As you age, your skin can be more susceptible to dryness and irritation due to the physiological changes that come with aging. Your skin can become thinner, lose fat, and wounds can take longer to heal. The production of collagen and elastin decreases, causing your skin to lose elasticity.
Here are some tips to keep your skin hydrated and healthy as you age:
- Moisturize. Moisturizing skin is essential for elderly skin care. Be sure to apply moisturizers after every shower and bath. Be sure to avoid bath oils as they make the tub slippery, increasing the risk of falls.
- Use gentle exfoliators. Harsh exfoliators can irritate skin as you age. Instead, opt for gentle, moisture rich ones. Steer clear of granular, physical exfoliators.
- Protect your skin. It’s important to incorporate skincare with SPF protection to block a full range of UV light. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or more, and reapply every two hours. Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. When possible, avoid exposure to sunlight when it’s at its strongest—between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
- Hydrate. Dehydration is most evident in the appearance of your skin. Make sure you’re getting enough fluids, and carry a water bottle with you and hydrate with small sips throughout the day. A home humidifier can help with skin hydration as well to lock the moisture in the air, especially in the winter time.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can cause fine lines and wrinkles. It can also reduce blood flow to the skin, depleting skin of nutrients and oxygen. Collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for skin elasticity, are damaged by smoking as well.
- Avoid bar soap. Using bar soap, perfumes, and antiperspirant can increase the dryness of skin. Instead, opt for moisturizing body wash and limit the amount of soaps that have artificial ingredients or fragrances. The milder, the better.
Skin care is especially important for the senior population. Our Happier at Home caregivers can provide reminders for hydration and skin care.