5 Things You Should Already Be Doing To Take Better Care Of Your Hands

As women, we're taught from a young age how important it is to protect the skin on our faces. We're bombarded with multi-step skincare routines to keep our skin hydrated/smooth/wrinkle-free, and repeatedly told how important it is to rub dozens of products on our faces and necks. But there is one body part that is just as important to take care of that's often overlooked: our hands. So what should you be doing to take care of the skin on your hands?

Years ago, my mom let me in on an important skincare secret: If you want to know a woman's real age, look at her hands (I definitely didn't ask or care, but she is full of unsolicited beauty knowledge that I never appreciated until I hit 25). Because so many of us forget to protect them when we're young, we can end up with wrinkles, spots or other signs or premature skin aging later in life. Because of this, it's important to remember to include your hands in your daily skincare routine.

I spoke to Dr. Marko Lens of Zelens about how to ensure our hands stay young, healthy and smooth looking for as long as we'll want to Instagram pictures of our manicures. Here are her tips for making it possible.

1. Exfoliate Regularly

L'Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub, $24, Sephora.com

"Exfoliation is essential," says Dr. Lens. "I like mild mechanical exfoliation and use of alpha hydroxy and polyhydroxy acids." There are many different ways to exfoliate your skin, so just make sure you pick one and stick with it.

2. Apply Good Fats

Episilk Hand & Body Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid, $15.96, NaturalHealthyConcepts.com

Part of the reason skin wrinkles over time is because of a loss of collagen, so it's important to use products to combat that process as you age. "Products should contain good fats that replenish moisture and help repair skin barrier," says Dr. Lens. "Use of hyaluronic acid and other ingredients with filling-plumping effect is important."

3. Use A Brightener

Murad Rapid Age Spot And Lightening Serum, $60, Sephora.com

"Ingredients with brightening effects can contribute a lot in keeping skin of the hands without dark spots," says Dr. Lens. There are over the counter and prescription-strength options for these types of treatments, so consult your dermatologist about the best option for you.

4. Moisturize Daily

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, $7.89, Target.com

You wouldn't forget to moisturize your face in the morning, and you should provide the same level of hydration dedication to your hands. You wash your hands constantly (... I hope) which causes them to dry out even more quickly than the rest of the skin on your body. According to EffortlessSkin.com, you should apply hand cream at the very least in the morning and at night, as well as throughout the day as needed.

5. Obsess Over Sunscreen

DAILY HAND RENEWAL SPF 30+, $20, www.buyhandmd.com/

We all know the truth: Sun protection is the solution to all of our wrinkle and discoloration problems. "The most common mistake women make is that they do not put sun protection on the skin of the hands," says Dr. Lens. "Thus, hands remain exposed to the UV light unprotecting and this leads to premature skin aging." Apply SPF to the backs of your hands every morning before you leave the house — you'll thank yourself later in life.

Images: Bustle; Courtesy Of Brands