Our skin is the first thing other people see and is the first thing most people are concerned about displaying signs of aging. As our skin ages, it becomes thinner, which can add to the appearance of wrinkles. We lose fat, elasticity, and moisture. Scratches and bumps often take longer to heal and are more visible. Depending on the sun exposure we’ve subjected our skin to throughout our lives, we may see more ragged dryness, age spots, even cancer. The routine that we might have used when we were younger is no longer applicable.
There are three areas where you can make changes to help your skin stay healthy: Skin cleansing; Skin-healthy lifestyle choices; and Skin-healthy foods. See if some of the suggestions below can be worked into your daily routine:
- Switch from bar soap to a creamy, fragrance-free cleanser or emollient.
- Use warm, not hot, water.
- Change to a soft cloth rather than a brush or buff puff to clean skin.
- Shorten bath or shower time to 10 minutes.
- Pat rather than rub when toweling off – even leave a bit of water on the skin.
- Apply a creamy, fragrance-free hydrolyzing moisturizer for dry skin to moist skin immediately after bathing (then reapply as needed throughout the day).
- Protect skin from the sun with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- Choose fragrance-free skin care and laundry products.
- Drink more water to stay hydrated.
- Consider purchasing a humidifier to keep indoor humidity between 45%and 60%. Measure indoor humidity with a hydrometer that you can easily find at a local hardware or home improvement store.
- See a dermatologist for skin cancer exams. After age 50, the risk of developing skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths increases.
Foods for Your Skin
- Watercress – Internal antiseptic properties with high levels of vitamin A and C
- Red Bell Peppers – Good for collagen production; antioxidant properties that can protect skin from sun damage, pollution, and environmental toxins
- Papayas – Improve skin elasticity and shed dead skin cells
- Blueberries – Protect skin from damage due to sun, stress, and pollution
- Spinach – Hydrates and keeps skin firm and smooth
- Nuts (especially almonds) –Repair skin tissue, retain moisture, and protect from UV rays
- Avocados – Shed dead cells and protect from toxins and UV rays
- Sweet Potatoes – Restore skin elasticity and rejuvenate skin cells
Skin cancer is all too common in the United States and is especially common among the elderly. The main cause of skin cancer is unprotected exposure to sun, sunlamps, and tanning booths. Even unprotected time in the sun many years prior can show up as cancer later in life. Anyone of any skin color can get skin cancer, but those with fair skin and freckles are at greatest risk, but often people with darker skin do not notice a problem until it is more difficult to treat. Click here to read more about skin cancer awareness and prevention.
There are, however, common skin changes we might notice – while most are normal and not usually a cause of alarm, be sure to check with your doctor if you are concerned about any of these more common changes:
- Thinner and paper-like
- More age spots, wrinkles and creases
- More easily irritated
- More susceptible to skin infections
- Bruises more easily
- Sweats less
- Heals more slowly
Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH is here when you need extra help with food preparation, medication reminders, ambulation, and personal hygiene. Give us a call today to learn more.
Sources: ClearCare, American Academy of Dermatology, National Institute on Aging, Healthline