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Five Simple Skin Care Tips for Senior Citizens

Skin CareWhether you’re 16 or 60, there’s no denying that skin care matters. Even if you’re not worried about breakouts anymore, you should still be taking steps to protect your skin and keep it as healthy as possible. Not sure where to begin? Start with these five simple skin care tips. They’re all easy enough that you can give them a try today!

Wear Sunscreen

It’s never too late to start preventing wrinkles. Even if you already have some wrinkles, by taking steps to avoid the sun’s damaging rays, you can keep new wrinkles at bay and stop the ones you already have from getting worse. Unprotected sun exposure often leads to freckles, age spots, and uneven complexions. It also can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

To protect your skin from the sun, avoid spending a lot of time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If you do need to venture out during these hours, make sure you wear sunscreen. It’s best to wear a protective hat and sunglasses, too.  When choosing sunscreen, look for a product with at least 7 percent zinc oxide (for natural UVA and UVB protection) and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

Stop Smoking

Smoking definitely isn’t doing your skin (or your other organs) any favors. As far as your skin goes, smoking dramatically speeds up the aging process and contributes to the formation of wrinkles that make you look older than you really are. Smoking can also cause wrinkling and skin damage on other areas of the body. This happens because nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to narrow, limiting the flow of blood, oxygen, and important nutrients, to your skin.

The chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage elastin and collagen, the fibers that help your skin stay strong and elastic. Even the act of smoking (pursing your lips and squinting your eyes to avoid the smoke) can cause wrinkles. Again, even if you already have some wrinkles, quitting smoking can help you avoid making them worse.

Exfoliate Your Skin

Exfoliation, the act of sloughing off dead cells from your skin’s surface, comes with a number of benefits, including:

  • Wrinkles are less prominent
  • Other skin care products like moisturizers get absorbed better
  • Pores are minimized
  • Improved circulation for healthy, glowing skin

These benefits don’t just apply to your face, either. Exfoliating your whole body just once a week will help keep your skin looking healthy and moisturized! You don’t have to invest in a lot of fancy products to get the benefits of exfoliation, either. One of the best exfoliators is a gentle, homemade scrub made from sugar and coconut oil.

You can also use a back scrubber while bathing or showering to help you clean and exfoliate hard-to-reach areas. To find the best back scrubber for the shower, look for one that has a gentle exfoliator, like a loofah or sponge, on one end and stiff bristles on the other end for a deeper scrub. A dual ended scrubber like this will give you more flexibility without having to invest in multiple brushes.

Moisturize

Moisturizing is important at any age. However, it’s especially beneficial for seniors, as the skin tends to become dryer as we age. Use a humidifier during the winter to add some more moisture into the air and prevent dryness, redness, cracking. You can also use moisturizing soaps and creams for better results.

When choosing a moisturizing product, look for one that contains natural ingredients. Some good ones to look for on the label include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Aloe vera
  • Cucumber extract

No matter what kind you buy, your lotion should be gentle enough that you can apply it several times a day.

Eat a Balanced Diet

So far, we’ve focused on tips that will help you care for your skin from the outside in. You should also remember that what you put in your body can also dramatically influence its appearance. It can be overwhelming when you first start trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet. These steps can help you simplify the process, though:

  • Avoid high-sugar foods
  • Focus on eating nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and fish
  • Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors to get antioxidants that help prevent sun damage.
  • Drink lots of water and avoid beverages that are high in sugar or caffeine
  • Add lots of herbs and spices to your food for more antioxidant benefits. Turmeric is especially good for the skin.

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t have to difficult. Start small, by limiting your sugary drinks or incorporating one more serving of fruit or vegetables into your day. Remember, it’s better to start slow and creating a lasting habit than it is to dive in head first and get burned out. 

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