WE’RE forever working on our faces, applying lotions and potions to keep us looking young.
But according to experts, it is actually another body part which is most exposed to the sun and pollution that will more than likely give away our age.
“But it’s another area that often looks older than our faces, due to a combination of age and environment-related reasons, including free-radical damage, pollutants and irritants.
“This area is not the first thing people see but it is very effective at showing wear and tear, and more importantly, exposing age.’’
Yasmin Harisha speaks to three women who appear younger than their years apart from one giveaway.
STEFF…FACE AGE, 32, HAND AGE, 60
STEFF McGRATH, 50, is the owner of Something Wicked, a lingerie company. She lives in Roundhay, Leeds with creative director husband Don, 49, and their son Jacob, 20, and daughter Eve, 18:
People are always surprised to hear my age and insist I must be in my thirties, even though I have an 18-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son.
I would say that some of it is to do with the way that I dress.
I still wear things I wore when I was in my thirties, such as trainers and denim shorts. Plus, I have the same hairstyle I had in my thirties.
The rest of it is definitely down to genetics. My mum’s 83 and she looks at least 15 years younger than that.
When it comes to my facial routine, I’ve been using the same moisturising cream for 20 years. I do try to avoid having the sun on my face because it dries the skin out and ages it. I use sun block whenever I’m out to protect it.
I’ve never thought about using Botox or fillers but in the future, when the wrinkles do start looking a bit more obvious, I would definitely consider it.
I eat healthily but I wouldn’t say I watch what I eat.
But where I always fall down is my hands. I forget to moisturise them, and you can tell this as they clearly show my age.
The skin on them is always dry and that makes them look saggy and wrinkled.
I’m also starting to see age spots on them – I can tell it’s the biggest giveaway of my age to people. I don’t moisturise my hands as much as I do my face.
I try to after doing the washing-up, or other household chores, but the moisturiser washes off.
They’re under attack all the time, so it’s not surprising they do show my true age.
CARRIE’S VERDICT: “Steff’s wrinkle-free face matches that of a woman of 32.
“But her hands are lined and dry, and these age her considerably.
“The skin is thin and lacks laxity. This could have been due to over-exposure to harsh chemicals, smoking and/or UVA and UVB rays and puts her in the over-sixties bracket for hands.
“I would recommend a combination treatment to target the different concerns and this would help her hands match her lovely face.”
GILLY…FACE AGE 35, HAND AGE, 55
SINGLE Gilly Da Silva, 50, runs Mending Hearts Retreats in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. She says:
When people assume I’m between 30 and 35, I usually just laugh it off. While I’m not worried about getting older, I’m not keen on looking it.
I started having Botox at 35, not because I had wrinkles, but because I wanted to head them off before they appeared.
Aside from the Botox twice a year, I don’t have a complicated facial skincare routine.
I use facial moisturisers and make a point of changing brands every so often, because after a while, your skin gets used to it.
From time to time, I will use a facial serum if I think my skin needs it too.
But compared to my face, my hands are more wrinkled and I think it’s the main thing that makes me look middle-aged.
I haven’t had Botox in my hands – so I guess maybe this is the ultimate giveaway.
I know when I hold them next to my face, there is a clear difference in how they look.
CARRIE’S VERDICT: “Gilly has the face of a 35-year-old – she barely has a wrinkle. Her forehead is smooth, there’s no sagging around the eyes and even the smile lines are minimal.
“But Gilly’s hands show signs of ageing. She has prominent veins, sun spots and fine lines, likely due to over-exposure to the sun at some point.
“The age of her hands is over 55 – the skin is lacking elasticity and looks a little dehydrated, which is a common sign of ageing.
“Laser treatment could break down the pigment in the sun spots, giving her better skin quality to match her beautiful, youthful face.”
STEPHANIE…FACE AGE, 33, HAND AGE, 65
MUM Stephanie Taylor is a property investor from Newport. She is single and has a 31-year-old son named Alex. Stephanie, 50, says:
My son is 31 and I’ve lost count of the number of times people have mistaken me for his partner. It doesn’t go down too well with him but always makes me laugh.
I’m proud of being 50 but I also like the fact I don’t look it. I keep my skincare very simple and don’t bother with all the oils and serums that are available.
I just use coconut oil on my face and body twice a day, and that seems to do the trick.
I think it’s more important to have a positive attitude to life and to be careful about what you eat.
I’ve never resorted to any cosmetic surgeries or treatments because I don’t feel the need. That might change when I’m 80 and my face is showing my age.
But the parts of my body that do reflect my age are my hands. Apart from manicures, I guess I just leave them alone to do their thing.
CARRIE’S VERDICT: “Her hands are approximately the same age as those of a 65-year-old.
“They are incredibly dehydrated and lacking elasticity, which is in line with someone in their sixties. There are also typical age spots and dry skin. Her hands look older compared to her face, where there are no lines or wrinkles.
“This could also be due to a healthy, balanced diet, good sleeping habits, lots of water and genes that allow skin to produce collagen at a faster rate.”
STOP YOUR HANDS GIVING AWAY YOUR AGE
AWARD-winning beauty expert Ingeborg van Lotringen says:
START TREATING YOUR HANDS LIKE YOU WOULD A VERY DRY FACE: Replace regular soaps, alcohol gels and antibacterial washes with soap-free bars and sulphate-free hand washes.
These still cleanse thoroughly but guarantee your hands won’t shrivel further with dehydration and a compromised protective moisture barrier.
DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON PERFUMED HAND CREAMS: Fragrances irritate thinning, parched skin, and you want to invest in hard-working ingredients, not luxury. A high SPF is essential to stop further wrinkling.
USE BACKS OF HANDS TO RUB IN FACE CREAM: This way they will absorb the goodness you give to your face. The vitamin C, niacinamide, AHAs and plant oils that keep your face looking good are as effective on your hands.
It’s an instant plumper. And on the subject of gloves: don’t do the dishes without Marigolds.