Hands may be one of the easiest ways to age-check a person, but age-defying experts have culled a few foolproof tricks to hide the signs. According to a study by plastic surgeons in England,wearing nail polish can distract people from noticing veins and age spots.
Researchers asked people to estimate women’s ages based solely on photographs of their hands. Surprisingly, 49% thought women’s hands looked younger when adorned with nail polish.
Pamper your hands and look younger—simply follow these 8 steps.
1. File. Skip the rough nail file, which weakens nails and leads to splitting and peeling. Opt for a crystal glass file instead for a smooth, chip-free nail edge.
2. Shape. Use a fine emery board to shape nail tips only—filing the sides weakens nails. Remember to keep nails no longer than ¼ inch beyond your fingertips for a more youthful appearance.
3. Push.Instead of snipping your cuticles, moisturize and push them back. This skin protects the nail’s growth center, which keeps nails strong and long.
4. Prep. Contrary to popular belief, yellow nails aren’t caused by the nail’s inability to “breathe.” Nails don’t need any air to stay healthy. In fact, polish actually protects weak nails from breaking. It’s dark polishes that cause yellow stains over time. To prevent yellowing, apply a base coat before colored polish—especially if you’re using a darker shade. If your nails are tinged yellow, rub them with a lemon wedge to help whiten them up.
5. Paint. Pale metallic polishes reflect more light, which helps disguise nicks. Plus, the shimmery particles make these formulas adhere better, so they’re less likely to chip in the first place. Try OPI Nail Lacquer in Suzi’s Hungary Again! for a pop of color and a bit of glimmer.
6. Seal. The secret to a lasting manicure is the top coat. Extend lacquer’s life by finishing your manicure with Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat ($6; drugstores), which contains color-saving UV filters.
7. Strengthen. Stop nail breakage with a daily 2.5 mg dose of the B vitamin biotin. Research shows that a daily dose of the nutrient increases nail thickness by 25%, making nails less apt to split, peel, and tear.
8. Start again.When you’re ready for a new shade, remove old polish with a non-acetone remover. Acetonedries out your nails, and breathing in the fumes can cause throat irritation and even increase your pulse rate. After you’ve removed your old lacquer, repeat these steps, and enjoy your youthful hands!
How do you keep your hands eternally youthful?
Share your best-kept beauty secrets in the comments below!