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By June 2, 2015December 9th, 20202 Comments

As if it’s not enough for older women to be dissatisfied with graying  hair, dull skin, turkey neck, jowels, jiggly upper arms, crow’s feet, thinning lips, thinning brows and lashes, wrinkles and a thickening waist, we are also asked to be outraged by “brown spots.”

Brown spots?  You mean like, freckles?

Yeah, something like freckles, only when they appear on an older woman they’re called brown spots and the best thing you can do is remove them.

I never paid any attention to most of this stuff until I recently noticed a few small areas of discoloration on my shoulders. Checking it out online, I discovered that it probably shouldn’t be tolerated and I should try any or all of the following procedures:

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When did signs of aging become something to be feared as much as a terrorist threat or avian flu ouitbreak?  Sure, it’s a sign of our mortality, but that’s a good thing, preventing us from living under the illusion that we’re going to live forever.

When did “You look so young!” become the nicest thing you could say to a woman of almost any age?

How is it that decades after the Women’s Movement emerged, we’re subjected to the tyranny of looking perpetually youthful?

I’ve noted that aging hands have become a target as well.  I used to think that older hands are beautiful symbols of a life lived.  But not so, I’m told.  Here’s some tips from the Huffington Post on keeping our hands young:


The telltale signs of aging not only include crow’s feet and gray hair, but also older looking hands — the kind of hands with skin that doesn’t bounce back anymore when you pinch it.

How worried are people about aging hands? So worried that even Madonna apparently has been covering up her digits with fingerless gloves, according to Joan Rivers. “Believe me, you can hide a lot of things, but the hands always give it away,”she told The Huffington Post.

For those not interested in getting a “hand lift,” a 5-to-10-minute procedure that costs about $1,200, what else can be done?

We asked Dr. Lisa Chipps, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon in California, for her take on how people can have younger looking hands. Her top 5 tips are below. 

1. Establish a regimen sooner rather than later.
Your hands are the first part of your body to show serious signs of aging, and it’s a problem that can start as early as your mid-20s. Most patients don’t recognize signs of aging on their hands until their 30s or 40s, and the problem is that most people won’t start changing their routines until they notice those signs appearing.

2. Sun/UV protection is by far the most important.
It’s never too early to develop the daily habit of applying SPF on your hands. By using a broad-spectrum sunscreen you’ll cover UVA rays and prevent aging signs like brown spots. Even in the car, slip on a pair of driving gloves for UV protection.

3. Lock in the moisture.
Keeping your hands well moisturized with thick hand creams — particularly overnight — can keep the skin on your hands looking healthy and glowing. 

4. Find the right products to prevent and repair.
For thin skin, ask your doctor about prescription tretinoin to reduce signs of discoloration or uneven skin tone. To enhance the thickness and radiance of our hands, products like growth factor serums are highly effective.

5. Explore your options for dermatologic procedures.
Volume loss shows up as very prominent veins and ligaments, but can be easily repaired with injectable fillers, which replace lost subcutaneous fat. Lasers can also be used to thicken skin and to soften or remove brown spots. There are many laser treatments available, so it’s best to consult your dermatologist about what procedures might be best for you.

I understand that the desire to beautify is as old as humankind. Yes, to that.   I also try to respect anyone’s personal reasons for making any cosmetic changes they want.  None of my business. I just don’t like to see the natural process of aging treated like a particularly vile form of leprosy.

As Betty Friedan said of a woman’s later years, “It’s a different stage of life, and if you are going to pretend it’s youth, you are going to miss it,” she says. “You are going to miss the surprises, the possibilities and the evolution.”

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Meloni says:

    I like to think that we “earned” all those gray hairs, wrinkles, freckles/brownspots…kind of like those merit badges we earned in Scouts.

  • Eleanor Moriarty says:

    Oh so true about the ridiculous pursuit of physical youth. Wish we can spend half as much energy on pursuing clarity of an aging mind