You don’t need a 12-step skin care routine to keep your skin healthy as you age. The best skin care for aging skin is actually achieved in your everyday habits and practices. Your skin will inevitably change as you age, but that’s just part of life. Older skin is more prone to bruises, wrinkles, age spots, skin tags and cancer. But aging is beautiful, and our health and beauty practices simply need to be altered to keep up with our ever-changing state. It’s never too late to start a healthy skin care routine.
10 Skin Care Tips for Seniors
1. Simplify your skin care routine. A skin care regimen as simple as a gentle cleanser and moisturizer should do just fine. In general, always choose skin care products for sensitive skin, even if you don’t consider your skin “sensitive.” Your skin, the largest organ in your body, is reactive and constantly transforming. If you want to add to your skin care routine, seek products containing collagen, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, as these nutrients promote firmer, more youthful skin.
2. Check the ingredients in your products. A general rule of thumb to go by is: the more ingredients, especially ones you’re unfamiliar with, the more chemicals are in the product. The simpler the formula, the better.
3. Minimize sun exposure. You need way less sun exposure than you may think. WEAR SUNSCREEN. If you haven’t been doing this your whole life, it is absolutely time to start. Sun can cause extreme damage to your skin, so lather up the SPF, wear a hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible. You need at least 30 SPF, and a generous layer should cover any exposed skin (don’t forget your lips and hands!). Apply it at least 15 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours.
4. Use a humidifier. Your skin and hair love moisture. Humidity keeps your skin hydrated, supple and buoyant, plus it’s good for the respiratory system.
5. Keep your skin hydrated. A quality moisturizer is your skin’s best friend. It should be your No. 1 most-used skin care product. Any time your skin gets wet, like after washing your face, bathing or swimming, don’t forget to moisturize right after. Your skin produces natural oils for a reason — they’re good for it. You might not need to bathe every day, and actually, that’s better for your skin and hair. Let your skin retain some oil and moisture to keep it healthy.
6. Perform regular skin checks. At least once a week, check your skin for dark spots, moles that weren’t there before, and unusual lumps or bumps of any kind. If you notice something peculiar, and especially if that spot changes in size, shape or color, see a doctor as soon as possible.
7. Wear gloves while you’re working. Aged skin is thinner and more prone to scratches and dryness, so if you’re gardening, doing dishes, or otherwise working with your hands, wear gloves to protect them.
8. Take it easy on the exfoliator. Exfoliation products aren’t typically necessary for skin care for mature skin, since it’s thinner. You can exfoliate when you notice excess dead skin cells, have dry skin and want to stimulate your sebaceous glands that produce oil, or a day or two after spending some time in the sun. No matter the age of the skin, exfoliators should only be used every few days at most. Your fingertips or a washcloth soaked with warm water are exfoliation enough.
9. Don’t take piping hot showers. Submerging your skin in hot water actually dries it out, which can cause the skin to break. Opt for a lower temperature shower or bath, and any time you use hot water on your skin, like after you wash your hands, moisturize afterwards.
10. Pat, don’t rub. When you’re drying your skin, especially your face, use a towel to pat it dry. Don’t rub your skin dry; that’s too rough on your skin, and you want to avoid pulling on the skin in any way to minimize the natural gravitational pull that causes sagging.
Achieving healthy skin is simply a matter of adopting healthy skin habits and making them second nature — it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Pack up your sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella, because at Hamlet at Chagrin Falls, we love outdoor activities. You can walk through our 47-acre campus wearing 70+ SPF, work in our organically correct community garden with your gloves on, and enjoy living in a beautiful apartment, as long as the water in your shower isn’t too hot!