Despite the countless serums and moisturizers we use to care for our faces, most of us don’t give the skin on our bodies the same attention. And we really should—especially our hands. Given that the delicate skin on our hands is known to be more susceptible to wear-and-tear, like age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, caring for our hands is a crucial skin-care step we can’t afford to overlook.
“Our hands can sometimes give us away with respect to aging if we haven’t taken steps to protect them,” explains Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Stryke Club. “Photoaging takes place on all sun-exposed skin, including the backs of the hands.” It’s this constant sun exposure that can make age spots (or dark spots), wrinkles, and other blemishes inevitable.
The good news is, certain hand creams can work wonders when it comes to preventing and diminishing the look of age spots on your hands. They still have to be applied with sunscreen of course, but the skin-care world is positively brimming with hand cream options that’ll lessen the look of age spots and help prevent new ones from forming. We asked dermatologists to “hand” over their favorite hand creams for age spots—find their recommendations, below.
The best hand creams for age spots, at a glance:
- Best overall: Goldfaden MD Hands To Heart Hand Treatment ($38)
- Best fragrance-free: Necessaire The Hand Cream ($20)
- Best with SPF: Supergoop! Handscreen SPF 40 ($38)
- Best splurge: PCA Skin CE Hand Renewal ($82)
- Best budget: CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream ($10)
- Best with vitamin C: Dr. Loretta Intense Brightening Cream ($75)
- Best with retinol: Beauty Pie Super Retinol Anti-Aging Hand Treatment ($50)
- Best for very dry hands: Elta MD So Silky Hand Crème ($25)
- Best for wrinkles: StriVectin Volumizing & Rejuvenating Hand Cream ($29)
- Best for sensitive skin: Beekman 1802 Pure Hand Cream ($22)
- Best for firming: StriVectin Crepe Control Brightening & Firming Hand Cream ($29)
- Best hand cream that’s not technically a hand cream: REN Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream ($55)
For a hand cream that does the most to combat age spots, check out the Goldfaden MD Hand Treatment. “The ingredients look quite good for anti-aging,” says Dr. Maguiness. “The retinol is the most important active in this list, however it’s also rich in [moisturizing] avocado oil and contains niacinamide which is another great ingredient for reducing hyperpigmentation.” With its powerful ingredient line up—which also includes hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich red tea extract, and glucosamine, a humectant that locks in moisture—this multi-tasking treatment is the key to brighter, smoother, more hydrated hands.
For a fragrance-free option, Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York loves the Necessaire Hand Cream. “The niacinamide can help with lightening age spots and the marula oil is a great addition,” he explains. Between the moisturizing marula oil, brightening niacinamide, and the skin-plumping, protective peptides, this fast-absorbing hand cream does it all, without leaving a scent behind. Bonus: the minimalist packaging looks good on your bedside table, too.
Best with SPF
“Sun protection is vital for protecting the skin from photo-damage and collagen loss, which lead to dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles,” explains Courtney Rubin, MD, MBE, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Fig. 1.
And Dr. Bhanusali agrees: “I love the Supergoop Handscreen given it has SPF 40, and my patients love it as well,” he tells us. “It also has ingredients like soy that can help with the dark spots and antioxidants that can help combat UV damage.” Antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn extract helps fend off environmental damage and support more even-looking skin, while moisturizing meadowfoam seed oil keeps hands hydrated without the greasy feel. Plus, you can snag one in a mini size for only $14 bucks.
If you’re serious about addressing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots on hands, you’ll want to invest in this antioxidant-rich hand cream by PCA Skin. “[It has] antioxidants that help with free radical damage from sun and pollution, as well as the antioxidant vitamin C which is a mild lightener,” explains Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in San Francisco.
It’s even formulated with bakuchiol for added age-defying benefits. “Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to retinol which helps with skin cell turnover and collagen stimulation,” Dr. Campbell tells us. In combination with mega-moisturizing vitamin E, these powerhouse ingredients help support brighter and smoother looking hands.
If you’re on a budget, Dr. Maguiness says you can combat the look of age spots on hands by bringing your retinol face serums to the backs of your hands, then going in with the CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream to lock in the ingredients. Don’t be fooled by the affordable price—this fast-absorbing cream is chock full of good-for-you ingredients like ceramides to strengthen your skin barrier, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump skin, and niacinamide to soothe and support an even tone.
Best vitamin C
Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist with over 40 years’ experience and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare says she uses her brand’s Intense Brightening Cream to address age spots on hands. An effective solution to prevent and reduce the look of existing age spots, the Dr. Loretta cream touts a potent 20-percent vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid. “It’s well tolerated and gives amazing visible improvements [to the skin],” explains Dr. Loretta. “Since the Vitamin C is also photo protective, it can be applied morning as well as evening.”
Best with retinol
“Topical retinoids are the most helpful thing you can apply to reduce the signs of aging, including decreased appearance of age spots and overall improvement of the thickness and texture of the skin on hands,” explains Dr. Maguiness.
Her pick? Beauty Pie’s Super Retinol Hand Treatment. The fragrance-free formula contains 1-percent encapsulated retinol to reduce the look of age spots and wrinkles, along with ultra-rich shea butter to nourish dry hands. Dr. Maguiness recommends steering clear of this one if you have sensitive skin, and only using it at night, as retinol can cause photosensitivity. Plus, if you sign up for a Beauty Pie membership, you can get this (and other luxe skin and body care) for less $$$.
Best for very dry hands
For a hand cream that does away with dark spots and dryness at the same time, reach for the So Silky Hand Crème by Elta MD. The rich cream uses skin-strengthening ceramides and vitamin E to quench dry hands with moisture without feeling sticky. And according to Anna Chacon, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and author based in Miami, Florida, it also helps brighten the look of age spots, too. “So Silky contains sclareolide, a plant-derived substance that helps improve the look of skin hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Chacon explains.
Best for wrinkles
“This cream focuses on hydration and barrier repair to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging,” explains board-certified dermatologist Nava Greenfield, MD. “It leaves a subtle glow which also helps give a youthful appearance.”
Even better, the skin-plumping hand cream absorbs quickly without a hint of greasiness. And according to consumer studies, a whopping 90 percent of participants reported a reduced appearance in the crepey skin on their hands, so it’s no wonder why the cream has so many positive reviews. “My hands look like they’re 43 instead of 63,” gushed one happy StriVectin customer. “Really good stuff and I will use it up and buy it again.”
Best for sensitive skin
Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, recommends this nourishing hand cream by Beekman 1802 for its soothing and gently exfoliating ingredients that hydrate and can help gradually brighten the look of skin. “Glycerin, fatty alcohols, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and triglycerides hydrate the skin, support the skin barrier, and lock in moisture,” she tells us. Dr. King explains that goat milk—the hand cream’s main ingredient—is a natural source of lactic acid. “[Lactic acid is] an alpha hydroxy acid that also has humectant properties, so it hydrates as well as gently exfoliates the skin,” she explains. “Gentle exfoliation can help to gradually brighten the skin.”
Best for firming
According to board-certified dermatologist Aanand Geria, MD, this StriVectin Brightening & Firming Hand Cream is your first line of defense against loss of firmness and dark spots. Formulated with plantain extract and hexylresorcinol—a brightening ingredient known for its antioxidant properties—along with peptides to boost elasticity and firmness, this derm-beloved cream is the answer to brighter, firmer skin on your hands. “It’s been clinically proven to target age spots, dryness, and uneven textures,” confirms Dr. Geria. “It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.”
Best hand cream that’s not technically a hand cream
While it’s not technically a hand cream, Dr. Greenfield loves the REN Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream to address pigmentation on the hands. “This cream has clinical results to show, which I love,” Dr. Greenfield says. In a consumer evaluation study, 80 percent of participants reported that their skin looked more even after 2 weeks. The star of the show is the encapsulated algae complex, which promises to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation. “The jojoba seed oil, citric acid and linalool also provide brightening qualities to hyperpigmented skin without lightening surrounding skin,” explains Dr. Greenfield.
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