Here’s an irony. While I write this, I’m suffering RSI in my wrists and thumbs – too much trackpad action in addition to holding a heavy zoom lens in Antarctica and treating my wrists as a tripod. Idiot. So, before we go any further, beautiful hands are healthy hands. Respect their amazing anatomy.
I do protect them from the sun but I’m rubbish at everything else – my skincare efforts tend to be face-focused. So in a variation of the old ‘1661’ syndrome (young from the rear, aged from the front), I’m 49 of visage, 69 of mano. But it’s never too late to undo some neglect. Here are four options, from the serious investment to the cheap and cheerful, that get a high five.
While I’ve had a few ‘tweakments’, I’ve had nada on my hands. But while visiting consultant ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon Richard Scawn at The Clinic Holland Park, London (theclinichollandpark.com), who was dealing with a cyst on my eyelid, I noticed his new ‘super clinic’ – with treatments from the medical through to the aesthetic and holistic – offered Profhilo for hands.
I already knew Profhilo as a bio-remodelling agent for the face and neck (it’s not a filler). This concentrated hyaluronic acid, when injected under the surface of the skin, hydrates and treats laxity, stimulating collagen and elastin production. I put my hand up to trial it.
Dr Jennifer Doyle gave me injections in specific points across the top of each hand. I felt a ‘sharp scratch’. Immediately, tiny mounds appeared, which looked strange but dissipated after a couple of hours as the hyaluronic acid spread out. I was told results aren’t immediate, occurring over a number of weeks, with two treatments spaced three to six weeks apart usually recommended (£400 for one, £750 for two). To start with, I couldn’t see much difference. However, after a second session – ah-ha! – I saw real improvement. My skin became less witchy-poo. Smoother. Yes, rejuvenated. Results are expected to last for six months.
I felt in safe hands with Dr Doyle but given such non-surgical treatments are not yet regulated, if you’re interested in Profhilo, the onus remains with you to do your homework in finding the right practitioner. Make sure you visit someone medically qualified who is on a mandatory register – the first port of call is the General Medical Council (GMC), which not only lists doctors but also their specialisms. The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) is another useful resource. Breadth of experience is key and training in aesthetics to a Level 7 qualification is a good marker. There are also a few contraindications, including pregnancy.
To maintain the gain, I tried new Pure Overnight Hand Mask with Luxury Treatment Gloves from Margaret Dabbs London (£30, margaretdabbs.co.uk). The mask contains buriti oil and turmeric, with the gloves aiding absorption. The pot is pretty small (35ml) but you only need a dab (would that be a Margaret dab?). The fingerless gloves are functional enough, although perhaps not the choice if you have a new love interest. During the first night’s wear, I dreamt my hands doubled in size (lol). But blimey, I saw a difference – after a week, my skin was sheeny.
As for hand cream, I hate the greasies. But for a lush formula, I love 79 Lux Intensely Restorative Protective Hand Cream (£30, 79lux.com). For a keep-by-your-side option, the winner is Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fast Absorbing Hand Cream (£6.50, sainsburys.co.uk) with great sink-in action. And oh, if I ever use my hands as a tripod again, please slap my wrists.
This week I am mostly...
Washing with new Trii Incense Hand & Body Exfoliating Wash (£8, trii.co.uk). It comes as a solid bar in a little reusable tin. So, no mess or waste, and the warm, woody fragrance is a real mood booster.
Winding down with La-Eva Jasmina Oil-Serum (£40, la-eva.com) for face, body and hair, made with rosehip, almond and argan oils and mixed with fragrant oils including jasmine and thyme. Leaves your towelling robe smelling like a spa, too.
Not wasting a drop of Raven Botanicals Skin Saviour Nourishing Facial Oil (£26, ravenbotanicals.co.uk). Made in the wilds of Scotland, this lightweight yet luxurious oil is a real radiance-reviver.
Read last week's column: The best balms to protect your skin over winter