Protect Your Skin With 10 Healthy Care Tips For Older Adults

10 minute read

As you age, it is normal for your skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles, as well as a reduced ability to perform its principal barrier functions. While completely natural, these events are less than ideal in regards to maintaining healthy, radiant skin.

These occurrences can lead to a lot of distress among seniors, some of which include dry skin and itching, bruises that take longer to heal, age spots, skin tags, skin cancer and more. There are many skin health-related situations to consider.

As a result, the skin care tips you used to apply at a younger age cannot be as effective as they once were. This doesn't imply that you should stop minding the health of your skin, but there are several tips that you may want to keep in mind.

As an older adult, these tips are specifically designed to help you with your skin:

1. Choose The Right Diet

A caregiver should ensure that a senior consumes a balanced diet at all times. The food that seniors need should be rich in vitamins, nutrients, and essential minerals.

This is because as you age, one loses structural fibers that strengthen the skin, hence the need to rectify that. Food rich in vitamins makes an older adult's skin more resilient and much less prone to bruises and skin damage.

For instance, a diet rich in vitamin A helps to prevent infection in damaged skin by promoting tissue integrity. A vitamin C-rich diet helps assist fast healing of wounds as it contributes to collagen formation, while a diet rich in vitamin E prevents damage to cell membranes.

There is no doubt that vitamins are essential when it comes to healthier skin for older adults. Some of the vitamin-rich foods that you can incorporate include avocados, wheat germ, green vegetables, citrus fruits, melons, nuts and others.

Don't forget to add proteins and mineral-rich foods as these also play a crucial role in protecting delicate skin. You will want to try as many different things as you can.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

Not only does water help promote healthy skin for young people, but also for adults, even older adults. Dry skin in adults means that the skin is dehydrated.

The best and most natural method to rehydrate the body is by consuming plenty of liquids, and the king of hydrating liquids has been and will always be pure water.

Water renders several benefits for one's skin, some of which are reducing wrinkles, flushing out toxins, moisturizing the skin's surface, and more — which are all vital
to enhancing the health of a senior's skin.

Make sure that as an older adult you're drinking plenty of water and other healthy liquids, as these will play a crucial role in keeping skin hydrated and healthy.

3. Use A Humidifier

An idle senior in a dry air environment will not gain many benefits for their skin. An older person's skin is already dry and needs moisture, so this doesn't help much.

In the winter season, air is usually dry which causes much discomfort among older adults. Continuous exposure of an adult to dry air can cause cracking and redness of the skin. To avoid this, make sure that you use a humidifier to increase moisture in the room you occupy or sleep in, as this moisture helps in hydrating the skin.

Humidifiers are wonderful to have in the home because they're typically mobile, low energy, and put the moisture that your skin needs back in the air where it belongs. Humidifiers are also terrific at helping you manage clear breathing during sleep.

4. Avoid Excessive Washing & Bathing

As a measure to prevent injuries to the skin of a senior, it is advisable that older adults take much less frequent showers. The elderly should also avoid soaking for long in the tubs as this can lead to the skin drying out when in the water too long.

On the other hand, hot water shouldn't be used for older adults as their skin is much more delicate, making it more susceptible to burns, dryness, and injuries. A regular washing routine with reasonable time spent in the water is best observed.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking is unhealthy for persons of all ages and can lead to a myriad of health issues and problems. You may not note that it affects you as you may not face the same problems while younger, but do not forget that it carries long-term effects.

Smoking hastens the aging process as it destroys the collagen, elastin, and tissues that enable you to maintain a youthful, vibrant appearance with a healthy glow.

It also causes premature wrinkling and poor wound healing. If an older adult happens to get bruised or go through surgery, you will find that wounds or scars will take much longer to heal due to the inability of the skin to regenerate quickly.

This is a result of exposure to toxic elements in tobacco smoke. Smoking also reduces the moisture content of the body making the skin dry. So as a senior, it's best to quit tobacco use and if you smoke, to fully avoid smoking for healthier skin.

6. Use Sun Protection

While sunlight exposure is healthy for seniors due to the vitamin D your skin can absorb, too much exposure to the sun does more harm than good, unfortunately.

Prolonged exposure can lead to skin cancer, sunburn, eye damage and heightened risk of skin discoloration and wrinkling, for starters. There are many other issues too. From irritation to outbreaks, too much sun can be a death knell for seniors.

Older adults should try to make sure that they're wearing fully protective clothing, sunglasses, and also use sunscreen and sun block at recommended SPF levels, as these can help reduce exposure to the harmful UV rays. We recommend SPF 50+.

7. Use Natural Skin Products

To keep your skin healthy as an older adult, make use of skin cream that is purely made up of natural ingredients. You won't believe the difference these can make.

Most skin care products contain toxic chemicals, fillers, additives, and a lot more junk your skin doesn't need (or want). Try to be careful while shopping for your skin care creams, lotions and other products to make sure you pick only natural ones.

Ensure that you only purchase products that contain natural ingredients such as olive oil, aloe vera, vitamins A or E, herbs, coconut oil and other natural products.

Also, always make use of moisturizers which are unscented and those with no chemicals whatsoever. You want your products to help your skin, not hurt it.

8. Try To Avoid Skin-Related Injuries

This sounds sort of ridiculous because not all injuries are preventable, or even remotely preventable. But by exercising a little extra caution, older adults can make sure that they are doing everything possible to fight off skin damage on their own.

Older adults should avoid scratching to the point where the skin gets cut or breaks. It is crucial for older adults to trim both their toe and finger nails to prevent the risk of injuring the skin by scratching. Also, caregivers should not wear jewelry when attending to the elderly as this can cause cuts which take a long time to heal.

9. Sleep On Your Back

According to research, the position by which you sleep can affect the skin-aging process. People who sleep with their faces pressed on the pillow are more likely to age faster and develop wrinkles than their counterparts who sleep on the back.

You don't want to develop any skin issues simply from what you thought was your position of choice when sleeping comfortably, so it is advisable that you mind your sleeping position. By sleeping on your back, you can reduce formation of wrinkles.

10. Minimize Stress

As you probably know, the brain and the skin have a common connection. When you're under stress, the body releases hormones which negatively impact the skin.

A stressed person, therefore, is more likely to develop skin issues, flare-ups, itchy rashes, dullness and dryness of the skin, and other symptoms of discomfort, all of which aren't safe or ideal for older adults to have to deal with in their older age.

As an older adult, try to make sure that you're not cognitively under too much stress and over-thinking. Deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises should also be part of your daily routine as these can both help you keep your mind calm.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are an older adult yourself, getting older, or taking care of a senior, it is always a good feeling to have a healthy skin, and it doesn't have to be hard, either.

Skin care routines are a crucial part of maintaining a radiant, healthy appearance, and by following this list, you'll amp up your skin care results to the maximum.

So, the next time you want to buy an expensive treatment (which will probably be riddled with chemicals, anyway), try out these tips and tricks for naturally healthier skin, and see how you like the results. We think you'll be happy you gave it a shot!