Aging skin is a fact of life. As skin tends to become thinner through the years, protecting it is crucial, especially over the age of 70, when sun damage and dryness can become bigger problems than ever before. Skin is the body's largest organ, and so it says a lot about your health and well-being. In your golden years, you can keep yourself looking healthier just with a little extra attention to skin care. There are many natural products to help older skin look and feel good.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen daily on the face, neck and forearms is the number one thing you can do to combat the signs of aging. Because the body slows down production of natural oils as time goes on, aging skin grows less resilient to sun damage and age spots. An SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above is vital for protecting older skin from not only wrinkles and spots, but also cancer. The best sunscreens have either micronized zinc oxide or titanium oxide for maximum protection.
If brown age spots do occur, creams and gels containing hydroquinone work well, even on fair skin; just be sure to consult a dermatologist before using this ingredient.
Cleanse and Moisturize With Oil
Gentle soaps might get your skin squeaky clean, but oils are even better at cleansing without stripping your natural moisture. Use an oil-based cleanser, and rinse it off using a warm washcloth.
Ideally, people of all ages should wear moisturizer from head to toe 24 hours a day. Skin care for senior citizens calls for retaining the moisture that's already present in the skin. Creams with sesame oil or avocado oil are great, or you can use the pure oils. These are lightweight and absorb well into the skin. Moisturizers that contain no oil whatsoever lack the substance to hold existing moisture in older skin.
Feed Your Skin Vitamins
Vitamin A is believed to fight wrinkles. Rosehip seed oil is one of the most natural ways to give your skin some vitamin-A love. A few drops of vitamin E oil is also great for adding some free radical–fighting antioxidants to your face and body creams. Creams with vitamin C, which is ascorbic acid, can fade age spots.
Exfoliate – But Do It Safely
People over 70 may benefit from having a chemical peel to soften up extremely hard skin. This process should, of course, be performed by a licensed dermatologist. Exfoliating the outer layers of the skin and exposing the softer skin beneath can make some deeper wrinkles disappear. Stimulating the skin with a pulsating electric massager is good, too. This kind of treatment helps cell turnover and makes the skin look fresher.
Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.