whether it’s your face or your hands. While intrinsic aging is caused by heritage – extrinsic aging comes from exposure and over exposure to the sun, temperature extremes and the weather. These factors increase dryness, sometimes to the degree that cracks form on the sides of fingertips.

2. Too much sun is hard on hands because they often receive more intense and direct radiation than the face. Even in a car or near a window, hands are often exposed to sunshine. Some sun is good, but constant overexposure causes the skin to grow thin, lose elasticity and increases the appearance of irregular pigmentation. Even if you apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands, it’s likely to be rinsed off when washing hands.

3. It is also common to lose the Vitamin C content and other skin nutrients in our most “used and abused” skin on the body. The fact that our hands are being washed numerous times during the day means they are being stripped not only by the water, but also by the synthetic soaps and cleansers in commonly used hand and dish washing products. Inexpensive products can only be made with cheap synthetic detergents. It’s also important to avoid toxic anti-bacterial hand washes with alcohol and Triclosan. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) state that these types of products don’t work any better than regular hand washes or plain soap and water. Medical professionals are seeing regular use of these chemicals causing sores on hands to not heal because the skin’s immune system barrier has been compromised.

4. Hands are usually the driest skin on the body. Yet, there’s a bottle of hand and body lotion in almost every bathroom in America, right? Well, that lotion may not be doing the job. If your hands don’t look and feel moist for hours after applying your lotion, then it may actually be dehydrating your skin. There was a recent study that tested 50 of the most purchased moisturizers - from inexpensive to costly - all of which contained various emulsifiers (ingredients that hold the oil and water ingredients together). It was found that ALL of the moisturizers left the skin more dehydrated within 2 hours than before application. Why? Because the emulsifiers didn’t know to stop working when applied to the skin, so they bound up the oil and water around and inside each cell. Because the cell wall actually becomes weaker and weaker with each application of emulsified lotion, the moisture in the cells leaks (or weeps) out.

5. It’s also possible that toxic ingredients in your regular, everyday products could be causing your hands to age. The following Red Flag ingredients should be avoided at all cost in ANY of your products:

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40
Benzoyl Peroxide
DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (Triethanolamine)
DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl)
FD&C Color Pigments
PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Sunscreen ingredients like benzophenone, avebenzone, methyoxycinnamates, paba, etc.

So … what to do to keep our hands from giving away our age?
There are a number of physical changes in the skin’s structure that are caused by the items listed above. Many of these can be corrected. For example, sun damage can be prevented by using a moisturizing sunscreen applied to the backs of hands each time after washing. You can avoid being one of the 90% over the age of 60 that has brown spots on their hands. And you can prevent an even bigger issue of the brown spots darkening and changing in appearance indicating the presence of skin cancer. So, inspecting your hands and caring for the health of your skin – on your hands and over your entire body - is really important.

Today most people are more aware of nutrition, green living and healthy lifestyles, so you would think that incorporating care for our hands shouldn’t be difficult. Sometimes it is the appearance of crepe-y skin or dark spots that remind us to care for our hands. After all, you probably buy special age-defying products for your face and eyes; you may even have facials, massages and other specialty treatments. Why is it that we don’t give the same attention to our hands? For instance, when you use a scrub or cleanser on your face, also apply it to the backs of your hands. When you apply a mudd or silt masque… remember to include your hands.

Doing dishes, washing hands, and using household cleaning products are easier on the hands when you use vegetable based cleansers made to be mild without compromising effectiveness. This will mean avoiding those typical products sold in the grocery store. They may be cheap because of the industrial grade, synthetic detergents; but they are usually contain toxic ingredients – not good for your hands, your health, a fetus in the womb, or your family. If you avoid using detergents that strip the skin of essential moisture, you will immediately notice healthier, prettier looking hands.

But, what other measures can you take to retain younger-looking hands?
The options are many and start with a regular routine of moisturizing your hands throughout the day – especially with a non-emulsified lotion or cream. This could increase the moisture by 40% and even with regular hand washing will dramatically make a difference by reducing the dry, scaly appearance. With this increased hydration, you should be able to see the skin on the back of your hands become plumper - automatically firming up some of the looser skin.

Be extra considerate of your hands by using some of your anti-aging facial products like serums, masks and exfoliators. Products high in vitamins, minerals and extra nutrition will also support the youthful appearance. Always make sure that the products you are using on your hands and elsewhere on your body are free from toxins, hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and any other known harmful substance. In other words, be sure to READ the labels on every product.

All of my body care products are Certified ToxicFree®, your assurance that they are free from any xeno-estrogens, petroleum-based ingredients, neurotoxins, or any other known harmful ingredients. Try the Wild Ginger Hand Wash, a natural, organic hand soap formulated to clean your hands without stripping away the precious moisture. Our cocoa butter cleansing agent has the potential to reduce the over all irritation often caused by hot water. We’ve also added soothing herbs and dextrose sugars (polysaccharides) that deposit more moisture than the water and cleanser washes away.

After 12 years of diligent research we’ve made a physical block sunscreen that creates a barrier on the skin, providing hours of protection. Our safe4u SPF 15, all over body sunscreen contains rich moisturizer to retain the skin’s moisture while exposed to the elements. It’s a lovely peach color due to the rich antioxidants and bioflavinoids of seabuckthorn berry and calendula flower oils. It comes in a smart-looking 4 oz bottle that can be left in the bathroom and near your kitchen sink. A small sample pot can always be kept in your pocket or purse, left near the dog’s walking leash, with your running shoes… or wherever you need to be reminded.

I encourage you to use our extraordinary Smart Serum as an anti-aging treatment designed to be used under our sunscreen --- on your hands, as well as your face. It is designed to immediately mitigate existing damage and give the many layers of your skin precious anti-aging nutrients. There are many actives included in this serum, with clinical studies showing they increase skin’s hydration by 70% and retain moisture 40% longer… all because this serum helps stop the moisture leakage from previous damage. Other actives give each cell recovery power from UV radiation with their potent antioxidant and UV light absorbing benefits. Some help pigment producing cells from being spastic and over-active which reduces hyper-pigmentation, brightens and provides even-toned skin. Still others provide properties that work as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-allergy, antibacterial/viral. There are even anti-carcinogenic compounds in this formula to assist the skin’s inner resistance and fortification.

By all means, I encourage you to see how well the Vanilla Cream Body Lotion provides superior and long lasting moisture – not only because it is emulsifier-free, but from the superior ingredients that are often only found in expensive, high-end face care. And for those of you with sensitive skin or who want scent free lotion, try our chaebaby lotion (of course it is emulsifier-free as well). Some of our most popular products include our various flavors of body butters -including a romantic vanilla blend, another with upbeat citrus essential oils, and a happy-go-lucky cocomango essence. Add to your regime what ever products makes your hands feel better, as your efforts will help to create and maintain younger-looking hands.

All of these are easy to implement in your daily routine…and you’ll be delighted when strangers guessing your age mistake you for someone much younger because your hands ‘look your age’ … or younger!

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Copyright © Chaé Organics, Inc. 2007
About the Author: Linda Chaé is a prominent researcher, formula consultant, educator and consumer advocate. She has met with many Congressional Leaders and Health Committee Members in Washington D.C., fighting for ‘Your Right to Know’ legislation, and to protect the public from unsafe chemicals in products. Check out the natural organic skin care products Linda has created that are guaranteed to improve your appearance in 30 days!

To read more about issues mentioned in this article, Click Here!

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