Time on your hands

In your 20s:
Prevention is better than cure.Get into the habit now of applying sunscreen to the back of your hands after you've applied it to your face. When you're driving, your hands are constantly exposed on the steering wheel, because UVA penetrates through glass.
By protecting your hands now, you'll prevent pigmentation blotches later, which can be time-consuming and costly to erase.
Products to try:
Revlon Nail Care De-Aging Hand Cream with SPF 10 R59,95.

In your 30s:
Beautiful hands in a hurry.Keep a tube of hand cream next to your hand basin, next to your bed and in your car – and apply it often.
But if your hands seem beyond repair, book a specialised manicure: Warm oil is massaged onto your hands and then they're dipped in paraffin wax to boost the effect (your hands heat up in the wax). It's the best way to get beautiful hands... fast.
Products to try:
Essie The Cuticle Pen R137. No bottle, no spills, so keep it in your handbag to apply to dry cuticles. Jessica Nail Whitener R99. A quick coat gives nails a groomed, glossy appearance. Medisan Waterless Hand Cleanser R8,95. Keep this product in your bag to clean your hands anywhere; it won't leave them feeling parched.

In your 40s:
Banish blotchy pigmentation.Regular exfoliation will keep your hands looking smooth and youthful. It removes dry skin, and also improves the appearance of superficial blotchiness caused by pigmentation.
A hand cream that contains antioxidants, retinol or hydroxy acids will also help, but it needs to be applied regularly.
Cape Town dermatologist Dr Ean Smit recommends microdermabrasion to treat pigmentation. IPL is another option. You should see results after the first of these non-invasive treatments, but subsequent treatments might be necessary if blotches are large or numerous.
It is very important to apply a sunblock after IPL or microdermabrasion to prevent pigmentation from returning or intensifying.
Products to try:
Sally Hansen Age Correct Retinol Hand Créme R81,95.

In your 50s:
Help for bony hands.With age, the layer of dermal fat that gives the skin its cushioning diminishes, so hands and feet look bonier and blood vessels become more obvious. Fat can be injected into the hands to soften the boniness, but respected South African plastic surgeon Dr Gavin Morrison recommends caution. 'One needs to be careful with hands, as their primary purpose is function. Also, because fat takes best where there is some subcutaneous tissue in which to site it, the risk is irregularity.'