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By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Dermatologist’s recommendations for the best anti-aging body skin care.

best body skin care to fight skin aging

Many of the skin changes you think are part of aging can be easily treated with the right skin care. Aging skin can become thin, crepey, scaly, dry and covered with brown age spots. This can all be improved with your at home skin care!

What are the best body moisturizer to help aging skin on the body, arms, legs and hands?

CLEANSE, CORRECT and HYDRATE yourself into younger looking skin with the Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Triple Action Kit. This high strength glycolic acid routine gets the job done. Body skin is uniquely tough and the other age fighting ingredients such as retinoids, antioxidants and vitamin C can’t really penetrate enough to help. That leaves us with glycolic acid, which works beautifully to fight ageing concerns on body skin. I've put together my favorite glycolic acid products for the body to create my Ultra-Fast Triple Action Kit. I use this to keep my own 60+ year old skin soft and youthful.  

best skin care products to fight aging skin on body, arms and legs

To make meaningful progress fighting skin aging on your skin you need to also protect it from UV rays by wearing sunscreen or clothing on all exposed skin. My patients and I rely on Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen.

best non-greasy body sunscreen to prevent skin aging

Are you curious about what happens to body, arm and leg skin to make it look older?

Dermatologist Answers Frequently Asked Questions about Skin Aging on the Body, Arms, Legs and Hands

How much does the sun age your skin?

Sun exposure is the biggest cause of skin aging and wrinkling. When patients are skeptical about how much of their skin aging is due to their years of sun exposure, I ask them to explore the facts for themselves. It's easy.

Look closely at your skin and compare the areas that are sun protected to those that are not. For example, your sun protected buttocks and tummy skin looks different from your sun exposed outer forearms, the sides of your neck or the V of your chest.

  • These sun-protected parts of your skin have fewer wrinkles, crinkles and age spots than the sun exposed skin.
  • Doesn't the skin look thicker too? When you pinch the skin together the sun protected skin has fewer fine wrinkles and folds.

What you are seeing is that the wrinkles, crinkles, crepey lines, thinning and age spots are due to years of sun. Almost all of the structural and physiologic damage that leads to skin aging starts with exposure to a UV ray. Keep the UV rays off of your skin!

By using a good glycolic acid body skin care routine and a good zinc oxide sunscreen you can have healthy, attractive and youthful skin for your entire life. It really is that simple. That said, you also need to fight skin dryness as your skin ages. 

What are the best body moisturizer to help hydrate aging skin on the body, arms, legs and hands?

Body skin becomes dry with age. Especially skin on your arms, legs, hands and feet. Use moisturizers that are rich. If you have hairy skin, use hydrating moisturizers that spread nicely through body hair. Always moisturizer your arms, legs and hands after every shower. Apply your moisturizer within the magic 3 minutes after toweling dry to trap water your skin soaked up while you bathed.

Use hypoallergenic moisturizers because the expanse of your body’s skin is huge. Fragrance and some preservatives can cause lifelong skin allergies – so avoid them. All my moisturizers are hypoallergenic by dermatologist’s standards. They are also deeply hydrating.

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My Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion is easy to use and even rubs into hairy skin well. It’s my husband’s favorite.

My Natural Body Butter Cream is slightly thicker and richer, but both work well. Both are made with organic botanical oils rich in vitamins, antioxidants and deeply hydrating ingredients.

What are the top 3 steps for an at-home skin care routine to make your arm and leg skin look younger?

  1. Exfoliate your arm, leg and hand skin in the shower at least twice a week. Use an exfoliating shower cloth, sponge or mitt with an exfoliating body wash that has ingredients such as glycolic acid (an AHA) and salicylic acid (a BHA) as in my Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser. The other days of the week use a hypoallergenic soap. You can use the exfoliating shower cloth, sponge or mitt with this too.
  2. best way to make your arms and leg skin look younger
    Apply a professional, high-concentration glycolic acid lotion such as my Glycolic Acid Body Lotion at least twice a week after the bath or shower. Apply a rich, hypoallergenic moisturizer like my Natural Face, Body and Hand Lotion after your shower on all the other days of the week.
  3. Sun protect your exposed skin every day. Use clothing and broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen (water resistant if you sweat or wash your hands often) to keep UV rays off your skin.

What are the top reasons why your hands look old?

  • Crepey skin
  • Age spots,
  • Scaly skin,
  • Thin skin
  • Yellow, ridged and chipped nails

How to make your hands look younger?

  1. Use a mild hand soap for routine hand washing. Be sure to rinse it all off completely because retained soap residue will pull out precious hand skin lipids necessary for young looking skin. My hypoallergenic and gentle Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap is ideal and rinses off easily. 
  2. best hand cream and soap to prevent dry old looking hands
    Apply a rich hand cream after washing your hands to prevent scaly rough skin and to help the skin stay supple. My Dry Skin Hand Cream is ideal, non-greasy and convenient. Get both the gentle Foaming Hand Soap and my popular Dry Skin Hand Cream in my Survival Kit for Busy Hands.
  3. Gently exfoliate your hand skin twice a week in the shower and use a glycolic acid moisturizer after exfoliating. My Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Triple Action Kit is ideal.
  4. best sunscreen to wear on your hands every day to prevent aging
    Always apply a water resistant broad spectrum sunscreen to the back of your hands and fingers first thing in the morning. Reapply it mid-day and after washing your hands or doing wet work. Try not to wash sunscreen off of the back of your hands if possible. I wear my Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen on the back of my hands every day.  
  5. Wear gloves when outside in the sun, when doing harsh house work or working with skin-drying chemicals. 
  6. best product for split and chipped nails
    Treat your nails to some TLC; If your nails are yellow, ridged and chipped, soak your nails in warm water then file or buff the top and edges of your nails to remove yellowing. This will also help to smooth the surface and reduce the chipped layers. Apply glycolic acid cream to your nails after washing your hands. This will help to fade some causes of the yellow staining. Apply Bag Balm at night to help hydrate nails.
best way to lighten age spots on back of the hands
Stubborn brown liver spots may respond to twice daily skin lightening treatments such as my Pigment Fading Pads. At night, consider using my Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Cream . If you have tolerant skin, you can alternate this with Glycolic Acid Lotion or even apply the Glycolic Lotion on top of the Retinol (watch for irritation and go slowly).


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Why does the bottom of your feet get rough and thick with age?

how to get soft feet fast
Fungus can cause scale on the bottom of the feet, but so can age. Women are prone to this after menopause. Use strong glycolic acid creams to help dissolve the thickened rough skin. File it off with a collection of good foot files. My Soft and Smooth Feet - Rough Skin Remover Kit  does the trick.


What is the best skin cream for crepey or wrinkled arm skin?

best products to fight crepey wrinkled aging arm skin

It’s glycolic acid cream. This alpha hydroxy acid will stimulate your arm skin’s production of hyaluronic acid to help create a suppler appearance and feel to your skin. It also brightens and smooths skin, lightens age spots and can even stimulate collagen renewal. Wear sunscreen or clothing during the day to prevent UV ray skin thinning. My Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Triple Action Kit plus one of my sunscreens is a highly effective combination for treating wrinkled arm skin.

Dr. Bailey's Complete Skin Care Routine™ to Fight Skin Aging on the Arms, Legs, Hands and Body

best skin care products to fight skin aging on the arms and legs and hands

Remember, Complete Skin Care gets the best results for fighting the signs of aging on your body skin. Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care includes the 4 essential steps,


CLEANSE Skin using only hypoallergenic, gentle soaps and cleansers, such as my Naturally Best Bar Soap. For crusty age spots and excessive roughness or scale, exfoliate and add Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser with a Salux Cloth. For hands, use my hypoallergenic Foaming Hand Soap.


CORRECT skin problems like crepey skin and age spots with my Glycolic Acid Body Lotion. I’ve put my all-time favorite skin routine products for aging body skin into my Ultra-Fast Triple Action Body Smoothing Kit. 


HYDRATE all areas prone to dryness and crepey skin with a moisturizer every day after your shower. Use the Glycolic Acid Lotion from my Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Kit twice a week and the Natural Face and Body Lotion on the other days. Apply the Dry Skin Hand Cream after washing your hands.


PROTECT your precious skin using a broad spectrum mineral zinc sunscreens 365 days a year, applying it to all exposed skin. Sun causes thinning and fragility that always get worse with further UV exposure. Prevent it for the healthiest arm, leg, hand and body skin as you age. Don’t forget the scalp when it comes to sun protection. My Sheer Strength Pure Mineral Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen is ideal for hairy areas of skin such as the part line or a balding scalp.

Get amazing results with a complete skin care routine built from only the best ingredients, proven effective by thousands of my patients – and on my own aging skin, too. The good news is that although we are getting older, we can effectively treat and pamper our skin with a little TLC!

What happens to arm, leg and hand skin that makes it look old?

Understand the structural and physiologic changes in skin aging and how these products target your unique challenges:

The key issues with skin aging are:

  1. Wrinkles and skin thinning due to a loss of collagen and elastin. This happens in the second layer of your skin called the dermis. Daily sun exposure is the most common cause.
  2. Fragile, crepey skin due mostly to a thinning of your top living skin cell layer called the epidermis, and to scaling in the dead cell layer called the stratum corneum. This happens from both sun exposure and intrinsic aging (the passing of years).
  3. Age spots due to focal areas of increased pigment in the top epidermal cell layer. Some age spots also have excessive epidermal cells and dead stratum corneum cells. Both sun and age play a role in causing age spots.
  4. Skin becomes more prone to dryness with age. Flaky dry skin looks crepey and older than well hydrated skin. 

Correct and prevent these structural problems by taking good care of your skin. I've given you a lot of ideas. Pick what is right for you!


DiNardo Joseph, et. al., Clinical and Histological Effects of Glycolic Acid at Different Concentrations and pH Levels, Dermatolol Surg, 1996;22:421-424

Babilas Philipp, et. al., Cosmetic and dermatologic use of alpha hydroxy acids, Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, 2012 (10): 488-491

Beasley Donathan G, et. al. Characterization of the UVA Protection Provided by Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide, and Titanium Dioxide in Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Products, Am J Clin Dermatol 2010; 11 (6): 413-421

Maier T., Korting H.C., Sunscreens – Which and What for? Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2005; 18:253-268

Farris Patricia K, Topical Vitamin C: A Useful Agent for Treating Photoaging and Other Dermatologic Conditions, Dermatol Surg 2005:31:814-818

Varani James et. al., Vitamin A Antagonizes Decreased Cell Growth and Elevated Collagen-Degrading Matrix Metalloproteinases and Stimulates Collagen Accumulation in Naturally Aged Human Skin, J Invest Dermatol 114:480-486, 2000

Katiyar Santosh K et. al., Green Tea Polyphenol Treatment to Human Skin Prevents Formation of Ultraviolet Light B-induced Pyrimidine Dimers in DNA, Clin Cancer Res 2000,6: 3864-3869

Tsukahara Kazue, et. al., The Effect of Sunscreen on Skin Elastase Activity Induced by Ultraviolet-A Irradiation, Biol Pharm. Bull 28(12) 2302-2307 (2005)