Skincare after 55

Adjusting the regimen for senior skin as one ages.

From fine lines to age spots, normal changes in the skin are inevitable as it matures. Skincare after 50 doesn’t need to involve plastic surgery or products with a high price tag. There are simple options for treating the conditions that appear as one ages.

“Everyone ages differently, but you may notice your skin is drier and thinner and starting to look like paper,” said dermatologist Shelly Hall, M.D. “You may notice that you’re developing more age spots wrinkles and creases. Your skin might be blotchier and irritated easily. You also might notice that you skins heals more slowly.”

One of the top recommendations for aging skincare is sunscreen. “For most of us, skin gets more fragile as we age. That’s why it’s essential for seniors to take extra care and protect themselves from the sun,” said Susan Yohe, gerontology nurse for the Fairfax County Health Department. “In addition to using a high-SPF sunscreen, we also recommend long, loose-fitting clothing that covers the skin, and a wide-brimmed hat when outside. This will help keep you safe and preserve your skin.”

“Wear sunglasses to reduce lines around eyes,” added Hall. “Slather on sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It’s so important because the sun can age your skin prematurely. Indoor tanning and sun lamps expose your skins to UV rays which can also make your skin age faster.”

Watch for skin cancer that can occur because of too much exposure to the son, warns Hall. “Everyone should see a dermatologist for a skin care exam at some point.”

Wash your face twice a day, but avoid using soap, suggest Hall. “Use warm water and a mild cleaner, but don’t scrub.”

“Vitamin A cream can reduce fine wrinkles,” said Hall. “It also helps with rough skin and hyper-pigmentation or discoloration that comes with aging and overexposure to the sun. Products that contain Vitamin C can lead to healthy skin and may reverse the negative effects of aging.”

Getting adequate sleep promotes healthy skin, says Hall. “It gives our body and skin time to refresh and renew.”

Diet and lifestyle also play a role in the way one’s skin ages. Eliminating smoking, decreasing alcohol consumption and eating fresh fruits and vegetables and foods rich in Omega-3 offer the nutrients necessary for healthy, glowing skin, says Sara Ducey, professor of Nutrition at Montgomery College.

“Water is especially important for keeping skin hydrated,” she said. “Fish is particularly important, especially fatty fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna. Berries are great for the skin because they help keep inflammation down. Green, leafy vegetables, especially parsley and lettuces, offer tremendous nutrition.”

A simple and holistic approach is the foundation of skincare, advises Hall. “The bottom line is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet and practicing sun protection,” she said.

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