(Source: Thinkstock, Art by Tanya Leigh Washington)
It's probably safe to assume that you already own sunscreens formulated for your body and face, but there's another variety you should consider purchasing: one created specifically for your hands. While your paws might seem like a random body part to slather in SPF, they're a lot more susceptible to the sun's harmful rays than you'd think—and the effects aren't pretty.
Hands are one of the first areas to age, and too much UVA and UVB exposure can lead to dark spots, wrinkles and, of course, skin cancer. "Once the damage has accumulated, it is difficult to reverse," cautions New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet H. Prystowsky
, who recommends using an SPF of 30 or higher as a preventative measure. "Abusing the sun until something happens is not a smart approach because typically you get one skin cancer after another once it begins on the hands."
Although you could apply regular sunblock to your hands and call it a day, we much prefer using one of the SPF-fortified hand lotions that have been hitting the market. Not only do they lack the greasy texture and tropical smell typically found in traditional sunscreens, but they deeply moisturize and promise to reduce the appearance of any dark spots you may have already developed (as well as prevent new ones from forming). Basically, you won't mind using them before you drive, garden, bike ride, get a gel manicure or even type at your window-facing desk.
Here are three notable new SPF hand creams to try:Ahava
Time to Smooth Age Perfecting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $32, at ahavaus.com(Source: Aveda)
This thick yet silky formula harnesses brown algae to prevent and correct pigmentation gradually over time. Supergoop
Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn SPF 40, 10 fl oz $30, at supergoop.com
Considering its lightweight texture, you'll be amazed how deeply this cream moisturizes. Credit meadowfoam seed and argan oils, as well as fatty acid–rich sea buckthorn berries, which also lend its subtle fruity scent.Garnier
Skin Renew Dark Spot Hand Treatment SPF 30, $8, at Ulta(Source: Garnier)
Perhaps the most easily spreadable version of the bunch, this emollient cream also boasted the loveliest, spa-like scent.