Aging 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
Harsh winter weather can be particularly damaging to sensitive older skin. Freezing temperatures and cold winds can quickly strip skin of its vital moisture. When added to the variety of factors that affect the condition of our skin, at this time of year your skin needs a little extra TLC.
In this article, we delve into simple things you can do to look and feel your best this holiday season.
Winter Skin Care Advice 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.
Fortunately, there are some steps that seniors and family caregivers can add to their skin care regimens to minimize discomfort and complications this winter. Here are the top tips to help give your skin a warm and radiant glow, even during the coldest and darkest times of the year
1. Wash Your Skin 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 enough. 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 before bed.
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, Moisturize, Moisturize
Senior skin loses moisture much more easily, and dryness (xerosis) is a direct or contributing cause of many types of skin conditions. This means that it is critical to moisturize your skin in the winter months.
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. And don’t forget your lips, especially before heading out for a wintery dose of Vitamin D!
3. Be Sun-Smart, Even In Winter
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do for your skin! To protect from the sun’s harmful rays, dermatologists recommend that you:
- Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your face and exposed skin when you go outside.
- 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. Bundle Up
Before heading outdoors, be sure to cover as much exposed skin as possible. The skin on your hands and feet is particularly susceptible to frostbite and windburn. Don’t forget to protect your ears, neck and face, too. Dress in warm layers and try to top them off with an insulating, windproof fabric on particularly cold or windy days. This will help prevent painful, chapped skin.
Tip: Cover your face and use a petroleum-based lip balm. Skin protectants that include petroleum and creams with ceramides are effective as well.
5. Enhance Indoor Humidity
Room humidifiers can add moisture back to dry, artificially heated air. Not only does this benefit your skin, but it can also soothe dry and inflamed airways and scratchy eyes. These handy devices are available in cool or warm mist.
Tip: Be sure to clean the unit and change the water according to the manufacturer’s instructions to reduce mold and fungi.
6. Drink More 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.
7. Eat Your Way to Fabulous Skin
If you want glowing skin, the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ has never been more true. 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.
Let Your Happiness Shine At All Seniors Care
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 during the winter months so that they can 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.