Hands Are the Luxury Beauty Industry’s Latest Fixation

It’s a widely held belief that hands are the first body parts to show significant signs of aging — but they also reveal a life well lived, says Erin Kleinberg, the founder of hand-care and candle brand Sidia. “We talk with our hands and communicate by touch and feel, so I think the time for hands is now…as we are all re-entering society,” she says. It only makes sense then that the hand-care industry has exploded in both popularity and innovation.

Hand-care products have existed for centuries (if not longer). But, until recently, they’ve been fairly basic, lacking in the artistry, innovation and efficacy we’ve come to expect from face-focused skin care.

Paume, which launched in early 2020.

Welsman found the hand-sanitizer industry lacking in natural, luxurious formulas that actually smelled good. She created a proprietary formula (the brand’s signature Antibacterial Hand Gel), and immediately found success; sales have grown five times since the launch. The brand has subsequently expanded into an entire range of hand-care products, including a multi-purpose probiotic hand balm and exfoliating hand wash, as well as a handful (sorry) of upcoming additions, including a hand-specific sunscreen.

Tenoverten, a New York City nail salon that also sells its own line of polish and hand-care products. The brand debuted its line of (as they describe it) “face-grade skin care for your hands” in 2018, a collection that now includes a hyaluronic acid-boosted brightening hand cream (designed to target age spots and dryness), a brush-on, overnight hydration hand mask, and even a hand serum (The Age-Defying Serum), specifically designed to address and prevent early signs of aging. 

Before the marketing hoax alarms start ringing in your head, questioning whether a hand-specific serum is really necessary, consider the basic benefits of a serum: They typically have a high concentration of active ingredients, produce deeper absorption than creams and usually feel light and sink in quickly. Isn’t that just the description of your dream hand cream?

The Hand Serum, Sidia (which was named after Kleinberg’s grandmother) has also launched a gel-based hand exfoliant, designed to shed dry skin — ideal before applying a hand serum and/or cream.

Soft Services, whose whole ethos is about treating body care as thoughtfully as we do skin care. In September, the treatment-focused brand introduced Theraplush, a reparative overnight hand balm spiked with anti-aging skin-care staple retinol as well as soothing colloidal oatmeal. Beyond the dermatologist-approved ingredients, Soft Services also went for a ritualistic approach with its product; the formula comes housed in an artful refillable vessel with an easily removable lid meant to simplify the user experience, even with balmed-up hands. The treatment is also purposefully waxy, meant to linger on hands and cuticles, creating a protective and restorative veil overnight as the actives do their thing. 

Fashionista’s own beauty director.) Hands, it’s clear, are no longer a secondary or forgotten sector of the beauty industry.

Facet Dermatology, notes that while her patients have been inquiring about in-office procedures for years, she’s seen a particular uptick in awareness of these procedures and requests for hand-focused treatments lately. “Lasers, like Fraxel, and professional chemical peels are popular options for correcting signs of aging on the hands, more specifically fine lines and dark spots caused by sun damage,” says Dr. Yadav. “These powerful exfoliating treatments resurface the skin to reveal the healthier and more youthful skin underneath,” she adds. 

The Protective Suncream ($39) designed to hydrate while also protecting with mineral SPF 30 sunscreen.

Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peels. “When using chemical peels in a wipe format, it’s easy to quickly swipe the back of your hands after you do your face and neck,” she adds.

When it comes to hydrating creams, Dr. Yadav emphasizes that skin is skin, arguing, “You can effectively treat your hands with products that you use across your face and body.” So if you’re using a retinoid or a sunscreen on your face and happen to have some left over on your fingertips, just go ahead and massage that into the backs of your hands, as well. Simple enough. That said, if you don’t mind the investment, a well-formulated hand cream (ideally with active ingredients, like AHAs, vitamin C or SPF) is a helpful indulgence, she notes.

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