You know the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Well, when it comes to our older skin, preventative skincare is worth way more than a pound of cure – literally, because it can help you avoid treatments, ointments and even prescription medication. And the best part is that it isn’t hard; all you need to know is the right skincare tips for mature skin.
Let’s get right into it.
Although even the American Academy of Dermatology admits that you don’t have to put up with all the changes in your skin, there’s no denying that dry skin – the technical term is xerosis, – is one of the hallmarks of the aging process. But if your skin is super flaky and really itchy, dryness might not be the only factor; your skin could be dehydrated. Check with your doctor to see if you’re getting enough fluids, because studies show that up to 75% of Americans don’t. And if your body is dehydrated, your skin will be, too.
While water is the best source of hydration, some people find it hard to drink the requisite amount. Try flavored waters, or seltzer if you like the fizz. If you live in a senior community, then ask your resident manager or staff to arrange lemon in your water during mealtimes. Broth, fruits and vegetables are also great supplemental sources of hydration.
2. Bar None
Most bar soaps have a drying effect on your skin. If you’re using one now, switch to a cream cleanser or shower gel. Try to look for products that are fragrance free, although if you really love scented cleansers you can experiment with the kinds that are specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin. Oh, and when you dry yourself off, don’t rub; pat yourself with the towel until you’re almost dry and then apply a gentle body lotion.
3. Keep it Short
While water is the best internal hydrator, spending too much time in it will dry you out. Limit your bath or shower time to 15 minutes. And keep the water warm; sauna-level showers are a major skin irritant.
5. Sunny Side Up
Getting outdoors and basking in the sun is wonderful. But doing it the right way will not only prevent your skin from aging quickly; it helps prevent skin cancer, too. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s department of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology recommends a triple-step skin protection regimen:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. If you have extra-sensitive or super-fair skin, use one that has an SPF of at least 50. Apply half an hour before you head out into the sun, and every two hours after that.
- Wear a hat that protects both your face and your neck. Choose light-colored clothing that fits you loosely and covers your arms and legs – i.e., long sleeves and long pants or a long skirt.
- The best way to protect yourself from the sun is not to be directly in it. Try to stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which are the hottest hours of the day.
6. Sleep Tight
Your body uses your sleeping hours to repair itself, and that includes your skin. So don’t skimp on sleep. And if you like to sleep with the air conditioner on, be aware that it might be drying out the air in your room. The solution? A humidifier. If you don’t own one, buy one or ask the manager of your community to arrange one for you.
Do you have any skincare tips for mature skin that work for you? Please share them in the comments below!