Ageing is one of the most natural things in the world. And while getting a little older means you’re probably also a little wiser, people still like their skin to look as young as they feel
Over the years, a variety of factors affect the condition of our skin: lifestyle, diet, heredity, exposure to the elements, personal habits, even sleep position. By the time you reach your 70s and beyond, your skin will need a little extra TLC.
In this article, we delve into simple things you can do to look and feel your best.
What You Need To Know About Ageing Skin
Many people don’t think of their skin as a protective organ. But protection is one of the most important tasks of your skin, the largest organ in the human body. Together with it’s underlying structures (nerves, blood vessels, hair follicles, oil and sweat glands), it also performs important functions such as thermoregulation and sensation.
With maturity, its cell turnover decreases making the natural defensive barrier weaker. The production of collagen and elastin slows down, and glands found in the dermis lose their ability to effectively moisturize the skin.
As a result, during the later years of life, it’s not uncommon to notice the following changes in your skin:
- Thinner and starting to look paper-like
- Age spots, wrinkles, and creases
- Irritated easily
- More susceptible to wounds
- Bruises more easily
- Heals more slowly
All these factors combine to make skin care essential.
Skin Care Tips for Older Adults
With a new generation of influencers flooding the internet and new products constantly hitting the shelves, understanding the most beneficial skin care routine can be challenging. Here are the top tips to help you keep your skin as imperfectly perfect as it can be.
1. Wash Gently
Mature skin is very dry with little natural oil production. Avoid drying it out further by cleansing gently and sparingly. Washing once a day is fine. Also, use mild cleansers rather than harsh soaps and alcohol-based products. If you wear make-up, consider an oil-based cleanser to remove it.
TIP: Use warm water rather than hot when you wash and avoid taking too many baths or showers. If you love relaxing in the bath, avoid bath oils as they make the tub slippery, increasing the risk of falling.
2. Moisturize Your Skin Daily
Your grandmother’s tried and true beauty secrets have held up to the test of time! The best moisturizers have a blend of emollients and fatty acids that mimic the skin’s lipids. The idea is to choose an occlusive moisturizer to create a barrier that locks in hydration and prevents water loss.
TIP: Apply facial moisturizer using an upward motion, never down. Moisturize the skin immediately after the shower or bath with a quality moisturizer to lock in hydration.
3. Be Sun-Smart
- Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your face and exposed skin.
- Seek shade when outdoors, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent UV whenever you are outdoors in daylight. They will also help prevent squinting that can contribute to crow’s feet.
Tip: Use a sunscreen underneath make-up, even make-up that claims to contain an SPF. Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen to get the advertised level of protection. Layering is better!
4. Eat Your Way To Fabulous Skin
If you want glowing skin, the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ has never been truer. Consuming a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals does play a important role in the health of our skin.
TIP: Include green vegetables, berries, melons, avocados, walnuts, and oily fish like salmon in your diet. These foods are part of a nutritious diet that can help maintain skin integrity as you age.
5. Hydrate with Water
Although you’ve probably heard that swigging H2O can give you glowing, clear skin, robust scientific evidence behind this notion is lacking. In one small study, though, researchers did find that in individuals with low daily water consumption increasing water intake had a positive effect on skin appearance and helped maintain skin hydration levels.
TIP: Don’t underestimate the power of water and the positive effects staying hydrated can have on your skin and overall health. Drinking more water helps seniors avoid dehydration.
6. Do Keep Your Routine Simple and Consistent
Dermatologists recommend keeping skincare routines simple. Over scrubbing, over exfoliating, and over-applying products can lead to irritation.
TIP: A good rule of thumb is to stick to three simple products that will make a difference: a sunscreen, a cleanser, and a moisturizer.
7. Let Your Happiness Shine
Good skin starts from within. No matter how much money you spend on anti-aging treatments, if you’re not looking after your health, it can show in your skin. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy. After all, wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are a part of the normal aging process. Wear them with pride!
At All Seniors Care residences, we help older adults feel and look their best with nutritious meals, daily and varied exercise groups, and regular health and wellness events. Our skilled nurses help seniors maintain skin integrity and live their best life.
Writer – Julianna McLeod
Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.