Veiny feet and wrinkly hands have always been the ultimate giveaway of a persons age. Hands in particular are more vulnerable to ageing and sun damage than other parts of the body because they are almost always exposed and have little subcutaneous fat.
The cumulative effects of aging, sun and exposure to other pollutants are brown spots, uneven pigmentation, skin cancers, thinning skin, and prominent veins.
The best way to keep hands and feet healthy and beautiful is to protect them from environmental damage in the first place. But if your hands are already showing signs of ageing or looking a bit worse for wear after some DIY, then there are several new treatments which can restore them to an earlier time.
There is a huge range of preventative and curative products and treatments on the market, containing the latest anti-ageing ingredients including cell-protecting anti-oxidants such as Co Enzyme Q10, vitamins A, C and E and essential oils.
One of the most effective anti-ageing treatments, which can be used for hands and feet, and has no harmful side effects is Restylane Vital from Swedish company Q Med. This treatment uses hyaluronic acid, a natural substance which is a precursor to natural collagen and is used to bulk out the hand or foot making it plumper and younger looking. It is delivered in a multi-injection and makes a difference from the very first treatment. The downside is that it is expensive at £400 and top up treatments will be as it is slowly reabsorbed by the body. (Fiona & Marie Aesthetics, 30 Devonshire Street, W1. T 020 7908 3773)
Dr Georges Roman (Devonshire Medical Chambers, W1 020 7323 2123), is Londons leading expert on the mesolift which is a vitamin- based injection popular with French women and normally used to rejuvenate the face. He has adapted his technique for use on the hands, with a special gun that delivers 200 tiny injections at a time. The combination of vitamins improves the quality of new skin and plumps it out . Although an improvement is noticed after the first treatment, best results are obtained after two to four (at £350 each)treatments.
Sun damage such as age spots are best treated with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers which vaporise the thin layer of dark coloured skin by breaking down the melanin. Removal is permanent, although new spots may appear. Again hands can also be plumped out with IPL which gives a kick-start to collagen growth. Prices vary but start from £100 (Xfolio Skin Rejuvenation Clinic, Unit 1 Horizon Building, Hertsmere Road, E1. T: 020 7538 1001 and 52 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1 T 020 7242 5749 email email@example.com
Structural fat grafting is another option. This is best carried out by a cosmetic surgeon since it involves the removal of fat from the leg or abdomen. The fat cells are treated and reinjected into the hand or other part of the body that needs plumping up.(BUPA Hospitals. www.bupahospitals.co.uk T 0800 6644 434. Prices on application).
Microdermabrasion is another option which helps improve appearance by removing fine lines and also texture by removing dead skin cells.(Xfolia, Unit 1 Horizon Building, Hertsmere Road, E1 T: 020 7538 1001 and 52 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1 T: 020 7242 5749 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with hands, feet need regularly attention to keep them looking good so you should exfoliate, moisturise and protect. And a good manicure or pedicure gives an instant feel good factor.
These are some of the latest products to try at home and salon treatments
Proto-Cols Beauty In An Instant
A range of spa-inspired scrubs for body, hands and feet that work in just 60 seconds. The
Instant Manicure costs£24.95 for 250g and is a revitalising blend of eight essential oils plus dead sea salts. Jojoba softens, rosemary invigorates, orange oil is uplifting and grapeseed essential oil is a powerful anti-oxidant, perfect as hands can show signs of ageing more than other parts of the body. The Instant Pedicure £24.95 for 250g is an exfoliating and soothing Swiss lavender and energising, stimulating capsicum, easing aches and revitalising tired feet. Tea tree oil helps keep feet fresh, whilst lemongrass works as a natural antiperspirant. Available along with the complete range from Urban Retreat at Harrods, from www.on-beauty.co.ukand at selected salons nationwide. For other stockist info call 0870 770 3860
Marks & Spencers new Spa Retreat at home
This is a lovely range of products for use at home that dont cost the earth but smell and feel wonderful. Walking on Air is a buttery balm for exhausted feet to be used at night. It contains tamanu oil , sweet almond, cooling peppermint, beeswax, shea butter and vitamin B5.Costs £4.00 The Spa Midnight Moisture for thirsty hands is designed to work while you sleep. Made of cocoa butter and palm oil it is slighter richer than a daytime formulation and also contains keratin. Costs £4.50 The range also contains some sachet treats including the foot soak and the hands exfoliating scrub. Cost £1.00 each. From Marks & Spencers stores nationwide.
Airplus high-heel hell prevention
The foot cushion favourite of the Hollywood A-list, these non-visible insoles take the pressure and pain out of the sexiest of stilettos and skimpiest of sandals. They are made from medical grade silicone, which has a silky-smooth surface, is cool and breathable and wont loose its shape. They are available in a variety of different shapes. £5.99 for a pack of two at www.airplusfootcare.com
Scholl Luxury feet and nail range
Rough Skin Remover, £3.55; Dual Action Foot File,£4.69; Deep Moisturising Cream £4.25; Intensive Night Treatment with Socks£8.99; Cracked Heel Cream, £2.99 for 25ml or £7.99 for 100ml; Party Feet Invisible Gel Cushions £4.99 and Busy Feet Insers £8.99. Available at Boots and other pharmacies. For more information phone the Consumer Care Line tel: 0800 074 2040 www.scholl.co.uk
Supersalve Therapeutic Skin-care balm
New to the UK market this product from South Africa contains a nourishing blend of honey and essential oils and is so versatile is can be used to moisturise the face and body, hands and feet and can be applied to sunburn, insect bites, stings, minor allergies and irritations as well as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. It also a very green product as it does not contain parabens, petrochemicals, solium lauryl sulphate, artificial fragrances and lanolin. A 175ml tube costs £14.95. A complementary product is the Recovery-Rub, developed for arthritis and rheumatism and helpful for aching joints and muscles costs £13.95 for a 150ml tube. Online purchase at www.supersalve.co.uk or at selected health-food stores. Contact 0845 095 6505 for stockists.
Tisserand Essential Oil Rich Hand & Nail Cream
One of Tisserands hero products and celebrity favourite; this classic Essential Oil Rich Hand & Nail Cream moisturises and conditions hands and nails, leaving them delicately fragranced with the aroma of pure essential oils. It contains lavender, rose, geranium and sandalwood essential oils in a base of jojoba and kukui with chamomile extract to soften, protect and add fragrance. The Hand & Nail Cream costs £4.50 and is available from shops, by mail order 01273 325666 and online at www.tisserandshop.com
A new product from the specialists in treating that nasty fungal infection athletes feet. Lamisil Once is a gel-like solution that is a breakthrough in that sufficient active ingredient is delivered in a single application. Costs £9.99 from Boots and other pharmacies.
Padabhyanga Foot Massage and Karabhyanga Hand Massage at the Shymala Ayurveda Spa, Holland Park
A soothing foot massage with organic ayurbedic oils, combined with a full pedicure for the ultimate pampering experience. The hand treatment uses herbs and treats the whole forearm. Green tea and a selection of dried fruits, dates, apricots and ginger to accompany these treatments which are both 40 minutes and costs £70 and with a pedicure/manicure £100. Shymala Ayurbeda Spa, 152 Holland Park Avenue, W11. T 020 7348 0018
Clarins Manicures and Pedicures at Beauty Essence Bow Lane EC4
Perfect for a foot or hand makeover at lunchtime or after work. Beauty Essence offers a 45 minute full manicure for £25 or the luxury 1 hour treatment for £37. A 45-minute full pedicure costs £40 and the luxury version £48. All use luxury Clarins products.Beauty Essence, 7 Well Court, Bow Lane, EC4. www.beautyessence.co.uk T: 020 7248 0127
Crème de la Mer Ultimate Hand Treatment at Harrods
This ultimate luxury treatment uses sea quartz and diamond dust to buff and exfoliate and the luxury range of creams to hydrate. This costs £50 for 60 minutes and takes place in a room with flowing water. Available at the Urban Retreat, Harrods, SW1. T: 020 7893 8333